Mention the name Roy Robertson-Harris to most casual Chicago Bears fans and they will not know who he is or what position he plays.
Robertson-Harris joined the team as an undrafted free agent last offseason and appeared in the first three preseason games before he was placed on the illness/non-football injury list, effectively ending his rookie season.
Chicago was able to stash away the former UTEP standout and he appears to be well on his way to moving from outside linebacker to defensive end.
Robertson-Harris is listed on the team's official roster at 268 pounds, but the tweet above says he is now at 285 pounds. Pegged as a pass-rushing outside linebacker coming out of college, there is a chance the young defender makes the move to defensive end this season. Another clue that he will be making the switch is he went from No. 47 to No. 74. Numbers in the 70s are typically reserved for offensive and defensive linemen.
In four years as a 4-3 defensive end at UTEP, Robertson-Harris recorded 134 total tackles, 23 tackles for loss, 8.5 sacks and three forced fumbles. Prior to the 2016 draft, NFL.com had him pegged as a fifth-round pick. "Robertson-Harris will step onto the field at his first NFL camp looking like a dude," wrote NFL.com's Lance Zierlein. "He has the desired length, power and athleticism to play on the edge and it will be interesting to see if teams view him as a defensive end or a standup player. If Robertson-Harris can get coached up to improve his hands and pass-rush talent, he has the athleticism and talent to become an NFL starter rather than just an athlete with occasional flashes on tape."
Considering the scouting report from Zierlein it sounds like Robertson-Harris is better suited to play outside linebacker, but his added weight this offseason means the Bears appear to like him more as a 5-technique defensive end.
If he is to make the move to defensive end, he will need to prove he can manage two gaps against the run and will need to improve his hand usage in order to be effective against the run.
Robertson-Harris has the explosiveness and size to be an effective defender in the NFL and the Bears may just have a secret weapon on their hands in 2017.