Why Chicago Bears interest in this LB prospect is real

Chicago Bears - Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
Chicago Bears - Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports /

The Chicago Bears brought in Brian Asamoah, a linebacker prospect from Oklahoma to Halas Hall for a pre-draft visit. Asamoah is a redshirt and a two-year starter for the Sooners. The team only has 30 pre-draft visits before the NFL draft, so to use on Asamoah shows significant interest. They want to get to know and find where to specifically stack him on their board just in case they have a chance to take him in the 2022 NFL draft.

Who is Brian Asamoah

Below you can see the statistical production for Brian Asamoah. According to Pro Football Focus, he played 1,231 snaps during his three-year college run. He played 50.6% in coverage, 39.2% in run defense, and 10.2% as a pass rusher.

He ranked 4th in coverage stops last year, per PFF, but ranked 193rd in run stops.

Defense & Fumbles Table

Thanks to MockDraftable we can see how Brian Asamoah compares to NFL players at the linebacker position who also participated in the NFL combine. The bigger the web shows the higher percentile of athleticism that Brian Asamoah ranks in.

Brian Asamoah is not the tallest or heaviest prospect, but fortunately for him, that tends to be the way that the linebacker position is trending. Still. one area where he draws attention starts with his wing span, which is extremely long for his size.

Still, beyond that, you are looking at an explosive athlete with great long speed as well. His above-average length and athleticism can make you look past his lack of height and weight. However, he will have to be used to his strengths.

Where Brian Asamoah will succeed in the NFL

It was noted in the PFF stats that Brian Asamoah is a coverage linebacker. His length comes in handy in a big way as he drops into the center of the field and puts his hands up to create traffic through different levels of that area.

He is also good at sticking with bigger weapons who line up in the slot and has good man abilities. Asamoah does not waste his speed either. He is the definition of a see-ball get-ball player who can spring into action rather quickly.

Where Brian Asamoah must improve in the NFL

For his great coverage ability comes questions in the box against the run. He trusts his instincts and attacks with vigor, but his instincts are not strong when he is running downhill. He is much more comfortable dropping backward.

One thing you see far too often is Asamoah getting washed out by bigger bodies, and he cannot seem to navigate traffic without getting in the way of a lineman. In the NFL you could argue he is a specialty player who is a tweener that is a bit long for safety, but the size and run deficiencies project him to a dime backer type of player.

NFL Comparison for Brian Asamoah

When you look at the athletic measurements as well as the size, the closest NFL comparison for Brian Asamoah is Kwon Alexander. Thanks to RAS we can see the comparison below.

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They are similar to a tee, and it could be why the Chicago Bears want to check him out. Dave Borgonzi, the Bears linebackers coach just so happened to draft Kwon Alexander.

It is probably hard for Borgonzi to see the short and thin linebacker with explosive speed, and the mentality to get after the football, and not think of his old days with Kwon Alexander.

Back when Alexander was a drafter the smaller linebackers were even less accepted and it hurt his draft stock. He is a prime example of a player who started the trend to trust the speed and coverage ability at that position. Now, the question is whether or not the Chicago bears think that they can get Kwon Alexander production out of the prospect who profiles similarly, both in athleticism but also in playing style.

Should the Chicago Bears draft Brian Asamoah?

If Dave Borgonzi is pounding the table and saying that he has Kwon Alexander minus the injuries then the Chicago Bears should be interested. Brian Asamoah is expected to go around pick 100 according to Grinding the Mocks. This would make sense as Alexander went 124th when he was drafted.

Still, the Chicago Bears are in a tough spot here to draft Asamoah. They have pick number 71, and they have pick number148. You could probably talk yourself into Asamoah being worth a top 71 pick if you like what you hear during the pre-draft visit.

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Still, a more likely case scenario would involve Chicago trading back and getting more picks in this draft because they need to fill roster spots. At that point, Asamoah would be a great fit next to Roquan Smith, and Borgonzi would be preaching that he found his Kwon Alexander to pair with his Lavonte David in Smith.