Chicago Bears 2015 Draft Prospects : Defensive Tackle

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With the Bears officially out of playoff contention, it’s time to focus on next year. With college football’s bowl season starting next weekend, I will be focusing on college players who might be good fits for the Bears next season. I will be breaking down prospects at every position with some focus on players I think the Bears could target. They need all the help they can get on both sides of the ball.

At some positions that aren’t as glaring of a need for the Bears like RB and G, I will focus less on the players projected to go early and focus more on mid-round prospects who could provide depth for the Bears.  I’ve already covered all of the offensive positions, so will be looking at defense this week. With the draft being in Chicago this year and the Bears likely having a top ten pick, this years draft is even more exciting than usual for Bears fans.

If you are sick of watching the Bears, the college bowl season is an exciting alternative and gives you a chance to catch a glimpse of some future NFL stars.  These lists will identify some players to keep an eye on during bowl season and college football playoff.

Position Summary: The Bears added some young depth at DT in the draft last year with Will Sutton and Ego Ferguson but neither player has proved that they can move into the starting lineup next season. This year’s starters, Jeremiah Ratliff & Stephen Paea, are both free agents so the Bears could find themselves drafting a DT or two for the 2nd year in a row if either or both veterans leave as free agents.

After using a 2nd & 3rd round pick on DTs last year, I can’t see the Bears using their high 1st rounder on a DT but wouldn’t be shocked if they used a 2nd-3rd round pick again. DT is a key position in the Bears current scheme, but who knows what the Bears defense will look like next year under a new defensive coordinator. If Paea and Ratliff leave, they will need depth and the Bears may not be sold on either Sutton or Ferguson as starters next season. I think the Bears will end up using a pick somewhere between the 3rd-5th round on a DT.

More from Chicago Bears Draft

* These aren’t ordered rankings, just defensive tackles I think could end up on the Bears depending on how the offseason shakes out.

1.) Michael Bennett, SR Ohio St

Attributes – 6’2, 288, 5.09

Scouting report – Quick, disruptive 3-technique DT who has good balance, footwork and football instincts. Bennett has shown the ability to get to the QB with 13 sacks over the last two seasons. He’s a little small for an NFL DT so he will need to put on weight and may struggle initially against the run, but his solid instincts and sure tackling should allow Bennett to be effective inside. Bennett should be able to contribute immediately at least as a 3rd down pass rusher.

NFL comparison – Sen’Derrick Marks

Projection – Late 1st  / early 2nd

2.) Malcolm Brown, JR Texas

Attributes – 6’4, 320, 5.30

Scouting report – Has the size, speed and natural athleticism to excel at the next level. Brown showed flashes of dominance last season with 6.5 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, and 13 tackles for loss. When motivated Brown beat blockers with ease using a potent combo of power and speed. All the tools are there but Brown needs to be more consistent, improve his technique and develop a go-to pass rush move. If he is still available when the Bears pick in round 2, Brown would be a great choice and could improve the run defensive immediately.

NFL comparison – Jonathan Hankins

Projection – Late 1st / early 2nd