With the NFL draft a little less than a month away, I thought it was about time I posted my position rankings. The Bears have far fewer holes than they did at the beginning of the off-season, so it’s feasible that they could really draft any position. You can see what positions I think they will target in my latest mock draft, but Emery has been very unpredictable in his short time running the Bears so your guess is probably as good as mine. Throughout the next month I will list my rankings at each position with some analysis of the players and occasional commentary on whether they would be a good fit for the Bears. If you think my rankings are way off or if I forgot anybody, let me know about it in the comments.
1. HaHa Clinton Dix, Alabama (6’1, 209): Dix is the best coverage safety on the board. He has great range, ball skills, good hands, and underrated physicality against the run. Dix is a prototype centerfielder in pass coverage and not a liability against the run. He’s not a big hitter, but is a sound tackler and takes good angles to the ball. With the NFL becoming more of a passing league, an asset in coverage like Dix is worth a first round pick. Draft projection: 1st round
2.) Calvin Pryor, Louisville (5’11, 207): Pryor has the versatility to play either safety position and is solid against both the run and pass. He’s also a big hitter with good range in coverage and a play-maker at either safety spot. Right now Pryor is better against the run than the pass, but his coverage skills have improved every year at Louisville. Draft projection: 1st round
3.) Terrence Brooks, Florida St (5’11, 198): One of many Seminole defensive players worthy of a selection in this year’s draft, Brooks is fast and a big hitter despite being a bit undersized. He has a tendency to go for the big hit a little too often which leads to some missed tackles, but he usually finds a way to take down his target. Brooks has great range in coverage and can cover slot receivers when needed. His height isn’t ideal but his excellent vertical leap adds an inch or two. One knock on Brooks is his hands. He only had 4 interceptions in two years despite putting himself in position for at least double that many picks. Brooks only played safety for two seasons, so he is still learning the position and could get considerably better with more experience. Draft projection: 2nd-3rd round
4.) Ed Reynolds, Stanford (6’1, 207): Reynolds isn’t as athletic as the guys in front of him in the rankings, but he’s no slouch and smart in coverage with natural instincts, good ball skills and solid range. Reynolds showed a knack for making big plays, returning 3 of his 6 picks for TDs in 2012. Draft projection: 2nd-3rd round
5.) Marqueston Huff, Wyoming (5’11, 196): Three year starter at safety before switching to CB his senior year. It’s unclear what his best pro position will be, but he has NFL speed and athleticism, so Huff will get a chance somewhere. He helped his stock at the combine with a 4.49 40-time and at the Senior Bowl showcasing sticky coverage ability and the wheels to turn and run with any receiver on either roster. Huff can hit and tackle a little too, racking up 127 total tackles as a senior at Wyoming. Interesting small school prospect who also returned kicks and could be a force on coverage teams right away. Draft projection: 3rd-4th round