Brock Vereen Days Until Chicago Bears Season Opener
The Bear Goggles On Countdown to Kickoff series continues with a look at Chicago Bears second-years safety Brock Vereen. With the profile on Vereen now up, there are officially 45 days until the Bears kickoff the season by hosting their rival Green Bay Packers.
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The Bears drafted Vereen in the fourth round of the 2014 NFL Draft. In fact, the team gave up a fair amount of draft pick value in order to trade up and land Vereen. Clearly, the organization believed in Vereen’s talent at the safety position, and he actually played very well for the team in four starts last season.
Vereen was inconsistent as a rookie, but he showed obvious athleticism and upside from the safety position. Simply put, Vereen seemed to be a player who the organization valued.
Unfortunately for the University of Minnesota product, the Bears front office and coaching staff under-went an overhaul this off season. Now, I am not saying that general manager Ryan Pace, head coach John Fox or defensive coordinator Vic Fangio do not value Vereen as an important player for the Bears, but the guys who rallied behind trading up and drafted him are primarily gone. That cannot be a good thing.
On top of that, Pace and company drafting fell0w-safety Adrian Amos in the fifth round of the draft is not exactly a vote of confidence for Vereen.
What to Expect from Vereen in 2015:
With all of that being said, Vereen is a talented player who will have an opportunity to prove himself in the Bears’ new 3-4 defense. He has great coverage skills for the safety position, and his overall athleticism and skill-set belongs on the NFL level. Amos and projected starters Antrel Rolle and Ryan Mundy will make Vereen fight for playing time and a spot on the roster, but there is no denying his obvious NFL skill-set.
While it was not something that the Bears did much of last season, Vereen did play some nickel-back in college. I could certainly see Fangio lining Vereen up in some sort of a nickel-back/safety hybrid role that allows him to use his obvious coverage and roaming skills to make plays all over the field.
While there will be a fight for playing time at the safety position, I fully expect Vereen to continue to be on the Bears’ opening day roster. At worst, he is a solid special teams option who gives the team nice safety depth. But the Bears would be wise to try and use his skills to help them on a larger basis defensively.
Next: Five Underrated Bears Heading into Camp