[14] S Calvin Pryor [Louisville] 5’11” 207lbs. [4.58 40, 18 reps, 34.5 vertical, 9’8″ broad]
Phil Emery in his first 2 drafts has routinely addressed the Bears biggest need with his 1st round pick. With Chris Conte and Ryan Mundy starting right now, and that is if Conte can come back from a shoulder operation in time, I do not see how you cannot argue that S is the Bears biggest need.
The Bears have talked about how they want to get more aggressive and physical on defense, and Pryor represents both of those things. He is not experienced in man coverage, but he attacks the line of scrimmage in the run game and he is an adept blitzer. Neither of our safeties last season had any business being close to the line of scrimmage and it forced us to play them back.
Phil Emery has spoken at length about versatility and Pryor has the ability to play the single high safety in a cover 1 zone like the 49ers use Eric Ried, or he can play close to the line and in the short to intermediate zones like T.J Ward.
When Pryor is on the field explosive plays happen, whether it is in pass breakups, which he is in the top of the metrics, or it is in big hits, which he is known for. The shocking thing is that with Pryor’s aggressive attacking nature you would expect him to get burned, but he is one of the lower safeties in the draft pool at getting burned.
Pryor can instantly come in and be the emotional and physical tone setter for the secondary. Like Kyle Long who came in and instantly changed the attitude of a badly beaten down OL, Pryor can do the same for the back end of the defense. Pryor is a high character leader who can become one of the focal points of the defense. 
2[52] NT Ego Ferguson [LSU] 6’3″ 315lbs. [5.1 40, 24 reps, 29.5 vertical, 8’3″ broad]
The Bears seem to be planning to play Ratliff at DT, and after a season of getting gashed on the ground the Bears need to get bigger and more physical on the inside. The Bears need a NT that can physically handle a double team and allow the LBs to make plays behind him. Ferguson might be a slight reach at this point, but there is a lot to like about Ferguson. Ferguson has the size, heavy hands, and powerful lower body to be the anchor of the Bears run defense. He was a fixture on a dominant defense in Emery’s favorite 2nd round conference the SEC. Most importantly Ferguson has a lot of potential and as a 1 year starter has room to grow and get better, especially as a pass rusher.
How He Fits: As a rookie Ferguson will play early running downs before being subbed out for Paea on obvious passing downs. He will provide size and power to a maligned defense and as a 2nd round pick he can be i the rotation without bring questions about his value.
3[82] DT Caraun Reid [Princeton] 6’2″ 302lbs. [4.91 40, 20 reps, 26.5 vertical, 8’10” broad]
The Bears need multiple young players at the DT position to make over the position. The makeover continues with Reid who has the look and athletic ability of a prototype 3 technique. Reid showed the explosion and strong upper body to be a good pass rushing 3 technique while at Princeton, and he answered concerns about level of competition with strong all-star game performances. Reid is one of the true sleepers in the draft as he physically does not look like an Ivy League player. This may seem like a heavy investment, 2 day 2 picks, but with Ratliff’s age and injuries and Paea’s injuries the Bears cannot be left going to the street to find starting DTs if there are a couple of injuries.
How He Fits: He will back up Ratliff while he learns the NFL game and makes the jump from Ivy League and play on passing downs. Between Reid and Collins, if healthy, they Bears should always have a competent pass rusher ready for the interior.
4[117] CB Dontae Johnson [North Carolina State] 6’2″ 200lbs. [4.45 40, 12 reps, 38.5″ vert, 10’4″ broad]

The Bears need depth and developmental upside at the CB position and Johnson has both of those. At 6’2″ 200lbs. with his incredible physical ability he has the physical upside to develop into a starter down the road. Johnson also has experience at FS and can bring an element of versatility. He has the length to be a similar type player to Tillman down the road. The Bears have bought themselves a year or 2 to develop young players and hope that they can strike gold. Johnson joins C.J Wilson and Demontre Hurst as young high upside players developing to replace Tillman.

