Kurt Warner. James Harrison. Dick “Night Train” Lane. Antonio Gates.
Over the years, there have been several undrafted free agents who have left indelible marks on the game of football. Despite not being seen as worthy enough of an NFL Draft selection, these players have overcome the odds and have gone on to become successful NFL players.
Over the next few weeks, I’m going to take a look at of 10 of the undrafted free agents that the Chicago Bears signed this offseason to try and determine who stands the best chance of making it to the 53-man roster. In this article, we’ll take a look an the eighth player on the list: defensive end Bunmi Rotimi.
Rotimi is a alumnus of Old Dominion University and played alongside current Bears offensive lineman Rashaad Coward along the defensive line for three seasons. He stands in at six-foot-three and weighs 273 pounds. He rushed off the edge in college, but will move to the 3-4 defensive end position in the NFL.
In his four seasons at Old Dominion, Rotimi tallied 19 sacks and 25 tackles for a loss, the former of which is the second-highest total in school history behind teammate and 2019 NFL Draft prospect Oshane Ximines. He is a two-time Conference USA Honorable Mention and majored in marketing in college. He was a first-team All-Patriot District member in high school and was an All-Region honoree in shot put.
There are no individualized cut-ups of Rotimi available online, but there are a couple of Old Dominion games that you can check out on YouTube and try to find him.
Rotimi isn’t the most athletic of edge rushers, which makes the 3-4 defensive end position a good fit for him. His explosion off the ball in college was decent, but his speed in space was lacking. Nevertheless, he has a high motor and plays hard on every snap. He also has an impressive swim move, a powerful punch and has shown the ability to shed blocks fairly well. His Combine profile on NFL.com says that he also has a “strong family background” and is a self-motivated player and a hard worker, which should definitely benefit him as an undrafted free agent.
Rotimi’s Combine measurements were promising, as well. He has an arm length just under 35 inches and a wingspan of nearly 83 inches, so he has the length necessary to hold up as a 3-4 end.
On tape, one of my concerns with Rotimi’s game is his lack of an anchor. His lower body didn’t show quite enough strength in college to take blocks head on along the interior, which is something he’ll obviously have to work on in the NFL. If he can improve in that regard, then he has the chance to become a solid run stopper who can plug up holes in the run game. His pad level also needs some work, as he occasionally got a bit too high when engaging with offensive linemen. Improving on that will also help him get better at taking on blockers head on.
I had the chance to watch Rotimi in person at the Combine, and, while he didn’t necessarily stand out to me, he wasn’t bad, either. He showed in drills that he can change direction fairly well, has good footwork and has a solid array of hand techniques in his arsenal.
Chances of making the 53-man roster
Considering the fact that Rotimi is changing positions, it will likely take him some time to adjust to the NFL. That said, it’s unlikely that he’ll make it to the 53-man roster. However, given his motor and collegiate production, he’s definitely a player worth considering for the practice squad.