Bears Day 2 Draft Prospects: Edge Rushers
A lot has been written already about who the Chicago Bears first round pick (#11) will be, so I’m going to look at who might be options for the Bears in rounds two and three of the draft. The Bears filled some holes via free agency and should fill another one in the first round, but there will still be plenty of positions left that need upgrades. I’ll be breaking down potential targets for the Bears on day 2 of the draft at different positions of need over the next few weeks.
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There are links to the positions I’ve already covered below, but today I’m looking at potential edge rushers the Bears could target on day 2 of the draft. The Bears finished 22nd in the league with just 35 total sacks last season, making it an area that needs improvement in the off-season.
Pernell McPhee (6 sacks), Lamarr Houston (8 sacks), and Willie Young (6.5 sacks) provided sporadic pressure on QBs last season, but all three missed time with injury and were rarely healthy at the same time. Those players should be healthy to start the season and provide some pressure for the Bears defense, but all three are primarily power rushers.
The Bears don’t have an explosive weapon off the edge that opposing teams need to plan for. They didn’t find one in free agency, which leads me to believe they will target the position in the draft.
Effective pass rushers are extremely hard to find and the most cost-effective way to get one is through the draft. This is a weak draft for pass-rushers with a few mid-to-late first round talents (Floyd, Ogbah, Lawson, Spence) and some high-upside projects projected to go on day two.
If any of those first round talents drop to round 2, then it would be a no-brainer for the Bears but it’s unlikely since pass-rushers are so hard to find they usually go earlier in the draft than projected. There are a few interesting edge rushers that should be available on the draft’s second day and I’ve listed them below.
Day 2 Draft Prospects
I’ve listed the edge rushers that I project to be available in rounds 2 or 3 below who I think could be good fits for the Bears, listed in order of preference. If you have any questions, complaints, or advice… hit me up in the comments or on Twitter (@MFlannery_)
Kamalei Correa, Boise St (6’3 | 243 | 4.68) – Above-average athlete with good size and strength and an explosive first step off the snap. Correa has racked up 19 sacks over the last two seasons before leaving college after his junior year. He didn’t face top competition in the Mountain West, but played well in his limited exposure against power 5 conferences.
Correa’s primary weapon is his lightning quick first step which he used to collect most of his sacks in college. The problem is that when he didn’t win with speed, Correa usually didn’t get to the QB. His hand play needs a lot of work and he doesn’t show many instincts in stringing together pass rush moves or setting up offensive tackles. Correa is a bit of a one-trick pass rusher and he may not be as effective playing against quicker NFL tackles.
He has the athleticism to eventually learn to be a more complete pass rusher and add some variety to his attack. The other aspects of his game are pretty solid, Correa sets the edge well against the run and has a non-stop motor which results in a lot of chase down tackles.
It may take a season or two of development, but if Correa can diversify his pass rush skills and combine them with the rest of his overall game… He could be an above-average 3-4 OLB. In the short-term Correa may not be more than an explosive pass rush specialist, but that would fill an immediate need for the Bears.
Next: Kyler Fackrell