LAKE FOREST, Ill. – Unable to find a linebacker in the draft that suited their needs, the Bears hope to have found a steal in Florida State undrafted rookie free agent Christian Jones, who moved well when he lined up on special teams and at strongside linebacker over the first two days of the club’s annual rookie minicamp.
Many analysts pegged Jones, a three-year starter for the Seminoles, as a mid-to-late round pick until the outside linebacker reportedly submitted a diluted urine sample at the NFL combine in February.
“[I was] a little surprised [I didn’t get drafted], but sometimes that stuff happens,” Jones said. “Right now I’ve got a good opportunity. I still got on a team, so I’m just making the best out of it.
“You see guys getting drafted above you; everybody thinks they’re better than somebody. But that’s how it is. But it’s going to help fuel me and I believe that things happen for a reason. I really feel like I belong here and I’m just making the best out of this opportunity.”
Jones has a shot to earn a spot on the team depending on how many linebackers make the final 53-man roster. If the team again decides to break camp with six linebackers, Jones will be forced to beat an experienced player, such as 2013 fourth-round draft choice Khaseem Greene or special-teams standout Jordan Senn.
“I feel like I’ve got a lot of versatility and I feel like I can fit in a lot of different systems. I feel like I just need to focus on one spot," Jones said. "I’ve been moved around my whole career and I feel like people didn’t really see what all I could do. They just saw a little glimpse of it. I think it’s going to be a good opportunity to see me at one spot and see what I do.
“Right now I’m at the strongside linebacker spot, so we’re going to see how that works out.”
Bears head coach Marc Trestman added: “He’s [Jones] definitely a player we are keeping a close eye on. He has athleticism.”