In Part 1 of our series, we looked at the top 5 defensive tackles the Chicago Bears should target in the 2014 NFL Draft. Now, in part 2, we’ll take a look at another position of need for the Bears in the draft — defensive end.
South Carolina’s Jadaveon Clowney is undoubtedly the cream of the crop at defensive end this year. However, he’s slated to go somewhere in the top five picks overall and is therefore out of reach for the Bears (unless they pulled off a shocking trade to move up). Defensive end is not nearly as deep as defensive tackle in this year’s draft, and with Julius Peppers’ contract situation up in the air, Corey Wootton a free agent and Shea McClellin reportedly moving to outside linebacker, the Bears will potentially be paper thin at the position.
With that said, let’s take a look at the top 5 defensive ends the Bears should target in this year’s draft:
Jan 3, 2014; Arlington, TX, USA; Missouri Tigers defensive lineman Kony Ealy (47) lines up during the game against the Oklahoma State Cowboys in the 2014 Cotton Bowl at AT&T Stadium. Missouri won 41-31. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
1 — Kony Ealy, Missouri
Ealy has a great first step and incredible quickness for his size (6-4, 275). He showed versatility throughout his career at Missouri, lining up at nearly every single defensive line position. That bodes well for a Bears defense, and specifically defensive line, that is completely up in the air right now personnel-wise. Ealy simply has a knack for finding the football and creating turnovers, which is something the Bears desperately need. He’s definitely a reach at No. 14 in the first round and may not get the publicity of Stephon Tuitt, but the Bears need to keep a serious eye on him in the second round.