Chicago Bears: End of the season 2021 NFL mock draft
By Joseph Herff
Round 5 Ι Pick No. 160 Ι Chicago Bears select a new safety
In the later rounds, it is hard to find quality starters from the big schools, so it is always good to look at the small school prospects who shine. Reed Blankenship is one of those guys. While at Middle Tennessee, he always shined as the best player on the field, but with limited experience against quality competition, it is hard to gauge how good he can really be.
Small school shouldn’t be an excuse as we’ve seen just this year rookie safety Jeremy Chinn play at an elite level immediately, but it still is an excuse. Looking at Blankenship’s tape, you can see a player who flies around the field getting involved in every single tackle due to his speed and aggressiveness. He has an extremely high-motor as well and will never take plays off. His awareness shines too as he constantly reads an offense well and uses great instincts to make plays.
Blankenship is exactly what this defense needs. Every week it is evident the Bears struggled with finishing tackles and that is what he is known for. Alongside Eddie Jackson, this duo could be a perfect one-two punch as Jackson can go back to being a single-high safety using his elite coverage and ball-hawk ability and Blankenship can remain in the box the majority of the time playing essentially as a linebacker and covering tight ends. Allow him to compete with Deon Bush for the starting strong safety spot.