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2023 NFL Draft: Former Arizona defensive end signs rookie free agent deal with Bears

arizona-wildcats-football-jalen-harris-chicago-bears-nfl-draft-2023-rookie-free-agent Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The Arizona Wildcats did not have a played selected in the 2023 NFL Draft, marking the second year in a row they went without a pick. But they will have at least one player from this past season getting a shot to make a NFL roster.

Justin Spears of the Arizona Daily Star is reporting that former UA defensive end Jalen Harris has signed a rookie free agent deal with the Chicago Bears, the same team that drafted his father in 1995.

Sean Harris was a third-round pick of the Bears after playing at Arizona from 1991-94. He played seven seasons in the the NFL, six with Chicago and one with the Indianapolis Colts, appearing in 83 games with 38 starts.

Jalen Harris played 56 games with the Wildcats from 2017-22, starting 49 games including the last 25. As a sixth-year senior he had 51 tackles, seven for loss, with three sacks, three pass breakups and a forced fumble that helped clinch the Territorial Cup win over ASU in his final game. For his career he had 171 tackles (26 for loss) and 14 sacks.

The last UA alumnus to play for the Bears was defensive back Dane Cruikshank, who appeared in eight games last season, while quarterback Nick Foles was with Chicago in 2020-21. The last ex-Wildcat drafted by Chicago was running back Ka’Deem Carey in the fourth round in 2014, while former UA rusher Nick Wilson signed a free agent deal with the Bears in 2018 but did not make the team.