NFL.COM article on our draft needs

Discussion in 'Chicago Bears' started by Bearsinhouston, Apr 16, 2014.

  1. Bearsinhouston

    Bearsinhouston Position Coach

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    Pretty much everyone sees our needs as S, DT and CB. I think this article sees the CB need in the right perspective, but the only guy that counts is Emery.
    Yet another viewpoint....


    Chicago Bears' draft needs: Aaron Donald to join Jared Allen?
    • [​IMG]
    • By Daniel Jeremiah
    • NFL Media analyst
    • Published: April 15, 2014 at 09:05 p.m.
    • Updated: April 15, 2014 at 09:22 p.m.
    More Columns >
    Roster weaknesses: Every team has them, and the draft is often the best way to address them. With the 2014 NFL Draft fast approaching, NFL Media's Daniel Jeremiah will be taking an up-close look at the main areas of weakness -- and the prospects who could fix them -- for all 32 squads in the league. Be sure to catch "Path to the Draft" on NFL Network at 7 p.m. ET Monday through Friday for more in-depth analysis.

    The Chicago Bears' defense was hard to watch last season. They couldn't rush the quarterback or stop opposing running backs, tying for last in sacks and giving up a league-worst 161.4 yards per game on the ground. Signing Lamarr Houston and Jared Allen in free agency should help them address both issues.
    While the Bears will be focused in May's draft on bringing in defensive starters, on offense they'll primarily be looking to add depth. Chicago tied for second in points per game (27.8) and had the fifth-most yards per game. With the Bears heading into their second year under Marc Trestman, I expect Jay Cutler and Co. to pick up right where they left off.
    Here are four positions of need for Chicago -- and four prospects who could fill them.
    1) Safety

    The Bears' safety play last season was arguably the worst in the NFL, with every game seemingly featuring several missed tackles from the back end of the secondary. Chicago should have a chance to make a major upgrade at the position with the No. 14 overall pick, as Alabama's Ha Ha Clinton-Dix and Louisville's Calvin Pryor could both be available.
    If the team passes on Clinton-Dix and Pryor, it might look for Dezmen Southward from Wisconsin. The projected middle-round pick has experience playing both corner and safety in college; he also has excellent size (6-foot) and speed. Though he showed some stiffness in his movements last season, I think Southward could be a value pick on Day 3.


    2) Defensive tackle

    It was no surprise that the Bears brought in Allen and Houston, considering their non-existent pass rush in 2013. But the defensive line still has room to improve in between the two ends. There's a good chance the draft's top two interior linemen -- Pittsburgh's Aaron Donald and Florida State's Timmy Jernigan -- could be available when the Bears are on the clock at No. 14. I give the edge to Donald because he offers more of a pass-rushing presence, while Jernigan is more effective against the run. Granted, the Bears' run defense was far from perfect last season, but in a division that includes Aaron Rodgers and Matthew Stafford, I like the pass rusher over the run stuffer.

    3) Cornerback

    Chicago locked up Tim Jennings at the start of the year, solidifying one corner spot for the future. The Bears then re-signed Charles Tillman to a one-year contract -- but it should be noted that the two-time Pro Bowler is entering his 12th NFL season. With a heavy dose of Rodgers and Stafford on the schedule, plus matchups against Tom Brady and Drew Brees, the Bears need to add depth and youth at the position.
    That being said, I don't think they have to invest their first-round pick on a corner. A player I really like is Clemson's Bashaud Breeland, a second-round talent who could be available in the third. After posting a disappointing 40-yard dash time at the NFL Scouting Combine, the 5-foot-11 defender was clocked at 4.57 seconds at his pro-day workout.

