Bears News: Getting to Know: Bagent, Burns, Pitts, Cruickshank
Kirby Lee - USA Today Sports

Bears News: Getting to Know: Bagent, Burns, Pitts, Cruickshank

by - Senior Writer -

Although the NFL draft may only be seven rounds, it is what happens after the draft that stands out. 48 hours after the final selection, teams can begin calling all the players who went undrafted. This is what they call the undrafted free agent process, as teams scour the market to try and find additional talent.

Not only is there no limit on how many players you can add to the roster, but this is about as close to college recruiting as possible. These players don't come to you. The team comes to the players, and it is up to them to create the best pitch possible for them to land one of the free-agent players.

Regarding the Chicago Bears, Ryan Poles was one of the most aggressive GMs regarding adding undrafted free agents. At one point, Poles brought in 18 undrafted free agents for rookie minicamp only to release three. Still, with 15 additional players, the Bears added a plethora of undrafted players eager to be given an opportunity in camp.

Today we focus on the skill position of the undrafted, where the Bears brought in four names to the minicamp.

Granted, most of these names may or may not end up on the practice squad. It is always nice to see what they bring to the table.

Tyson Bagent

When it comes to the QB position, make no mistake about it. This is Justin Fields' team, and the team will only go as far as he takes him. However, finding a reliable backup is equally as important, and that is something the Bears struggled with last season. After bringing in Trevor Siemien and Nathan Peterman last season, neither could do anything when Fields got hurt.

Still, the Bears liked what they saw in Peterson enough to bring him back while adding PJ Walker as another potential backup. Chicago didn't stop there and also brought in Tyson Bagent as an undrafted free agent. The NCAA Division 2 star from Shepherd University in WV may not make this team, but he is a highly decorated collegiate QB.

The 6-3 213 pounder has all the size you look for at the QB position and has put that size to good use. Bagent owns the record for most touchdown passes across all NCAA divisions with 159. In other words, the kid can play and is no stranger to airing it out. He was voted PSAC East Offensive Player of the Year and won Harlon Hill Trophy as Division II National Player of the Year in 2021 after passing for 5,000 yards and 53 TDs.

Bagent was named first-team All-PSAC East and PSAC East Offensive Player of the Year in 2022 after throwing for 4,580 yards and 41 TDs. He participated in the NFL Combine and played in the Senior Bowl on the American Team coached by Bears offensive coordinator Luke Getsy. If anyone knows what he can do, it would be Getsy, so this pickup shouldn't shock anyone.

Robert Burns

With the Bears firmly set at the RB position, adding a guy like Burns from UCONN may be a surprise. However, his versatility stands out, as he can slide into the FB role once Khari Blossomgane leaves Chicago. Burns is a little undersized for a FB, but at 5-11 and 222 pounds, he is large for an RB.

Originally a Miami, FL commit, Burns played sparingly during his first three seasons, where he rushed for 189 yards on 47 carries across 16 games. He then chose to transfer to UCONN, and the number stayed pretty much the same as he had 45 yards rushing on 12 attempts spanning 12 games. Look for him to take reps at FB as they try to build on the ground game.

Thyrick Pitts

You can never have enough WR depth on a team, and that is something the Bears have addressed for the better part of two seasons. Pitts is just another one of those depth bodies being brought into camp with the hopes of leaving a lasting impression on the coaching staff.

The 6-1, 201-pound Pitts is a former Delaware University product that saw a ton of time on the field. Across six seasons with the Blue Hens, Pitts played in 59 games and totaled 2,429 yards and 23 touchdowns, all while bringing in 172 receptions. Looking back at the 2022 season, Pitts not only started 13 games but hauled in a career-high 57 passes for 631 yards. He added 10 TD and proved he was a legitimate red zone threat.

Aron Cruickshank

The nickname Legion of Zoom comes to mind when you look at the Bears' offense and how it was designed this season. This team is filled with speed all across the WR room, as every WR runs a 4.52 40 time or less. Cruickshank is no exception, and his experience in the return game could give him an inside track on this roster.

In five seasons with the Wisconsin Badgers and Rutgers Scarlet Knights, Cruickshank played in 59 games and brought in 103 receptions for 908 yards and five TDs. He also added 360 yards rushing with four TDs, averaging 24 yards per kick return. Cruickshank returned four kicks to the house, and one punt as the return game was what earned him a roster spot in Wisconsin.

Cruickshank capped off his collegiate career with a pretty good senior season as he finished the year with a career-high and team-leading 42 receptions for 385 yards and two TDs. He will be one to watch during training camp, especially in the return game.

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