For the first time in the history of the NFL Supplemental Draft, the Chicago Bears made a selection on Thursday.
In the seventh round the Bears selected BYU running back Harvey Unga.
Unga, 6'0", 244 lbs, is the all-time leading rusher in BYU history. Unga left the school after three straight seasons of rushing for over 1,000 yards due to violating BYU's honor code.
During his workout on July 8, Unga ran a 4.62 40 yard dash and benched 225 lbs 19 times. The workout drew the interest of 20 NFL teams who sent representatives to Utah while six teams requested video. He may have ran a slower than expected 40 time due to hurting his ankle a few weeks ago.
An interesting twist to the Bears selecting the Utah native is that his son, Jackson, was born on the July 4 in Chicago. This also explains what part of BYU's honor code he broke since part of the code is not having sex until after marriage.
The NFL Supplemental Draft is for players who have missed the deadline for entering the regular draft due to any reason. Most of the time it is due to being kicked out of school for academic or criminal reasons but sometimes it is due to something like this or an injury. The way it works is that now the Bears will give up their seventh round pick in the 2011 NFL draft.
Unga will be competing with Garrett Wolfe, Khalil Bell, as well as undrafted rookie Brandon Minor for the third running back spot behind Matt Forte and Chester Taylor. Unga has his size going for him because the Bears may also view him as someone who could spend some time at fullback or be used as a goal line back.
Another plus is during his time at BYU he caught 102 passes for over 1,000 yards, which might make him a perfect fit in Mike Martz's offense. If Unga does make the team he might be someone to keep an eye on during the fantasy football season.
I would think Unga has a good chance of making the team as the fourth running back or second fullback, or maybe in some combined role depending how the number crunch goes.
I would expect the Bears to try to hide either Bell or Minor on the practice squad with Wolfe keeping his roster spot due to his play on special teams.
It will be very interesting to see how the depth chart for the running backs gets settled during training camp from the starter all the way down because this is a very talented group.