    4) Running back

    The Bears don't have much depth behind Matt Forte, so I see them finding a solid backup in May. There are plenty of quality running backs in this year's class -- many of whom will still be on the board in the third and fourth rounds. Terrance West from Towson is one example of a solid player who the Bears could pick up with their third-round pick (No. 82 overall). I don't think there's too big of a drop-off between West and more highly regarded backs like Ohio State's Carlos Hyde and LSU's Jeremy Hill. West has the same type of power and pass-catching abilities as his two big-school counterparts.

    Projections

    So what will the Bears do with their first-round pick (No. 14 overall)? Here's what NFL Media's analysts see happening, according to their mock draft projections (click here for full mock drafts):

    Daniel Jeremiah: Aaron Donald

    Bucky Brooks: Aaron Donald

    Charles Davis: Timmy Jernigan

    Matt Smith: Timmy Jernigan

    Chase Goodbread: Aaron Donald

    Follow Daniel Jeremiah on Twitter @MoveTheSticks.
  2. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    Hmmm, a 5'11" CB who runs close to a 4.6 and he thinks he's good prospect? He's only 1/10th of a second faster than Donald was. Unless the kid plays much faster than he sprints in shorts I think even the 3rd round is a major risk. Anybody know much about his college career?

    As far as a RB goes there are so many in this draft who are good back and who will also fall far into day three just because of how much less value RBs have these days that if we took a back higher than round 5 I would think we'd want him to be something very special. A RB who has far more value than his draft position indicates. This may be a spot where Uncle Phil and his scouts may actually find a great prospect cheap but over paying for him by drafting too high when the supply is as great as it is seems foolish.

    I know these guys have to find something to write about. Some new slant. But it's all been covered so many times and in so many ways that it's got to be tough to find any new slant. I see they all pretty much agree that DT should be the first target and I'd assume that those who took Jernigan only did it because Donald would be gone. I don't think there's any question that if we draft for both value and position that DT will come first, Safety second, and CB third if it falls into place that way.
  3. riczaj01

    riczaj01 DaBears Ditka DBS Writer

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    40 speed means crap to linemen, most overhyped of all combine #'s for DL and OL, as if you're getting a full head of steam before slamming into that 300lb monster in front of you. 40 time means something to S's, but an ability to read the WR's and QB and the ability to take the correct angle are more important. 40 times really only matter(imo) to WR's CB's and to a lesser extent RB's and TE's).

    I like the idea of Dezmond S as a S/CB mid round guy, someone that can fill in both positions in case a inj arises would be a great idea.

    See this is what happens when you have national guys that don't have the time or sources in all the cities; Emery stated that he wants all three guys he signed this year playing on the DL at the same time at least part of the time, that means Houston is going to be playing DT, and it's going to be up to the coaches to get them out there, and just about all the local guys say Houston will be DT on passing downs and Young will be moved to DE. So IF that's the case, then the need for a DT has shrunk mightely, and the need for a pass rushing DT is even more minute.
  4. BSBEARS

    BSBEARS Pro-Bowler

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    The Bears have a roster spot open for a DT, Unless they slide Izzy or Houston into the DT spot they will be drafting one. I do not believe it to be a question of if, its a question of when.
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  5. riczaj01

    riczaj01 DaBears Ditka DBS Writer

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    BS they will draft one, but If Houston is playing inside even 30% of the time, then I don't think it's at 14, and it means that a starting S is a far bigger priority(I'd say it was even if he's not playing DT).
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  6. riczaj01

    riczaj01 DaBears Ditka DBS Writer

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    Lets also not forget the team really like Collins(as much as Melton) and Izzy also could play DT, so that is a possibility of:
    Ratliff/Collins/Houston/Izzy/Draftee

    That's 5 guys playing the 3tech, seems a bit too deep if anything.
  7. BSBEARS

    BSBEARS Pro-Bowler

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    I am not even sure how much they value the 3 tech, Looking at Jacksonville he had 2 big guys all the time. Mel may generate pressure from outside and blitzes and rely on the middle guys to stop the run and keep his linebackers free to roam.
  8. riczaj01

    riczaj01 DaBears Ditka DBS Writer

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    BS, that's the other thing I keep pointing out, just b/c they are staying 4-3 doesn't mean they necessarily want a small fast DT, Jax and Minny both ran systems w/2 fatties on the interior, and nothing says the team wants to continue running a cover 2.
  9. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    Read Emery's lips. LOL

    All the way back to the time when he was being asked about Melton he indicated how important the position was to the Bears defense and how the rest was driven from that and benefited from that. Unless he's had a change of heart in the last two months I'd say he values it pretty high and he's the boss.

