Bears Day 2 Draft Prospects: D-Line

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports
Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports /
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Shanna Lockwood-USA TODAY Sports
Shanna Lockwood-USA TODAY Sports /

Chris Jones, Mississippi St (6’6 | 310 | 4.88)

Pro Football Focus rates Jones as one of the best d-linemen in the draft, a first round pick, but I think his inconsistency will drop him to the draft’s second day. There are times when Jones strings together three or four dominant plays in a row, only to be followed by a quarter+ of no impact. His motor is a legitimate issue, but he has the size, strength, and athleticism to dominate when he wants to.

Jones’ highlight reel makes him look like the ideal fit for the Bears (or any) defensive scheme, but he will have to convince Pace and Fox that he can compete at a more consistent level in the pros if the Bears are going to risk a 2nd round pick on him. If Jones is still there in the third round, it’s a no-brainer.

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports /

Kenny Clark, UCLA (6’3 | 314 | 5.06)

A little shorter than ideal for a 5-tech but about the same size as Ray McDonald, who Fangio used on the left side of his d-line for a couple of years and the Bears signed just last season. Fangio likes to line his players up in different spots along the line, so there would be plenty of opportunities for Clark to play in his more natural 3-tech position. He also has the versatility to play the nose on passing downs at least.

In college Clark consistently fired off the ball lower than the blocker in front of him, allowing him to win the leverage battle and control the interior line of scrimmage. He uses his hands extremely well to shed blocks and has shown the in-game awareness to find the ball carrier when they are near Clark’s hole.

Clark is an impressive interior linemen with a border line first round grade in my rankings and I’m sure Fangio can find multiple ways to utilize a player with his run-stopping skill. Pass rushing will never be Clark’s strength, but he’s quick enough off the ball to occasionally collapse the pocket from the inside.

Next: Johnson, Oakman, & Ward