Major Wright was the worst strong safety in the NFL according to Pro Football Focus last season. Literally any player would be an improvement. The Bears signed SS Ryan Mundy from the Giants and he is a solid run-stuffer who is just adequate in coverage. They Bears also re-signed Craig Steltz for some reason (blackmail?) but he is just a special teams guy and shouldn’t be considered the primary backup. I think the Bears are comfortable starting Munday, but would be surprised if they don’t add some depth in the draft.
Over the next two days I will be listing the players I like the best for the Bears in every round at each position of need.
SS Depth Chart:
Ryan Mundy, Craig Steltz, Sean Cattouse
Round 1 (#14) – Jimmy Ward, Northern Illinois (5’11, 193): The 14th pick is too much of a reach, but I could see Ward going late in the first round. If the Bears were to trade back with say San Fran for the 30th pick than Ward would definitely be an option. He isn’t flashy but is a sound tackler and is versatile enough to play either safety spot and even nickel corner in a pinch. Ward is a little smaller than ideal for the position but makes up for it with flawless technique and excellent instincts in coverage and run support. Ward should be able to step in and start on day 1 at either safety position.
Round 2 (#51) – Deone Bucannon, Washington St (6’1, 211): I’m a big fan and would love to see the Bears end up with Bucannon in round 2. He has been shooting up draft boards since the Senior Bowl and for good reason. He’s one of the biggest hitters in college football and has excellent range in coverage. Bucannon misses his fair share of tackles since he is always going for the big hit, but that can be coached out and it’s really the only flaw in his game. Bucannon can be a big-time play-maker and should be able to contribute right away. He may not beat out Ryan Mundy by week 1, but I’d be surprised if he isn’t in the starting lineup by mid-season.