Bears pick Unga; Price-Brent to Dallas
Two players were selected in the NFL supplemental draft Thursday.
Both players were selected in the seventh round, meaning the Bears and Cowboys will forfeit their seventh-round pick in the 2011 NFL draft.
Forty players have been selected in the NFL supplemental draft since its inception in 1977. The draft is intended for players who missed the filing deadline for the NFL draft or had other issues develop that affected their college eligibility.
In his three full seasons at BYU, before being dismissed in April for an unspecified violation of university regulations, Unga carried 692 times for 3,446 yards and 35 touchdowns. He gained more than 1,000 rushing yards in three straight seasons (2007 to 2009) and had 11 or more rushing touchdowns all three years. Demonstrating good hands in the sophisticated BYU passing attack, Unga had 102 catches for 1,085 yards and nine scores, and he had 40 or more receptions in two campaigns.
At his workout, Unga measured 6-feet-0 3/4 inches and 244 pounds and ran the 40 in 4.65 seconds. His size, strength (19 repetitions in the bench press), receiving ability and modest time in the 40 suggest Unga might play fullback in the NFL. But as was displayed by his overall athleticism and background as BYU's feature back, most teams project him at tailback, the position at which Unga feels most comfortable.
"He's definitely a [tailback]," a scout from a team interested in Unga told ESPN.com's Len Pasquarelli. "He can catch the ball really well, but I honestly don't think he blocks well enough [to play fullback]. ... But the guy is a player."
With Matt Forte and Chester Taylor penciled in atop the Bears' depth chart at running back, Unga is expected to compete with Garrett Wolfe, Khalil Bell and rookie free agent Brandon Minor for a backup spot on the roster. The Bears currently have two fullbacks under contract: Eddie Williams and Will Ta'ufo'ou, after releasing veteran Jason McKie earlier in the offseason. The Bears were one of 20 teams to attend Unga's workout in front of NFL scouts before the supplemental draft.
The 6-foot-2, 315-pound Price-Brent declared for the supplemental draft because he was going to be academically ineligible for his senior season. There are some character concerns, but the Cowboys checked him out and determined he was worth the minimal risk of a seventh-round pick.
Price-Brent played defensive tackle at Illinois, but the Cowboys plan for him to and will compete with Junior Siavii for a reserve spot behind Pro Bowl nose tackle Jay Ratliff. Seventh-round pick Sean Lissemore might also play some nose tackle, but he worked primarily at defensive end during organized team activities and minicamp.
Unga withdrew from classes at BYU in April, saying he had violated the school's strict honor code. He hoped to complete his degree and play his final season this fall, however his request for readmittance for the fall semester was denied by the university in May.
ESPN.com's Len Pasquarelli, ESPNDallas.com's Tim MacMahon and ESPNChicago.com's Jeff Dickerson contributed to this report. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.