The 2022 NFL Draft doesn’t end with Mr. Irrelevant. Hundreds of undrafted free agents have signed contracts with teams in the last 48 hours, and with rookie minicamps coming up in the middle of May, unsigned tryout players will ink deals and begin this summer’s training camp with a chance to make the roster.
The Chicago Bears added 11 rookies via the NFL Draft and signed several more in the hours that followed. As many as 34 undrafted prospects have either been signed to contracts or invited to the Bears’ rookie minicamp, and there’s one name that stands out as having a good chance to make the team in 2022: Ohio State running back, Master Teague.
Master Teague was once a promising prospect
Teague has been on the NFL draft radar for the last couple of seasons. He was once a player who ranked among the top five or six running back prospects before the 2020 COVID-shortened season. He’s appeared in just 14 games over the last two years, however, and missed several games in 2021 due to unspecified yet recurring injuries.
Still, Teague finished last season averaging more than 5.3 yards per carry, marking the third time in his Ohio State career that he topped 5.0 yards per rush. For his Buckeyes’ career, Master Teague carried the ball 323 times for 1,764 yards and 17 touchdowns.
Teague possesses the prototype physical makeup for an NFL running back. He certainly looks the part at 5-foot-11 and 221 pounds with 4.44 speed. And while his lateral agility is barely average, his ability to one-cut-and-go is notable. Teague’s skill set will do well in an offense like the Bears are expected to run in 2022.
Bears’ current roster gives Teague a chance to stick around
The most important variable for undrafted rookies to make an NFL roster is an opportunity, and in Chicago, Teague will have a great chance to earn the RB3 role behind David Montgomery and Khalil Herbert. Former Tennessee Titan Darrynton Evans was signed in free agency, and Baylor’s Trestan Ebner was added in the sixth round. But it’s Teague who’s built best for the NFL.
Teague isn’t a creative runner, and he’ll need a solid offensive line to be a productive pro. But as an undrafted prospect added to an 11-player draft class, the Bears could do worse than a 220-pounder with a 4.4 speed. He’s a good candidate to lead the Bears in rushing this summer and force General Manager Ryan Poles to make some tough decisions.