Chicago Bears Draft: Realistic options at edge rusher

Chicago Bears (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Chicago Bears (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /
3 of 5
Chicago Bears, Austin Bryant
Chicago Bears (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images) /

Round 4 Favorite: Austin Bryant, Clemson

Like Miller, Austin Bryant comes from a consistent, winning program in Clemson. In many cases, I count that as a strong trait right off the bat. If I am a general manager, I want a winner. I want a kid who knows what it feels like to win — it’s all he knows. The Clemson Tigers know winning football.

Bryant ended his collegiate career on the heels of back-to-back seasons with at least 15.0 tackles for loss and a minimum of 8.0 sacks.

More from Da Windy City

One of the best traits Bryant offers as a pass rusher, and one of the first things you notice watching him play, is his length. He typically owns the reach advantage on every down, which is a natural, God-given characteristic you love to see in a pass rusher.

He is also an intelligent rusher. Bryant adjusts his speed in order to confuse blockers, and can turn it up in an instant. On a defense like the Bears, you have to be a player who not only flocks to the football but does so until he hears the whistle. That’s Bryant, in a nutshell. He’s a high-motor pass rusher who isn’t stopping until the referee blows that whistle.

The one thing he’d have to get better at is more of a physical trait, and that’s adding a bit more strength. He has the weight (271 pounds), but must convert a few of those pounds into muscle. If he adds more in-game, functional strength, that will take him to the next level.