Impression of DeDe Latimore at U of South Florida...............

Discussion in 'Chicago Bears' started by soulman, May 31, 2014.

  1. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    WCG did a series of interviews with the most in the know college sources about Bears draftees and UDFAs. I thought they would be interesting to view and discuss. So with thanks to WCG and their staff here's one about MLB DeDe Latimore.


    Five Questions With Voodoo Five about DeDe Lattimore

    By Lester A. Wiltfong Jr. @wiltfongjr on May 28 2014, 11:00a 16
    [​IMG]
    Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

    We're going to pay a visit to the SB Nation college sites of the Chicago Bears rookie class to gain some insight on the newest Bears. Today we'll talk to Ryan T. Smith, writer at Voodoo Five, about undrafted free agent DeDe Lattimore.

    One of the neat things about being part of SB Nation is the access we have to their various experts throughout the network. If we want more details about the Chicago Bears' next opponent, we'll talk to one of our sister sites. If we want the skinny on the NFL Draft, we'll hit up our draft editor. And if we want some insight on the latest rookie class for the Chicago Bears, we'll go straight to the site that has covered their entire collegiate career.

    Recently we had the chance to talk with Ryan T. Smith, writer at Voodoo Five, the SB Nation site that covers the South Florida Bulls, about undrafted free agent linebacker Devekeyan "DeDe" Lattimore.

    Windy City Gridiron - Lattimore didn't receive an invite to the NFL Combine, but at his pro day he preformed very well in the 3 cone drill, the 20 yard shuttle, and his 40 time would have been the 2nd best among all inside linebacker prospects. Did he play that fast and quick at South Florida?

    Ryan T. Smith - Absolutely. Lattimore's a very instinctual player and his greatest strengths were his speed and nose for the ball. He played every snap aggressively and excelled in moving vertically to the ball carrier. This can--and did-- lead to overpursuit and playing out of position from time to time, but no one can question his effort or motor.

    Windy City Gridiron - Middle linebackers tend to get undervalued in the NFL Draft, but Lattimore started 48 of 49 career games, was a tackling machine and was team captain in 2013. Was there one glaring weakness that stopped him from being drafted?

    Ryan T. Smith - I wish I could tell you for sure. Lattimore was underrated his entire college career, and his getting snubbed for all-conference honors became a bit of a yearly joke. I was shocked he didn't get invited to the Combine and still pretty surprised he didn't get drafted. I'd guess that his size (he's listed around 6'1", 230, but that's generous) and lack of strength turned teams away, but I can't help thinking the Bears got a huge steal snagging him as an UDFA.

    Windy City Gridiron - The Mike backer is the quarterback of the defense; how was he at making in game adjustments and lining up his teammates properly during games?

    Ryan T. Smith - A fun fact about Lattimore is that he actually came to USF as an outside linebacker, and spent the better part of three seasons there before getting shifted to the middle for good his senior year. He handled the transition about as well as anyone could ask and was the unquestioned leader of the defense last season, but I can't see him playing that kind of role in the NFL, even if he were to crack a two-deep.

    Windy City Gridiron - A few of the scouts I've read call him most likely a 2 down player; how was he in coverage last season, and were his coverage skills something he improved on throughout his collegiate career?

    Ryan T. Smith - I think the 2-down linebacker tag is pretty accurate as far as his NFL prospects go. Lattimore has nice speed, but he did have a tendency to get lost in zone coverages and leave guys open underneath or over the middle. This definitely improved as he got older, but that probably has something to do with an change in defensive coordinators as well. He's definitely more suited for run-stuffing and blitzing off the edge.

    Windy City Gridiron - Bottom line, do you think he has what it takes to go from undrafted free agent to an NFL roster?

    Ryan T. Smith - I really, really do, and that's bias aside. I don't think he's a complete enough player or good enough athlete to start at the pro level, but Lattimore is absolutely the kind of guy you want to have rounding out your roster. He's a fast, smart, versatile player who's spent four years proving people wrong. I can see him sticking on special teams, or even working onto the rotation in a limited role. I was surprised when he didn't get drafted, and I'll be even more surprised if he doesn't wind up on a roster somewhere.

    Thanks again to Ryan T. Smith of Voodoo Five!
    [​IMG]
  2. Chicago_66

    Chicago_66 Veteran

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    My favorite UDFA, really hope he works his way onto this team. He plays mean and looks the part, I hope he can stick on this roster and we find a role for him.
  3. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    Guys like Lattimore always intrigue me because they come from programs that aren't quite top of the heap yet they play against some very good competition. Unlike players from SEC schools or ACC schools these guys tend to slide a little bit like Brandon Marshall did coming out of UCF and lasting until round 4.

    If Lattimore would have received an invite to the Combine he may well have garnered enough interest to have made it as a 3rd day pick just based on his athleticism but he wasn't and those guys usually go undrafted or become 7th round shots in the dark. Lattimore probably doesn't have the size you'd like in a MLB but then again neither did Mike Singletary or London Fletcher.

    I doubt anyone gives him much chance of becoming a starter but he seems like the kind of player Emery looks for to challenge for a spot in the bottom third of the roster and play STeams. This kid looks like another Jordan Senn or Brandon Ayanbadejo type who could do just that. Definitely a kid to watch on STeams during preseason and we do need some upgrades there.
  4. Chicago_66

    Chicago_66 Veteran

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    Who knows, he could provide great play for us as an Ayanbedjo and with the proper coaching provide some talent at least for the first two downs. Nothing wrong with being a specialty player and at the very least he has the chance to provide depth.

    He's a UDFA so I won't set the bar too high, but if he does make the team I think he blows some returners up and earns a place in the heart of Bears fans.
  5. strockrocks

    strockrocks Veteran

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    I know my favorite UDFA won't get his own thread so I'm just sticking my comments here!

    Marcus Trice. Can a 5'8 guy make it as a safety? He doesn't have the measurables and he didn't play in a big conference. He had a rough childhood and his extended family rallied around him to support him. I really like him.

    Out of all the highlight tapes I watched, I think I like his the best! Even if it is against lesser talent (except for the UGA game). What great leverage for a short guy! His coaches and team loved him and I'm glad the Bears invited him to OTA's. I'll be sad when they have to make cuts!!!


    View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tk26UeBBprs
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  6. Chicago_66

    Chicago_66 Veteran

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    Ahh, I forgot about Trice. I can't decide between him and Lattimore. When it comes down to it I think I like Trice more, he plays like an animal and we need safety help. He reminds me of a beefier Tim Jennings.

    Good call strock, I love Marcus Trice. I can't believe I forgot about him. Have you heard anything about him in camp?
  7. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    Sure. Bob Sander's was just 5'8" and the guy was a missile and one of the hardest hitters and best tackling Safeties I've ever seen. Of course he had the advantage of being drafted out of a bigger program at Iowa and I always wished we would have drafted him. He was Bears style player.

    Tim Jennings is only 5'8" too and IMHO pound for pound he's one of the best hitters and tackler on the Bears. He should be a menace if they play him some at NB this year because he can tackle like a Safety but he has that CB speed and quickness.

    Trice is a guy we should keep an eye on then. There just wasn't any poop on him I could post.

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