Stephen F. Austin defensive lineman John Franklin-Myers announced on Twitter that he has an upcoming workout with the Bears on Monday.
Franklin-Myers finished his four-year tenure with the Lumberjacks with 17.5 sacks and 37.5 tackles for a loss. He was invited to the NFL Combine in February and put together a solid performance: he ran a 4.75 40-yard dash with a 1.66 10-yard split, and he put up 26 reps in the bench press.
Franklin-Myers is a classic example of a small-school project with solid upside. He’s an explosive rusher who can convert spees to power very well. At 6’4” and 292 pounds, he has a very good frame for the 3-4 defensive end position. He could work on his hand usage instead of relying on his raw power and speed, and he may have a learning curve adjusting from the FCS to the NFL. However, Franklin-Myers has the potential to develop into a well-rounded starter if coached up correctly. He can likely be had in Round 5 or 6 of the draft.
The Bears have one of the league’s better interior defensive linemen in Akiem Hicks, but they don’t have a clear-cut answer at the opposite defensive end spot. Mitch Unrein left in free agency to go join the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and neither Jonathan Bullard nor Roy Robertson-Harris have proven enough to be considered long-term starters just yet. Not only would adding Franklin-Myers give Chicago another defensive player with a hyphenated name, but he would give them a potential starter down the line.