2016 East West Shrine Game Recap (Defense)
The Bears found a keeper at safety in rookie Adrian Amos, but they still need help at the position. Veteran free agent Antrel Rolle didn’t work out at all and besides raw rookie Harold Jones-Quartey, the Bears don’t have any reliable depth at the position. I think they will try to find at least one safety in the draft and here are a few players from the Shrine game with starter upside, who should be available on day 3 of the draft.
Clayton Fejedelem, Illinois – Was one of many Illini who played well at the Shrine game (how were they so bad?). Fejedelem came into the week as one of the top safety prospects in the game and didn’t disappoint. He had a number of big hits during the week of practice and showed off his range and ball skills during the game with an athletic, high-point interception. Fejedelem will probably be a late round pick and enter the league as a backup / special teams guy, but has the size (6’1 | 200), speed (4,52), and toughness to eventually become a starter in the NFL.
Mike Caputo, Wisconsin – Has been a solid run stopper for the Badgers the last two seasons but his range in coverage was considered suspect for the next level. Caputo did the best he could to prove scouts wrong during the Shrine game with two interceptions, one of which was in the red zone and returned about 75 yards but just short of the end zone. He has decent size (6’1 205) and speed (4.58) and definitely has the football instincts to stick in the league. If he can improve his coverage skills Caputo could have the all-around safety skills DC Fangio looks for in his starters.
Justin Simmons, Boston College – Great length for a safety (6’3 | 200) with enough speed (4.59) and natural football instincts. Simmons made a few coverage mistakes during the Shrine game but was always around the ball and impressive for the most part. He had a good week of practice as well and solidified his day 3 draft position. Simmons is a well rounded safety with good instincts, ball skills (5 interceptions in 2015), and consistent tackling. If he gets a little stronger, Simmons could be an NFL starter for a long time.