The Chicago Bears are looking for added DT depth heading into the 2012 season and signed a player they scouted during the lead up to the 2010 draft. Nate Collins a UDFA who originally signed with the New York Giants was picked up by the Bears this week and is a training camp body who might turn into something more.
Collins was scouted by the Bears even though he wasn't invited to the NFL combine the Bears brought him in for a workout at Halas Hall. He was at the time projected as a late round selection UDFA project with some potential but overall is a raw athlete. Collins' burst off the ball however was evident while in college.
I wrote up this scouting report on Collins for the site during the draft evaluation process of 2010. I also caught some YouTube highlights of Collins that showed why the Bears had interest in him. He has the burst off the ball and that ability to attack the gaps. The question is has Collins kept in shape is he still interested in an NFL career and could the Bears parlay his potential into a spot on the 53-man roster as the fourth DT on the roster.
Collins was able to make the 53-man roster in Jacksonville and he appeared in 13 games over the last two seasons. So he's made an NFL roster already and will have a shot here in Chicago. At 6-foot-2 296-pounds he fits the profile for what the Bears do on defense with their DTs.
Having played with the Giants Collins has experience in the Lovie Smith defense given that current Giants DC Perry Fewell is a former coach of Smith's. With Collins' signing the Bears' roster now stands at the limit of 90 players.