Bears rookies get first test in three-day minicamp

                                                                                                                                                                                                   
  • Bears head coach John Fox will get to see his team's new draft picks up close when a three-day rookie minicamp gets under way Friday at Halas Hall in Lake Forest.

      Bears head coach John Fox will get to see his team's new draft picks up close when a three-day rookie minicamp gets under way Friday at Halas Hall in Lake Forest. Gilbert R. Boucher II | Staff Photographer/file

 
 
Updated 5/7/2015 12:36 PM

At the Bears' rookie minicamp this weekend there won't be any full-speed contact and players will be in shorts, T-shirts and helmets, just as they were in last week's veteran minicamp.

This, however, will be the first time coaches can evaluate their draft picks as members of the Chicago Bears. The draft picks will be joined by 15 undrafted free agents, some players who were on last year's practice squad, as well as other first- and second-year players and players getting a look on a tryout basis.

 

The focus will be on the Bears' six draft picks.

Fourth-rounder Jeremy Langford played cornerback and receiver at Michigan State before moving to running back. As a back, however, he possesses a valuable trait that cannot be taught -- speed.

"He's played multiple positions, so he's still getting better as a running back," general manager Ryan Pace said. "But this guy's speed stands out."

Langford ran a 4.40 time in the 40-yard dash at the Scouting Combine, which makes him the fastest running back on the roster and one of the fastest players at any position.

The most important part of the three-day camp for sixth-round offensive tackle Tayo Fabuluje might be when he steps on the scale. Fabuluje weighed 353 at the Combine but says he's down to 330.

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"When this guy is at the right weight, we feel really good about him," Pace said. "There's a lot of upside potential there as well."

For fifth-rounder Adrian Amos, coaches will begin determining where he fits best in the secondary. Drafted as a safety, the 6-foot, 218-pounder played cornerback for part of his three years as a starter at Penn State, and his size makes him an intriguing cover man against NFL wide receivers who get bigger every year.

"Some safeties, you don't get to see in isolated and man coverage a lot, but you do with him," Pace said. "We're going to start him out at safety, but in different packages, he could have different roles."

White says he looks forward to some hard coaching in order to make as big an impact on the NFL as he did at West Virginia last season, when he caught 109 passes for 1,477 yards and 10 touchdowns.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

"I want to be one of the best to do it, just want to be the best that I can be," he said. "So, if I'm not doing something right, I want to correct it the next time."

White is expected to replace five-time Pro Bowl wide receiver Brandon Marshall, who was traded, and he realizes that won't be easy.

"For me to step in and try and take his place and produce on the field is pretty big time," he said. "I'm pretty excited. I plan to do big things. I'm going to work, earn my stripes, and I just want to help the team win games."

Goldman is looking forward to learning from 10-year vet Jeremiah Ratliff, who went to four straight Pro Bowl with the Cowboys as a nose tackle, the position they are both expected to play in the Bears' new 3-4 scheme.

"I met with (former Cowboys lineman) Andre Gurode, and he said that Ratliff was one of the best guys he ever went up against," Goldman said. "I just look forward to learning a lot from him and playing alongside him."

The most noteworthy of the 15 undrafted rookies the Bears announced Sunday is East Carolina quarterback Shane Carden, a three-year starter. Pace had indicated a desire to draft a quarterback, but circumstances dictated they address other positions.

"It never locked in to where we were on the board," he said. "Every time our pick came up, we had guys clearly graded better than the quarterbacks that were there."

Carden is expected to battle last year's sixth-round pick, David Fales, for the No. 3 job in training camp.

• Follow Bob's Bears and NFL reports on Twitter@BobLeGere.

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