S / CB LaMarcus Joyner, Florida St (5’8, 184): He’s going to be one of the shortest players in the NFL, but Joyner can play. He’s a fierce hitter despite his small stature, has good speed, and his instincts are so good that he is always around the ball. Joyner is probably too small to cover outside the hash marks, but he can play either safety spot and could be an outstanding slot corner. Joyner can help out on kick & punt returns as well.
OLB / S Telvin Smith, Florida St 6’3, 218): Phil Emery mentioned that there is a significant drop off in talent after the top safety options and I agree with him. He also mentioned that the Bears might look to move someone to safety from another position. If that is the Bears plan, I think Telvin Smith is a prime candidate. He would be one of the lightest LBs in the NFL at 218 pounds, he’s lighter than about half the safeties in the league. If he were bigger, Smith would be a 1st round LB, his game tape is that good. His instincts are elite, in the Senior Bowl game Smith snuffed out 3 screen plays, slipping blockers and stuffing the RB or WR before they could gain a yard. He is a natural football player whose elite instincts would make the position switch seamless. His above average height allows him to cover tight ends and receivers with little trouble. Smith may go as early as the 2nd round, but if he’s available in the 3rd the Bears should pull the trigger and either move him to safety or groom him as Briggs backup at WLB.
DT Caraun Reid, Princeton (6’2, 301): Reid is extremely quick for a 300 pounder with polished pass rush moves and the strength to hold the point against the run. The ivy-league competition was weak, but Reid put up 168 tackles, 41 TFLs, 20.5 sacks, and 7 blocked kicks (!) in his three years as a starter and was Princeton’s first two-time All-American. The lack of competition is a legit concern, but when you consider that he put up those numbers against double and sometimes triple teams, it’s pretty impressive. Reid also took a big step towards erasing those concerns at the Senior Bowl; Against future NFL players, Reid dominated 1-1 drills and made an impact in the game with two sacks on consecutive plays, beating two different guards (Cyril Richardson, Brandon Linder) with two different pass rush moves. Reid also impressed at the Senior Bowl weigh-in, weighing 301 with no visible fat on his frame. Reid has the quickness, strength, and closing speed to be a force against both the run and pass. He is probably pretty smart too (Princeton!). Reid would be a good value pick in the 3rd round and should be on the Bears radar for depth at the 3-technique.
S Ed Reynolds, Stanford (6’1, 207): Reynolds isn’t an elite athlete, but he has elite instincts. He has good size, takes great angles in coverage and vs the run, has good range / speed (4.56) and good ball skills. Reynolds has also shown a knack for making big plays, returning 3 of his 6 picks for TDs in 2012. He’s a poor man’s Mike Brown.
S Antone Exum, Virginia Tech (6’0, 213): Exum is a versatile defensive back; He played slot corner as a freshman, free safety as a sophomore, and was a starting corner as a junior. His junior year he had 5 interceptions, 16 pass breakups, 2 forced fumbles, and was considered a better NFL prospect than Bears 1st rounder CB Kyle Fuller. Since then Exum has had both an ACL and an ankle injury so it’s unknown if he still has the quickness and burst to play corner. He’s built like a safety anyway and that might be the position the Bears need the most help at. Wherever he ends up, Exum is a big-hitter in run support and an aggressive coverage guy with the size to match up with the league’s taller receivers. His recent injury problems are an obvious risk and he is rumored to have some “coachability” issues, but Exum is a 2nd round talent who should be available in round 3.
S 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 sub packages, coverage teams, and in the return game right away.