Chicago Bears – Favorite OLB targets

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Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Round 4 (#117) – Jordan Zumwalt, UCLA (6’4, 235): Intense linebacker who was asked to tone it down by Senior Bowl coaches. Zumwalt had a good week of practice at the Senior Bowl, showing better than expected coverage ability, violent pass rush moves, and the aforementioned intensity. He also ran a respectable 4.76 40 at the combine and had a 3-cone time under 7 seconds. Zumwalt has the versatility to play almost any LB position in a 4-3 and his intensity would also play well on special teams. He plays full-speed all the time with a ferocity that will make him a favorite with Chicago fans right away.

Round 5 (#156) – Christian Kirksey, Iowa (6’2, 233): He’s a well-rounded linebacker who showed better than expected pass rush and coverage skills at the Senior Bowl. Kirksey might be the 2nd most well-balanced OLB behind Van Noy. He has the skill-set to stay on the field no matter the situation and is versatile enough to play anywhere in the Bears scheme. Kirksey is of my favorite mid round LB prospects.

Round 6 (#183) – Denicos Allen, Michigan St (5’11, 220): If Allen were a few inches taller and 10-15 pounds heavier he’d be a day 2 pick. He’s a heck of a football player. Allen is fast enough, has great instincts, and is a sure tackler despite his small frame. He’s also a violent blitzer and good in coverage. Allen is never going to get any taller, but he’s about the same size as former Broncos LB Wesley Woodyard (6’0, 230) who has been an excellent weak side linebacker. Allen would make an ideal back-up at WLB for Briggs and will be a demon on special teams.

Round 6 (#191) – Lamin Barrow, LSU (6’1, 230): A great athlete who is still learning the linebacker position and is far from a finished product. Barrow needs work on his tackling and block shedding technique, but has elite athleticism, good speed  and has starter potential down the road. He should be an excellent special teams player right off the bat. Barrow would bring some much needed speed and athleticism to the Bears linebacker core.

UFA – Marquis Spruill, Syracuse (6’1, 229): Intense player who is a violent blitzer and big-hitter all over the field. He’s small for an NFL linebacker, but he has played safety at times for the Orange so that could be an option for the Bears. If Spruill stays at LB he will need to get a little stronger, but he is a max-effort player who plays mean and his solid instincts keep him around the ball consistently. Worst case, he’ll be a special teams standout.

Twitter: @MikeFlannery_