UPDATE: The Bears announced the signing of Tonga, as well as the signings of fellow draft picks Larry Borom, Khalil Herbert, Dazz Newsome and Thomas Graham Jr.
The Bears have signed seventh-round pick Khyiris Tonga to a four-year rookie deal, according to a tweet from his agency DEC Management made on Wednesday.
Tonga is the first of the Bears’ rookie class from the 2021 NFL Draft to sign his rookie contract. The former BYU defensive lineman was selected with No. 250 overall pick in the draft. According to Spotrac, his 2021 cap hit is expected to be $680,912.
In his four seasons at BYU, Tonga tallied 130 tackles, 16 tackles for a loss and 8.5 sacks. He was an effective run-stuffer who used his 6-foot-2, 325-pound frame to eat up gaps at the nose tackle position. He also proved to be an effective deflector at the line of scrimmage, breaking up 12 passes over the course of his collegiate career.
Borom figures to be in the mix for a reserve spot at right tackle, but he could be worked in some at guard as well.
Herbert joins a suddenly deep and talented running back room with free agent pick up Damien Williams, Tarik Cohen coming back from injury, UDFA CJ Marable, starter David Montgomery, and holdover reserves Ryan Nall and Artavis Pierce.
Newsome will undergo surgery to repair a broken collarbone on Thursday, June 3, but it’s expected he’ll be back in time for training camp.
Thomas Graham Jr. figures to be in a battle to start at nickelback, but he’s been leaning both that position and outside cornerback so far this offseason.
The only draft picks without signed contracts to this point are quarterback Justin Fields and offensive tackle Teven Jenkins.