Chicago Bears: Why Stephen Denmark could be safety of the future

Chicago Bears, 2023 NFL Draft (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Chicago Bears, 2023 NFL Draft (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images) /

There is at least one reason why Stephen Denmark could stick on the Chicago Bears roster.

Recently, we have been profiling a number of late round draft picks and undrafted free agents who have a legitimate shot of landing on the Chicago Bears roster. In our latest installment, we look at defensive back Stephen Denmark, out of Valdosta State.

Denmark is probably the least talked about of the Bears rookies, as even undrafted guys like Emanuel Hall, Dax Raymond, Mathieu Betts, and Chuch Harris have seemed to garner more attention than the seventh round draft pick.

However, Bears fans may want to start paying closer attention to Denmark who, for at least one reason, could end up sticking on this roster.

First, let’s take a step back and examine what happened this offseason. The Bears let Adrian Amos walk, not believing he was worth the price tag he was demanding and ultimately got from the Green Bay Packers. They replaced him with Ha Ha Clinton-Dix who signed a one-year “prove it” type deal in the hopes of accomplishing something special in Chicago.

There is no guarantee, however, he will be back next season. If he has the type of year he’s hoping for, it’s unclear whether the Bears will want to commit substantial money to him by way of a long term deal when they have a likely extension for Eddie Jackson looming.

For this reason, the Bears may look to convert Denmark from cornerback to strong safety where he could flourish. As a cornerback, Denmark is pretty raw and needs some refining of his technical skills. However, his measurables are off the charts and undeniable.

He stands 6-foot-3 and weighs 220 pounds, whose 40-yard dash time was 4.46, with a near 44-inch vertical jump. He is also an incredibly physical player and it has been speculated that a move to strong safety could be in his future as it would seem to better suit his skill set and measurables.

He’s fast, big, strong, hits hard, and is a strong tackler. He literally sounds like a made to order strong safety who could step in and replace Clinton-Dix when his contract expires. Having a young, talented, replacement who is cost-effective and under contract for a while, could be ideal for a team that is expected to be a little strapped in terms of the salary cap in the coming years.

As of the moment, there is not another suitable replacement on the roster, meaning if the Bears do not re-sign Clinton-Dix, they would have to either draft his replacement next year or sign another free agent. Again, they may not have the desire to commit salary cap space to the position. In terms of drafting his replacement, why not stick with the player who you could groom for a year in the defense, who would be comfortable playing next to Jackson?

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While he learns the position, Denmark could certainly find a role and excel on special teams, especially with his off the charts athleticism.

So while fans and pundits may be focusing on other rookies, it may be best for fans to set your sights on Denmark at training camp.