Chicago Bears – Favorite DT Targets
Round 4 (#117) – Caruan 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 as early as the 3rd round and should be on the Bears radar for depth at the 3-technique.
Round 5 (#156) – George Uko, USC (6’3, 275): Would have been a much higher pick if he had stayed in school another year, but is an explosive DT prospect who has starter potential once he gets stronger and puts on some weight. Uko has a lightning quick first step, a good closing burst, and his hand play shows considerable potential. He needs to get stronger and gain weight and if he does the sky is the limit. The more I watch Uko, the more I like him. He has a ton of potential.
Round 6 (#183) – Jay Bromley, Syracuse (6’3, 307): Quick, disruptive DT who had 9 sacks his senior year. After watching tape on Bromley, I think he is underrated as a late round pick. Bromley has good strength, an explosive first step and good closing speed.
Round 6 (#191) – Khyri Thornton, Southern Mississippi (6’3, 304): Raw technique, but good strength (28 reps) and quickness. Thornton played against weak competition in college but was the best player on the field in the NFLPA bowl. He has a quick first step and NFL athleticism. He’s ideally a practice squad guy in 2014, but with some coaching he could be a valuable rotation guy at the 3-technique position in 2015 with starter upside in a couple of years.
UFA – Chris Whaley, Texas (6’3, 269): Former running back at Texas, who outgrew the position and switched to DT. Great speed and quickness for the position, but has raw technique and needs to gain weight to hold up against the run. Sound familiar? Whaley is a Henry Melton clone as a prospect and like Melton would take a few years of development before he is ready to contribute, but has similar upside.