BATON ROUGE, LA - OCTOBER 26: Reese Hannon #12 of the Furman Paladins is pressured by Ego Ferguson #9 of the LSU Tigers during a game at Tiger Stadium on October 26, 2013 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. LSU won the game 48-16. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
The Chicago Bears finished off a busy day of inking newly drafted talent by signing DT Ego Ferguson and P Pat O’Donnell to four-year contracts on Tuesday night.
Earlier in the day, the team had also agreed to contracts with OT Charles Leno Jr. and RB Ka’Deem Carey on four-year deals. On Monday they also signed a couple of picks, inking QB David Fales and S Brock Vereen to four year contracts.
The slew of signings means that only two Bears draft picks remain without contracts, as CB Kyle Fuller (the team’s first round pick) and DT Will Sutton (the team’s third round pick) are the only remaining players not to sign deals.
Ferguson, the team’s second round pick with the 51st overall selection in the draft, started 12 contests for the LSU Tigers during the 2013 season. In his career with the team, he ended up with five pass break-ups, 85 total tackles (24 of which were solo) and was named the All-SEC honorable mention squad for his efforts. He was largely projected to be a late second to early third round pick by NFL Draft experts, lauded for his raw skills but labelled a bit of a “project” player in need of more coaching and playing time before his ability can be fully realized.
As for O’Donnell, the 6-foot-4 and 220 pound punter showed prodigious strength and ability in his overall punting game at the University of Miami (FL). He averaged 43.5 yards per kick in his NCAA career, and he set a school record at Miami for highest gross average for punts in a season, averaging 47.1 yards per kick during the 2013 season.
O’Donnell, unlike past Bears punters like Brad Maynard, is more of a long-distance kicker than a directional one, and with the swirling winds that often envelop Soldier Field, especially in the winter months, O’Donnell is going to have a lot of adjustments to make if he is going to be successful with the Bears.