Jonathan Anderson – There are no rumors about the Bears making ILB James Anderson a safety, this is all speculation from me. Speculation that I think makes a lot of sense. In college Anderson played a rover position similar to how the Cardinals use Deone Bucannon and the Rams use Mark Barron. Anderson has the skill-set to play a similar role and perhaps play it even better.
He certainly has the athleticism for the safety job with a 40 timed as low as 4.44 and above-average marks in all other relevant athletic categories. Anderson earned a spot on the Bears practice squad last year, but eventually worked his way into the starting lineup for three games. He flashed play-making ability with 30 tackles, a sack, an interception, and another pick-6 interception that was called back due to a phantom penalty.
Anderson was the Bears best coverage linebacker last year, but with the additions of Trevathan, Freeman, and Kwiatkoski there isn’t much of a role for Anderson at ILB anymore. He’s valuable enough to keep around as a special teams asset, but has the speed and athleticism to transition to a strong safety role with the Bears. It’s just an idea of mine, but I think it’s a good one.
Demontre Hurst – One of the few holdovers from the Phil Emery regime. Hurst worked his way from a practice squad player to the primary slot corner in the last year of the Marc Trestman era. Hurst showed an aggressiveness that was rare on the team at the time and is actually a very similar player to Bryce Callahan. They are both slightly undersized players who play bigger than their measurements and attack the ball relentlessly.
I was disappointed when the Bears new regime let Hurst go, but they brought him back a few weeks later and moved him to safety where his attacking style may work better. Hurst’s name hasn’t been mentioned much by Fox or Fangio this off-season, but he is still on the roster which means that he still has a shot at winning the other safety job.
Omar Bolden – Yet another player brought over from one of Fox, Fangio, or Pace’s former teams. Bolden was a back-up safety on the Broncos the last few seasons who never started a game on defense and has just 41 tackles in three years, most of those coming on special teams. Bolden is competent enough to fill in for a few defensive snaps here and there but is not a starting caliber safety. He’s mostly a special teams player, but Fox is clearly familiar with Bolden and thought highly enough of his skill to sign him to an $840k, 1-year deal.
Chris Prosinski – If Chris Conte’s on-field doppelganger is starting at safety then things have gone terribly wrong at the safety position (again).
Next: Rookie Safety Options