    He also pointed out how important it was for the success of the defense to get pressure from the front four. That doesn't jive with a lot of constant blitzing. I think he's looking at his line and of the LBs primarily McClellin to do some damage on the rush. That's not to say we won't blitz from other spots too but I didn't hear anything from Phil indicating he was looking for big run stuffers to protect his LBs.

    PS: I thought we also had someone post an article that said Tucker had little or no input at all into their draft when he was with JAX. You coach what you're given and in this case what he's being given are not mammoth DTs and DEs.
  10. JustAnotherBearsFan99

    JustAnotherBearsFan99 Coordinator SuperFan DBS Writer

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    Exactly. Wouldn't it be good to have a guy who routinely blew up the pocket on guys like Rodgers? A guy who flushed the QB out to where the DE's could feast on him? I would rather have that guy than a DT who is trying to sack the QB. I so like to watch teams who have a DT who just vaporizes the pocket and there's simply no way the QB can step up and pick you apart with passes - and in those 3rd and short situations where running backs gut us between the tackles, that monster DT would be 2 yards in the backfield by the time the RB got the handoff. Our DL just gets rolled in those situations and we can't make stops and get the D off the field.

    Frankly I'd LOVE to have a beast at DT.
  11. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    Got one. That's Ratliff's game and it proves you don't need to be 330lbs to do it. He was the Shade NT in Dallas. Hatcher was the 3 tech. He's not the guy who gets the big sack numbers but he helps the others get theirs. He helped make Ware an All Pro enough times and Dallas, or should I say JJ, is still pissed off at him for leaving. The 3 tech DT is the guy whose usually getting the sacks and getting to the RB the same time as the hand off and playing with a great NT makes his job possible.

    It would be very nice if we can get two good years out of Ratliff and if Paea can progress and we can pick up another good NT in the next year or two. Meanwhile the 3 tech is the guy we need now because he's the compliment to that NT. He's the real disruptor if he's doing it right. The NT is there to help clean up the messes the DT creates in that defense.
  12. JustAnotherBearsFan99

    JustAnotherBearsFan99 Coordinator SuperFan DBS Writer

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    I hope they can get it all working this year. I feel like the DE position will be fine. I'd just like to see an interior DL that could impose their will on offenses in general and collapse the pocket & stuff runs in short yardage situations too. It was frustrating to watch teams manhandle our interior DL guys while the DE's were ineffective getting to the QB so much. If Ratliff is that guy, and we can team him up with a DT so they can wreak havoc then that would be great.
  13. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    He'll have to be. Haloti Ngata isn't a free agent yet but he did turn down Baltimore's contract offer.

    Let me just add to this that if he's healthy, completely recovered and back to his old self Ratliff is a young 32 having missed most all of two seasons and part of another. He's not a real high miles player and there's no reason he can't dominate like he used to if he's 100%. Allen is thrilled to have him playing next to him and Kevin Williams is still a FA and we aren't going after him. That says something about how they feel about Ratliff.
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  14. lklrlolnlilklsox

    lklrlolnlilklsox Position Coach

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    Southward=this year's mike mitchell. Will go much higher than he should because of athleticism alone gives him "upside" stock in the pros despite underwhelming play in pads on the college field. Nothing entirely wrong with it, as there are a ton of guys who make better pros than collegiate athletes, but I find his mid round status peculiar to say the least. Give me ladler any day.

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