One of the more important events on the NFL Draft calendar will take place on Feb 1 as the Shrine Bowl will take place in Frisco, Texas. This game is even more important for the Chicago Bears as they have several coaches taking part, including special team coach Richard Hightower, who will be the head coach of the East team, and linebacker coach Dave Borgonzi, who will be the team’s defensive coordinator.
This hands on experience will be a tremendous benefit for the Chicago Bears as they will get to see how hard these players work at practice, pickup material in meetings, and carry themselves when off the field. Last year, the New England Patriots who coached the West team in 2022 ended up drafting two players from this game including one of their best draft pick Demario Douglas. The Falcons who coached the east team also added a member of their 2023 roster when they signed Ikenna Enechukwu after the draft.
The Bears will hope to have similar luck this season, and it would be a surprise if the team didn’t add at least a couple of players from this game in the offseason. In this article we will take a look at five players who are taking part in the East-West Shrine game who would make sense for Chicago.
Five players the Chicago Bears should target
1. Christian Mahogany, OG, Boston College: The highest graded player on this list is Boston College’s Christian Mahogany, who would also fill a need for the Bears. Chicago has been happy with the play of Teven Jenkins at left guard when healthy, but he has had a hard time staying on the field the past couple of years. At the other guard spot is Nate Davis who has not been healthy for a full season since 2020.
Boston College’s Christian Mahogany would give the Bears a player capable of stepping in next season when either Jenkins or Davis is out. He is also the type of physical offensive guard Ryan Poles loves and is a major reason Boston College finished second in the ACC in rushing yards this season.
2. Tahj Washington, WR, USC: Another area the Chicago Bears will need to address this offseason is wide receiver. The team has a true number-one wideout in DJ Moore but very little behind him. The team didn’t have any receivers behind Moore who finished with over 35 receptions or one touchdown. Chicago could also use an upgrade at punt returner since Trent Taylor finished 22nd in the NFL last year, averaging only 8.2 yards per punt return.
A player who could provide depth at wide receiver and also be the team's top punt returner next season is USC's Tahj Washington. Washington is a dynamic playmaker with the ball in his hands having averaged 18 yards per reception last season and averaging 25 yards per punt return in 2022. He could be an excellent sixth or seventh-round pick for the Bears if the team adds more draft picks on draft day.
3. Ryan Flournoy, WR, Southeast Missouri State: Another wide receiver whom the Bears should closely look at is Southeast Missouri State’s Ryan Flournoy. Like Washington, Flournoy is a deep threat who averaged 15.7 yards per reception in his two years at SEMO. He also reportedly will run the 40-yard dash in 4.4 seconds which is impressive speed for a 6-foot-2 205-pound receiver.
He will also likely be someone the Bears can add as an undrafted free agent. The fact he played at a small school and battled some injuries could make him a hidden gem after the NFL Draft.
4. Taulia Tagovailoa, QB, Maryland: The Bears found great value in the Senior Bowl last year when they added Tyson Bagent as an undrafted free agent. Bagent started fivie games for Chicago last season, and showed the promise to develop into a high quality backup quarterback. The team may try their luck again this year and add Taulia Tagovailoa as an undrafted free agent after the 2024 NFL Draft.
Tagovailoa was a late add to the East West Shrine bowl and will likely be the best quarterback at the even. Last season, he was named to the All-Big Ten second team and finished his career as the Big Ten’s all-time passing leader with 11,256 yards. His lack of ideal size will likely cause him to go undrafted despite his ability to make plays both inside and outside the pocket.
5. Mohamed Kamara, DE, Colorado State: While most of the Bears focus will be on the offensive side of the ball one area they will need to upgrade on defense is their pass rush. Even with the addition of Montez Sweat during the season Chicago needs to add a couple of more pass rushers, especially since Yannick Ngakoue is scheduled to be a free agent.
A day three prospect who has had no trouble getting after the passer is Colorado State defensive end Mohamed Kamara. Kamara finished third in the nation with 13 sacks last year, and has 30.5 carrer sacks. What will force him down the draft board is his lack of size coming in at only 6-foot-1 and 250 pounds.