7 NFL draft picks sign contracts with Chicago Bears

Updated 5/9/2016 4:18 PM
  • The Chicago Bears have been busy since last month's NFL draft was held here. Team officials say they've finalized contracts with seven of the nine NFL draft picks, and they've also signed 10 undrafted free agents.

      The Chicago Bears have been busy since last month's NFL draft was held here. Team officials say they've finalized contracts with seven of the nine NFL draft picks, and they've also signed 10 undrafted free agents. John Starks | Staff Photographer

In a whirlwind of activity, the Bears announced the signings of seven of their nine NFL draft choices -- all except first-rounder Leonard Floyd and third-rounder Jonathan Bullard.

The team also has signed 10 undrafted free agents to date.

Signing four-year contracts were: second-round offensive lineman Cody Whitehair; fourth-round linebacker Nick Kwiatkoski; fourth-round safety Deon Bush; fourth-round defensive back Deiondre' Hall; fifth-round running back Jordan Howard; sixth-round defensive back DeAndre Houston-Carson; and seventh-round wide receiver Daniel Braverman.

The projected value of Whitehair's contract under the NFL's rookie compensation pool is $4.224 million with a $1.272 million signing bonus, according to Spotrac.com. As a 41-game starter at Kansas State, Whitehair started at every offensive line position except center, and he is expected to compete this season for a starting spot at left guard.

Kwiatkoski, the 113th overall draft pick, was a three-year starter at West Virginia who played all three linebacker positions in the Mountaineers' 3-4 defense. He will be an inside linebacker in the Bears' 3-4 scheme, penciled in behind starters Danny Trevathan and Jerrell Freeman. The projected value of his contract is $2.915 million with a $575,120 signing bonus.

Bush, the 124th overall pick, earned a reputation at Miami as a big hitter with good range in the secondary. He will be in the mix for a starting job with the Bears at a safety position now that veteran Antrel Rolle was recently released. Bush's projected contract is $2.866 million with a $526,218 signing bonus.

Hall, the 127th overall selection, and the first Bears' draft pick to sign, agreed to a deal for $2.851 million that includes a $510,891 signing bonus. At Northern Iowa, the 6-foot-2, 199-pound Hall split his time between cornerback and safety and will compete for playing time in the Bears' secondary. In 2014, as a full-time corner, Hall intercepted 5 passes. Last season, playing mostly safety, he had 6 picks, and he finished his career with 13 interceptions, including a school-record 4 interceptions for touchdowns.

Howard rushed for 1,213 yards last season at Indiana, averaging 6.2 yards per carry after transferring from Alabama-Birmingham when that program disbanded. In his final season at UAB in 2014, Howard rushed for 1,587 yards with a 5.2-yard average.

The 6-foot, 230-pound Howard is expected to complement returning players Jeremy Langford and Ka'Deem Carey with his powerful, tackle-breaking style. Howard's projected deal is $2.588 million with a $248,022 signing bonus.

Houston-Carson was a cornerback in his first three seasons at William & Mary but switched to safety as a senior and was the Colonial Athletic Association co-defensive player of the year in 2015. The projected value of his contract is $2.481 million, including a signing bonus of $140,942.

Braverman caught 108 passes for 1,377 yards and 13 touchdowns in his final season at Western Michigan. The 230th overall selection is projected to get $2.149 million with a $79,397 signing bonus.

The 10 undrafted rookies who signed are: Harvard tight end Ben Braunecker; Duquesne offensive lineman Dan Buchholz; Mississippi State defensive back Taveze Calhoun; Villanova linebacker Don Cherry; Georgia Southern wide receiver Derek Keaton; Buffalo offensive lineman John Kling; Liberty wide receiver Darrin Peterson; Oklahoma State cornerback Kevin Peterson; Texas-El Paso linebacker Roy Robertson-Harris; and Wisconsin-Oshkosh tight end Joseph Sommers.

All draft picks and undrafted free agents are expected at the Bears' rookie minicamp Friday-Sunday at Halas Hall. The Bears' roster currently stands at the maximum of 90.

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

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