Round 1: Calvin Pryor, Safety, Louisville: The Chicago Bears went into the off-season with pressing needs at safety, and now, with Chris Conte out four to five months following shoulder surgery, the position is a huge priority. The team signed Ryan Mundy and M.D. Jennings, but that is not enough to feel comfortable about the position heading into the season.
If I had to pick a young safety who matches General Manager Phil Emery’s mold for an ideal defensive back (tough and physical), Louisville’s Calvin Pryor is just that guy. He displays great instincts in coverage and has enough speed to handle a lot of areas back in coverage. His ball-skills might not be at the level of a Ha’sean Clinton-Dix, but he's definitely no slouch in that department.
Where Pryor stands out the most is coming down in the box for run support. The Cardinal standout is a missile closing in on the ball-carrier, and hits pretty hard. Pryor has the potential to be a perennial Pro Bowler at the next level.
Round 2: Dominique Easley, DT, Florida: Before the Aaron Donald hype, Easley was well on his way to being a first-round prospect until he tore his ACL. Pre-injury, Easley was one of the more explosive interior tackles in College football. He had one of the quickest get-offs, next to Jadeaveon Clowney. He does a great job hand fighting and keeping blockers away from his body.
Another thing about Easley is that he transcends schemes, something Emery is looking for in his defensive linemen. Back at Florida, he played DT and DE in their hybrid scheme. Considering that Mel Tucker might employ more 3-4 looks in 2014 is a plus. The Bears attended Easley’s personal Pro Day, where attendees said he looked close to 100 percent. If the Bears get a healthy Easley here, it would be a huge steal.
Round 3: Marcus Roberson, CB, Florida: A bad Combine and a shaky Pro Day are likely to drop Roberson’s stock some. In the third round, this would be good value, as Roberson possesses the man-coverage ability that the Bears will likely play more of this upcoming season.
Roberson showed that he’s technique savvy; able to re-direct opposing WRs in press coverage, flip his hips, turn and run with WRs, and instinctively break on the football. But is he ready to contribute in 2014? No, but considering the Bears have their starters at CB set with Charles Tillman and Tim Jennings, Roberson can learn behind very good veterans. This pick is mainly for 2015.
Round 4: Logan Thomas, QB, Virginia Tech: With only Jordan Palmer on the roster, the Chicago Bears need a young developmental QB who can come in and push for the backup role. Logan Thomas fits the prototype QB that Phil Emery looks for; which is big, strong, and athletic, with arm strength. Thomas is certainly a project at the next level, but a few years with Marc Trestman could do him wonders.
Round 5: Storm Johnson, RB, UCF: With the Michael Bush release, the Bears are thin at the RB position. Right now they only have last year’s undrafted FA Michael Ford as the back-up to Matt Forte. Storm Johnson is a big, versatile back who fits well in Marc Trestman’s system.
Johnson, for his size, is an elusive back, very capable of getting to the outside and breaking off big gains. He is also a good running inside, displaying a lot of strength and recognition to find the hole and split through it. Johnson also has shown that he is a good receiving back out of the backfield, something that Trestman looks for in his offense. Johnson is a good value pick who could eventually develop into a starter.
Round 6: Kevin Norwood, WR, Alabama: The Bears are dangerously thin at the WR position after the top three players; Brandon Marshall, Alshon Jeffery, and Marquess Wilson (unproven himself). The 6-2, 198-pound Norwood is a tough, physical player with sneaky speed and good athleticism. He does a good job running the short-to-intermediate routes and will occasionally break away down field. With some development time, Norewood could develop into a solid WR in this league.
Round 6: Aaron Lynch, DE/OLB, South Florida: Similar to the Cornelius Washington pick last year, Lynch is a high upside guy who you are hoping can put it all together. Lynch was well on his way to becoming one of college football’s best defensive players until he transfer from Notre Dame to South Florida.
Lynch never seemed to get back to that form at South Florida, but the young DE/OLB still has a lot of potential. Paired up with the right coaches and veterans could get Lynch back on the right track.
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