Analyzing Jack Sanborn’s Breakout Performance Against the Lions

Jack Sanborn, an undrafted free agent (UDFA) out of Wisconsin, led the Bear’s defense in tackles, sacks and was second in tackles for loss. He also had a game-ending interception wiped off the stat sheet due to a controversial hands-to-the-face penalty called on Jaylon Johnson. He also had seven tackles in his first start against the Miami Dolphins.

Sanborn was born and raised in Illinois, attending Lake Zurich High School. He played college ball at Wisconsin, leading the team in tackles in his sophomore and junior season. He was named to the first-team All-Big Ten as a senior and declared for the draft this year. He was signed to the Bears as an Undrafted Free Agent and was on the bench until Roquan Smith was traded to the Ravens. He has started the last two games against the Dolphins and Lions, gathering over 20 tackles and two sacks.

He has been incredibly impressive in his first two starts against the Dolphins and Lions, gathering over 20 tackles and two sacks. Not only is he showing up on paper, but he’s also been showing up on the field. Tackles can be a very misleading stat due to the fact they happen all over the field. A player with five tackles may make a bigger impact than a player with 15 tackles because those five tackles were made within a yard of the line of scrimmage. However, Sanborn was all over the field making huge plays. He was stopping the run and cutting off plays left and right. He looks like he can be a long-term answer at the inside linebacker position.

Sandborn is also incredibly cheap. The Badger is on a three-year deal making less than one million dollars a year. His cap hit is also under one million each year. He isn’t on Roquan Smith’s level yet but he is playing pretty darn well for a twentieth of the price. If he continues this level of play, there can be serious hope that he is the next great linebacker in a long line of great Chicago Bears linebackers.
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