Fixing the Bears Defense (Part 5: NFL Draft / DB)

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Safety

None of the Bears safeties from 2013 (Conte, Wright, Steltz, Walters) should be on the roster next year. The Bears will probably replace them with a mixture of free agents and draft picks. If Emery doesn’t draft at least one safety, I think some Bears fans will revolt. This is just a decent draft for safeties with only one elite prospect and a handful of decent ones that project as starters but not stars. An average starter would be major upgrade over two of the worst safeties in the NFL last season.

Round 1:

Ha Ha Clinton Dix (6’1, 209) ALA: Complete package at safety. Excellent in coverage and pretty good against the run. It’s hard to find flaws in Dix’s game, but if there is one, it’s that he goes for the knock-out hit to often when a simple tackle will get the job done. I want to live in a world where the only problem with a Bears safety is that he hits people too hard. (FS)

NFL comparison: Ed Reed

Highlights

Round 2-3:

Calvin Pryor (6’2, 208) LOU: One of my favorite prospects in the draft, Pryor is a big-hitter and a play-maker (8 forced fumbles) who always seems to be around the ball. His primary strength has been stopping the run but he has shown great range in coverage as well. He wasn’t asked to cover much in man-to-man due to Louisville’s scheme, but he showed the ability when given a chance. The only knock on Pryor is a lack of elite speed, so his 40-time at the combine should determine whether Pryor is an early round 2 pick or slides to the middle rounds. (FS/SS)

NFL comparison: Dashon Golson

Highlights

Ed Reynolds (6’2, 205) STAN: Instinctive in coverage with good size and good ball skills (7 INTs over last 2 seasons). Reynolds is a big hitter in the run game, but can be overaggressive at times. He’s a well-rounded prospect who would be a good pick for the Bears in round 2. (FS)

NFL comparison: Eric Weddle

Highlights

Dion Bailey (6’0, 210) USC: Played both LB and Safety at USC and was a play-maker at both positions. Bailey has good ball skills (11 INTs) and is a big-hitter in the run game. His draft spot will depend on his 40-time, but has no obvious weaknesses and should be able to contribute right away. (FS/SS)

NFL comparison: Sean Taylor

Highlights

Deone Bucannon (6’1, 215) WA ST: When scouting reports are filled with words like bone-rattling, missile, and shoulder bombs, I get excited. Unfortunately in Bucannon’s case those terms are used as negatives to describe his horrible tackling form. He constantly goes for the big hit instead of wrapping up and it results in a lot of missed tackles. I think tackling technique is a fixable issue and if he can find a balance between form tackling and big hits, Bucannon can be an impact safety in the NFL. His coverage skills are great and his speed (4.47) gives him plenty of range. Bucannon is a developmental prospect who could be a steal in the middle rounds if he can become a more consistent tackler. (SS)

NFL comparison: DJ Swearinger

Highlights  (best hits @ 1:27, 2:21, 3:22)

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