Chicago Bears 2015 Position Preview: Safety

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Malcolm Bronson

Was a buzzy FCS prospect after his junior season at McNeese St, where he was team MVP, three time 1st team All-Southland conference, an FCS All-American and recorded 246 tackles and 10 interceptions in 40 games. Unfortunately Bronson tore his ACL early in his senior season and wasn’t able to workout before the 2013 draft. He went undrafted, but was signed by the Chiefs as a priority free agent. Bronson missed almost two years (23 months) due to the injury, but made an impact in the preseason last year with a 57-yard interception return for a TD in his first preseason game. He was released during last cuts and was eventually signed to the Bears practice squad last season.

Bronson was rumored to have a 40″ vertical and sub 4.4 speed before his ACL injury, but his most recent recorded time was a pedestrian 4.59. He has just average size for a safety (5’11 | 187) but was extremely productive in college, albeit on the FCS level. Coaches from both the Chiefs and McNeese St have raved about Bronson’s instincts and overall football intelligence. He’s an intriguing prospect, but almost a complete unknown and at already 25 years old Bronson will have to make an impact quickly if he is going to stick around with the Bears.

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Anthony Jefferson

A big safety (6’1 | 198) who was expected to be drafted, but ran a slow 40-time at the combine and fell out of the draft. Jefferson spent most of his college career as a corner and is pretty smooth in coverage. His coverage instincts are sound, he has good timing when breaking on the ball, and has the length to cover big TEs. His lack of speed (4.72) may be an issue against NFL WRs though.

Jefferson also struggled against the run despite his good size. He routinely took wrong angles to the football and missed way too many tackles in the open field last year (and at Senior Bowl). His tackling ability was much better in 2013 than it was last year, so there is hope he can improve. There are already rumors that the Bears may occasionally use Jefferson as a sub package LB due to his above-average size and coverage skills. The Bears need depth at safety and if Jefferson can prove his value in coverage and on special teams, he’s got a shot at making the final 53-man roster.

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