Bryce Hager: Chicago Bears Draft Prospect Profile
Jan 23, 2015; Glendale, AZ, USA; General view of NFL shield logo at midfield of University of Phoenix Stadium in advance of Super Bowl XLIX between the Seattle Seahawks and the New England Patriots. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
With the draft just roughly a month away Bear Goggles On will be breaking down a wide range of options for the Chicago Bears 2015 draft. We’ll profile different positions and different rounds where players who might fit with the Bears new management regime.
Bryce Hager, ILB – Baylor
Measurables – 6’1” 234 lbs.
Attributes (40 / vertical / broad jump /3-cone) –
College: Hager was an All-American linebacker at Baylor and three-time All-Big 12 honoree. In his college career, he made 322 career tackles, 24 for loss and 26 QB hurries. He started 32 of 48 career games as a three-year starting linebacker and quarterback of the defense.
Strengths: Hager has great pursuit on the perimeter against the run and moves very easily laterally, while usually taking good angles towards a ball carrier. He also shows good range in coverage and can play man or zone effectively against the pass. This former running back also has good speed.
Weaknesses: He struggles with the interior run game and struggles to beat offensive lineman to the spot against the run. When asked to be a face-up tackler, he does not bring the strong powerful “thump” behind his pads as a hitter.
Bears Fit: With his burst to the ball and ability to cover, Hager could be suited for a 4-3 or 3-4 defense looking for an athletic linebacker who can make plays outside of his area. Hager is one of the faster linebackers coming out of the draft. However, he may not be ready to fill holes in run support if he’s not kept clean by his d-line. Even with the signing of Mason Foster and Pernell McPhee, the Bears could use some young options and depth at OLB so if Hager drops to the 6th round, he’s worth a strong consideration. Between Jared Allen, Willie Young and Lamar Houston it still remains to be seen if they can adapt to their new role and position in the defense as possible OLB’s. Regardless, Hager could fit as that athletic, intelligent special teams player that the Bears have been looking for in coverage.
Draft Projection: Rounds 4-6