How he Fits: Johnson can come in provide depth at CB and FS while contributing on special teams. He will be developed to take over for Tillman in 2015.

5[156] RB/WR/KR De’Anthony Thomas [Oregon] 5’9″ 175lbs. [4.5 40, 8 reps, 32.5″ vert, 10’4″ broad]

Emery has stated that defense will be the focus of this draft and it should be, but I expect him to add a little bit to the offense. This pick in my opinion is happening. I am not sure if it will be Thomas, but the Bears will pick a versatile, undersized, speed player at some point in the draft. In the CFL Trestman used guys like this with a lot of success, whether they were lining up in the slot, out of the backfield, on screen passes, or on reverses. Trestman is an offensive genius and give him different types of weapons and he will create headaches for defensive coordinators.

How He Fits: Thomas will return kicks and play a little in the slot and at RB in sub packages. He adds another dimension to the Bears offense and do not let the testing numbers throw you he is dynamic with the ball in his hands.

6[183] OT Justin Britt [Missouri] 6’6″ 325lbs. [5.19 40, 23 reps. 27.5″ vert, 7’11” broad]
There is a scouting adage that you should take an OLmen every year because of the need for depth and how late round picks develop at the position. The Bears have a great OL coach and a strong veteran group and they should continue to bring in players to develop with that group. The Bears have a nice 3 OT group, but they were blessed with health last season. Britt has the size that they clearly desire, experience in a passing attack, and he plays big and mean like Long and Mills. He can be developed at OT or OG and can provide depth.
How He Fits: The expectation for this season is that he makes the team, probably inactive on game days, and he develops with Kromer. He can provide emergency depth. If he ends up on the PR I am also okay as this pick is about down the road, not right now.

6[191] LB Preston Brown [Louisville] 6’1″ 252lbs. [4.86 40, 23 reps, 33″ vert, 9’8″ broad]

This pick is another investment in the run defense and special teams. Brown is not a complete LB, I do not want him in coverage and I doubt he ever becomes a full time NFL starter at MLB. What Brown is, is a heavy hitter with a stout build who plays physical football. He can be a player that plays obvious run downs and comes off the field on passing downs. I love the attitude and intensity that he plays with and the defense needs some of that.

How He Fits: Brown will back up D.J Williams, he will play in short yardage packages, and be a core special teams player to replace Costanzo. Brown in the future could be the starting MLB who plays less than 50% of the snaps because of how much time we play nickel.

 Preston Brown

Priority Free Agents

QB Garrett Gilbert [SMU]

Gilbert has the physical skill set at 6’3″ 233lbs., but his career went sideways at Texas. It is worth a flyer to bring him in and let Trestman work with him. If Trestman can turn him into something the Bears hit a homerun, if he can’t they really lose nothing.

RB James Wilder [Florida St]

There is just so little value in back up RBs in today’s NFL I cannot see Emery selecting one that does not do a lot more. That being said the Bears need depth and competition at RB and Wilder, who has off field issues galore, is 6’3″ 236lbs. and has a lot of physical ability. He would be an ideal PR candidate in case Ford or Forte gets hurt.

Depth Chart

QB: Cutler, Palmer, Gilbert

RB: Forte, Ford, Thomas, Wilder

FB: Fiammetta

WR: Marshall, Jeffery, Wilson, Hixon, Morgan

TE: Bennett, Rosario, Mulligan

LT: Bushrod, Britt

LG: Slauson, Brown

C: Garza, De La Puenta

RG: Long, Boggs

RT: Mills, Britton

RE: Allen, Young, Bass

DT: Ratliff, Reid, Collins

NT: Ferguson, Paea

LE: Houston, Idonije, Washington

SLB: Bostic, McClellin, Franklin

MLB: Williams, Brown

WLB: Briggs, Greene

CB: Tillman, Jennings, Johnson, Frey, McManis, Wilson

FS: Mundy/Conte,

SS: Pryor, Jennings, Steltz

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