LARAMIE, Wyo. — It took long enough, but Tanner Gentry is finally starting to get some credit. The former Wyoming receiver, who put together a 1,300-yard, 14-touchdown campaign as a senior, drew rave reviews after participating in the Chicago Bears rookie minicamp May 11-14 as an undrafted free agent.
Gentry, who signed a three-year rookie deal with the Bears, was called “by far the best receiver” of the first day of rookie camp by Scout’s Jeremy Stoltz.
“I think that’s always good,” Gentry said of the attention, “but I think I’m just focused on myself and what I have to do each day and just keep working hard to improve my game and show that I can play at this level.”
Gentry was also named the Bears’ best late-round or undrafted pickup and their best undrafted free agent signing by others who cover the NFL.
Gentry was relatively overlooked coming out of his second-team all-conference senior season. He was not invited to the NFL Combine nor invited to any major collegiate all-star games. The draft came and went without Gentry’s name getting called, which came as somewhat of a surprise to him.
But the Bears picked him up quickly thereafter, and Gentry has made it look like a good move so far, according to some reports.
“I think I showed my strengths and what I can do,” Gentry told the Casper Star-Tribune (http://bit.ly/2rcqoMS), “and I think it was also good for our receiver coach to see me and see some things that he wants to change with me and wants me to work on as well.”
Gentry also got in some work at special teams, something he did in only practice with the Cowboys. He said preseason games will be key for him making the 53-man roster.
Gentry was hauling in passes from the second pick of the 2017 NFL Draft, quarterback Mitchell Trubisky, for whom Chicago traded up to select.
“He’s really good,” Gentry said of the North Carolina quarterback. “It was good to work with him. He throws a great ball, and he’s an accurate quarterback.
“. I wasn’t able to watch any college football during the season, so (all I knew about him was) just kind of what I would see on social media and whatnot of his projections and all that stuff. But seeing him out there, he’s definitely a first-round talent.”
Gentry saw some familiar faces at the camp, as the Bears brought in a number of Northern Illinois players, including running back Joel Bouagnon. Wyoming’s 2016 season began with a triple overtime home win against the Huskies in a game that ended in the wee hours of Sunday morning.
“I guess those guys were pretty close (to Chicago), so they came to the rookie camp, quite a few of those guys,” Gentry said. “We had all talked about how crazy that game was.”
Gentry is still in Chicago, where he will remain until June 30 for the rookie development program.
“I’ve got workouts in the morning and some on-field stuff and meeting,” Gentry said. “I’ll continue to try to learn the plays, and then after that, a few weeks off before training camp starts.”
Information from: Casper (Wyo.) Star-Tribune, http://www.trib.com