A highly discussed and often debated topic among Chicago Bears fans. Whether some like one safety over another, or whether the Bears should draft one in the first or not one things certain it’s the consensus opinion that the Bears do need to draft one somewhere who can come in and contribute right away, and give the current veterans on the team some competition.
14th overall- Calvin Pryor- Louisville- There is a debate that seems to be split down the middle about whether Pryor or Ha Ha Clinton-Dix should be the pick here. Pryor profiles most as a SS, but has the ball skills and fluid hips to play FS as well. So he offers positional versatility to go along with that hard nosed style of play.
Alternate pick: Ha Ha Clinton-Dix- Alabama- As mentioned above it appears to be either Dix or Pryor at this position. Those who prefer a pure FS here would love this pick should this be the way to go for the Bears.
51st overall- Jimmie Ward- Northern Illinois- Some feel he’s a SS, some list him as a FS. So one could assume that he can play both. Some even think he’d be best as a nickel CB. So one thing you know you’ll get with Ward is a player who can fill in at several different spots, and likely be a mainstay in special teams coverage as well.
Alternate pick: Deone Bucannon- Washington State- This would be the likely choice here as Ward is considered a fringe end of 1st round player, so it’s likely that Ward won’t be available this far down. However Bucannon may even be a better pick. Tough hard hitter with size, and he has ball skills too. Whether forcing fumbles or picking off passes he’s got the ability to be that turn over machine Phil Emery mentioned the organization wanted to add to the mix.
82nd overall- Dion Bailey- USC- Bailey is another one of the many positional versatile players in this draft. He’s done many things from the safety position, and even played LB in some sets. He can play in the box as a SS , or he can play FS. He can also play in strange sets as a spur (hybrid LB/DB) in 3-2-5, or 2-4-5 sets etc. An exciting prospect.
Alternate pick: Ed Reynolds- Stanford- Projects best at FS, but can hit like an in the box SS. Very smart and instinctive, as well as fundamentally sound. Can play the run as well as the pass. Very good ball skills who can take it to the house.
117th overall- Terrence Brooks- FSU- Brooks like many of his former teammates is a physical marvel. He can play a variety of positions due to this profile. He’s a FS coming in, but certainly can play in the box, and as a nickel back. He can also contribute on special teams immediately in all phases.
Alternate pick: Ahmad Dixon- Baylor- Big well built SS. Another guy you can use in many ways, but he is limited in certain coverage’s, and can over run plays in the run game due to over aggression. However it’s his aggression that make him so attractive in this spot, so if drafted the Bears need to walk a fine line of reeling him in a bit while still maintaining that edge.
156th overall- Kenny Ladler- Vanderbilt- Not sure if he makes it down this far, but if he does he’s a must get. A turnover machine. Something Emery mentioned he was looking for. 5 INTs, and 5 FF’s in his final season. Good size and strength with explosive leaping ability.
Alternate pick: Craig Loston- LSU-
Tall rangy safety who has a little meat on his bones too. Very athletic, and can run. He has some questions about his decision-making at times, and needs to be coached up and developed, but has all the tools to eventually start at SS in the NFL.
183rd overall- Dezmen Southward- Wisconsin- A wrecking ball of a tackler. Physical safety that projects as a true SS. Very fast, but stiff athlete. If he ever figures that out he could be the steal of the draft.
Alternate pick: Tre Boston- North Carolina- Boston is a big guy who can run. Has great ball skills that project him as a FS at the next level, but can also play violently.
191st overall: Isaiah Lewis- Michigan State- Built like a tank and hits like one too. Great in run support. Like an extra LB. Needs to work on his coverage. 4 year senior and is mature and experienced playing on one of the best defenses in the country.
Alternate pick: Dontae Johnson- North Carolina State- Great athlete. May go higher. Positional versatility. Has played CB and is even listed as one on some draft sites. Kind of a project, but has great size and ball skills with long arms who can be a real asset in the pass coverage game in press or center-field.