Bears Official Draft Visits (Part 2)

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports /
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Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports
Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports /

Private Workouts (don’t count against 30 private visits, since done at neutral location)

CB William Jackson III, Houston (6’1 | 189 | 4.32) – Ideal size for a corner and plays with an aggressive style that will lead to some big plays (5 INTs, 13 pass breakups in 2015) but also some big mistakes. Overall Jackson won more than he lost, allowing catches on just 49.5 percent of the 93 times he was targeted.

Jackson struggles against double moves and his aggression gets him beat at times, but he has elite recovery speed. He also closes very well on the ball and shows natural timing, consistently high-pointing the ball. Jackson doesn’t bring much to the table as a run defender, but has a size / speed combo that is rare among corners in this draft and he should be picked no later than the middle of round 2.

DL Jarran Reed, Alabama (6’3 | 311 | 5.14) – Was one of the most impressive players at the Senior Bowl, consistently beating double-teams, generating interior pressure, winning most of his 1-1 battles, and playing through the whistle. Reed has elite strength, a good first step, long arms, and good enough hands to shed blockers.

His size and versatility give Reed the ability to play anywhere on the Bears 3-man front, and he could be a valuable tandem with Eddie Goldman at nose tackle. Reed is never going to be an elite pass rusher, but he’s hard to dislodge once he establishes his position, has the awareness to find the ball carrier, and will get occasional sacks by using his power to collapse the pocket.

He uses his hands very well and his technique is as sound as any d-linemen in this draft. Reed is also skilled at getting his hands in passing lanes, finishing 3rd in the nation last year with 5 batted passes. He’s a sure thing first-rounder, so if the Bears want Reed they will need to pull the trigger at 11 or maybe trade back somewhere in the 15-25 range.

Derik Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports
Derik Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports /

QB Paxton Lynch, Memphis (6’7 | 244 | 4.81)  – The only QB the Bears have worked out privately, Lynch may be an option with the Bears second round pick if he’s still available. Jay Cutler is coming off his best season as a Bear, but is 33 years old and the Bears could be looking for a QB of the future. The Broncos used a 2nd round pick on Brock Osweiler while John Fox was in Denver and Lynch has a very similar profile.

He has prototype size, arm strength, and athleticism but played in a spread system at Memphis, so isn’t close to NFL ready. Lynch will most likely need a year or two of development time, which fits well with Cutler’s contract.

At his pro day, Lynch showed the ability to drive the ball to all corners of the field despite high-winds and rainy weather conditions. It was an impressive showing and may have locked up a spot for Lynch in the first round.