Undrafted Wisconsin Badger makes Chicago Bears 53-man roster
Jack Sanborn was a fantastic player as a part of the “Death Row” unit as a Wisconsin Badger. Sanborn was on many scouts’ lists to be selected in a later round but fell through the NFL draft. The Chicago Bears signed him as an undrafted free agent in April.
His draft profile was impressive. The NFL Draft Bible of Sports Illustrated wrote a glowing draft summary for Sanborn:
Old-school LB who’s instincts, processing and discipline put him near the ball on runs between the tackles and also shows good stack+shed technique impose his physicality on offenses. Will likely be a two-down MIKE or SAM due to inferior athleticism and poor spatial awareness in zone+man coverage. Has a chance to be a solid backup due to his nose for the ball but will need to be a consistent special teams stud to earn a long career in the NFL.
In April, Sanborn was considered a longshot to make the Bears’ final 53-man roster as an UDFA. Some of his cons in draft profiles were that he could lack speed and have difficulty changing direction quickly. Those traits might be accurate, but oh man, did he have eyes for where the football was in the preseason.
This is a Jack Sanborn stan account. pic.twitter.com/QB22rL3sPj
— Bear Down Blog (@BearDown_Blog) August 24, 2022
Sanborn dominates the preseason
Sanborn was all over the field in Week One of the preseason like he was as a Wisconsin Badger. He recorded one interception and one fumble recovery in the Bears’ 19-14 win over the Kansas City Chiefs. His performance earned the highest rookie grade for defense by Pro Football Focus.
From then on, Sanborn quickly became a fan favorite for the Bears. He also followed that performance in preseason Week Two by being the seventh highest-rated defensive rookie through the two weeks. Sanborn recorded three total tackles in Week Three against the Cleveland Browns. By then, most Bears beat writers had him making the 53-man roster.
The news became official Tuesday afternoon that Sanborn survived the cut. The former Wisconsin Badger linebacker recorded 228 total tackles in college, 29 tackles for a loss, and 11.5 sacks. He also had four interceptions, three forced fumbles, and two fumble recoveries. His hard work and nose for the football have earned him an NFL roster spot. Now let’s see what he can do in the regular season.