Chicago Bears’ general manager Phil Emery is certainly proving to be a man who believes in the Bears’ scouting system and their rankings. That much was proven when the Bears selected former Oregon offensive guard Kyle Long in the first round of the 2013 NFL Draft. Emery continued the trend of following his scouting instincts by selecting former Florida linebacker Jon Bostic with the Bears’ 50th overall selection in the second round of the NFL Draft.
According to Emery, Bostic ranked at the top of the athletic ratings of middle linebackers of all the linebackers that were available when the Bears were selecting with the 50th overall selection in the second round. That athleticism is the reason why Emery believes Bostic can back-up all three linebacker positions while also being a vital player to the Bears’ special teams efforts. Make no mistake about it, with the qualities that Emery sees in Bostic, the Bears’ general manager feels the former Florida linebacker could be the long-term solution for the Bears at the middle linebacker position.
“[No. 1] is intelligence; he’s a guy that can line up others,” Emery said. “We brought him in for a visit. We felt very good about his football aptitude and his ability to line everybody else up on the field. Two, he’s fast. He’s one of the fastest linebackers in the class. And three was his positional flexibility, and I’ll go four, special teams. He fit the bill.”- Phil Emery, Chicago Sun Times
It is that same intelligence that made Bostic a leader for the Florida Gators. Though, the area that some scouts question is his instincts as some believe Bostic trusts his instincts too much. In addition, it is interesting that Emery sees one of Bostic’s strengths being his quickness. Among the noted weaknesses of Bostic according to scouts and draft experts is that the linebacker is considered to be lacking in terms of quickness. Nonetheless, given the 4-3 system that the Bears run on defense, Bostic appears to be an ideal fit for the Bears at the middle linebacker position.
Bostic likely won’t be asked to be a starter on defense immediately, instead that distinction will likely go to former Denver Broncos linebacker D.J. Williams. However, Bostic appears to be the long-term replacement to Brian Urlacher at the middle linebacker position for the Bears.