Bears Select Cal Safety Chris Conte in Third Round
The Bears are turning selecting a safety in the draft an annual event, selecting Cal safety Chris Conte with their 3rd round selection, #93 overall. It seems strange that the Bears would take another safety at this point in the draft, especially after trading back to bring Chris Harris back and drafting Major Wright with their third round pick last season.
Conte projects as a free safety, so it’s very possible you would see him paired with either Chris Harris or Major Wright, both of whom fill the strong safety role. He’s a converted cornerback and you can expect to see some good tackling from him. At 6’2″ and a shade under 200 pounds, he’s got decent size to match up with some of the physical players in the NFC North.
Conte, like fellow draft classmate Gabe Carimi, isn’t lacking in the confidence department:
"“No. I think I always felt that I was the best safety in the draft. I think going to the Combine and seeing some of the competition and knowing some of the competition personally, I always felt that I was the best safety in the draft. So I was actually disappointed when I saw other safeties go before me. But that was just my personal feeling.”"
To check out his scouting combine highlights, check out this video on NFL.com.
The selection is a little surprising given some of the other Bears needs that still beg to be filled. It also might tip the Bears’ hand that they don’t plan to make a strong push to re-sign free agent safety Danieal Manning. Manning might have had his best season as a Bears in 2010, but that’s not saying too much.
As Bears fans, we’ve seen the importance of having a solid free safety to get the defensive backfield all on the same page. (Mike Brown much?)
Just by the look of him (and it’s probably because he’s white), he reminds me a little bit of John Lynch. We know how prominently figured in Tampa Bay’s defense, where Lovie and Jerry have their roots.
Did the Bears reach for this pick? I saw some mocks that had him going into the 5th round down to a possible undrafted free agent? Would a cornerback like Utah’s Brandon Burton been a better fit at this spot?