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 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 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.
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.
QB: Cutler, Palmer, Gilbert
RB: Forte, Ford, Thomas, Wilder
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
SS: Pryor, Jennings, Steltz
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