Bears bring in UDFA Rashaad Coward to bolster defensive line

The Chicago defensive line struggled in 2016, and the team didn't draft any new names, but signed the ODU prospect.

| 2 weeks ago
(Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

(Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

Bears bring in UDFA Rashaad Coward to bolster defensive line


  • After passing on defensive line help in the draft, the Bears signed UDFA defensive interior lineman Rashaad Coward from Old Dominion University.
  • The Bears currently have five DIs on their roster who played at least 200 snaps in 2016. Of the five, only one (Akiem Hicks) didn’t finish with a below-average grade.
  • Coward’s 2016 grade ranked 21/172 among all DIs in his draft class (minimum 250 snaps). Well-balanced, he ranked 30th in pass-rushing grade and 17th in run defense.
  • His 2016 run-stop percentage of 9.5 percent ranked 12th among defensive tackles in his class and recorded the eighth-most stops (27). Coward’s pass-rushing productivity rating of 6.6 was good for 18th (minimum 200 run/pass snaps).

Rashaad Coward

  • Johnny Hatelak

    Bears have done well in the UDFA market as well as the veteran FA market. Great value signings which maintains a healthy cap situation. Pace’s draft picks have been good too. Not sure why anyone would doubt his ability to recognize talent and pay them accordingly to what their value is. In some cases below market value. It’s evident that Pace knows a thing or two about value picks and signings. Kudos to Pace.

    • Morgan Freeman

      Agreed!

    • Jeffrey B Rosenstein

      Only time will tell, but I think Pace knows what he’s doing and is building a winner, go Bears.