For Williams and other Bears rookies, it’s all business from here on out

The Bears officially signed nine undrafted free agents Thursday. The team’s rookie minicamp will take place Friday and Saturday at Halas Hall in Lake Forest.

Caleb Williams, Rome Odunze and the rest of the Bears rookies will put on their Bears practice jerseys for the first time this weekend. None of the team’s veteran players will participate until OTAs begin later this month.

In addition to their five draft picks and nine undrafted free agents, the Bears will host two dozen rookies for tryouts.

Bears sign nine undrafted rookies

The team officially signed the following free agents:

  • Brenden Bates, TE, Kentucky
  • Theo Benedet, OT, British Columbia
  • Carl Jones Jr., LB, UCLA
  • Jamree Kromah, DE, James Madison
  • Peter LeBlanc, WR, Louisiana-Lafayette
  • Keith Randolph Jr., DT, Illinois
  • Austin Reed, QB, Western Kentucky
  • Reddy Steward, DB, Troy
  • Ian Wheeler, RB, Howard

Bears host 24 rookie tryouts

The Bears will also host 24 undrafted rookies for a tryout during rookie minicamp, as well as three veteran tryouts. After the addition of the nine undrafted free agents, the Bears have 81 players on their roster. They are allowed to have up to 90 players on the training camp roster in July.

Here’s a full list of rookie tryout players who will participate this weekend:

  • Brian Abraham, LB, Albany
  • Noah Atagi, OT, Weber State
  • T.D. Ayo-Durojaiye, RB, Villanova
  • Travian Blaylock, DB, Wisconsin
  • Russell Dandy, DB, Eastern Illinois
  • Mark Ho Ching, DT, Northern Arizona
  • John Jackson III, WR, Nevada
  • Patrick Jolly, DB, Abilene Christian
  • Leon Jones, DB, Arkansas State
  • DeShaun Mallory, DT, Arizona State
  • Samuel Matthews, S, Texas A&M
  • John McCartan, DE, Oregon State
  • Rich Miller Jr., LB, Kansas
  • Paula Moala, LB, Georgia Tech
  • Decorian Patterson, DB, UCF
  • Kendarin Ray, DB, Tulsa
  • Marcus Rogers, WR, Troy
  • David Satkowski, G, Stonehill
  • Josh Sokol, C, Sacred Heart
  • Geor-quarius Spivey, TE, Mississippi State
  • Kameron Stutts, G, Auburn
  • Donald Ventrelli, G, North Dakota
  • Shelton Zeon, TE, UNLV

Additionally, cornerback Parry Nickerson, tight end Tommy Sweeney and receiver Freddie Swain will participate as veteran tryouts.

Jackson, the receiver from Nevada, began his career at USC and is tight with Williams, the No. 1 overall pick in the draft. Jackson caught 35 passes for 267 yards last season with Nevada.

What to expect from rookie minicamp

Rookie minicamp will be an opportunity for Williams and the rest of the rookies to begin working through the offense on the field. Since officially joining the Bears two weeks ago, all of Williams’ prep work has been studying the playbook. This will be a chance to begin putting those concepts into motion on the field.

For Williams, specifically, a large focus will be on learning to direct an NFL offense. That will start with the basics, such as footwork and barking out play calls.

For players drafted later in the draft, and for the undrafted rookies, this weekend is also a chance to prove themselves. Rookies like offensive tackle Kiran Amegadjie and defensive end Austin Booker will have their first chance to show what they can do.

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