BY LANCE N. POIRRIER
Bradley Roby, CB, Ohio State
5’11 1/8″, 190
Both Tim Jennings and Charles Tillman are scheduled to be free agents this off-season and this might be the time to move on from them. By adding one of the top corners in free agency and a young corner like Roby, they could be on to something good. Roby has the size and speed to really make a name for himself in the NFL, though I’m not sure how he’ll fair against #1 receivers with being less than 200 pounds, but he’ll be a great complementary corner instantly, with room to grow. Roby seems better suited for a zone based defense rather than the Bears’ (who run their corners in more man matchups than anything), but Roby’s fast and reactive nature should keep him out of any trouble made by stronger WR’s. The best thing about Roby’s speed is he can quickly and easily correct minor mistakes, get back in position, and make a play. Roby also has the strength of an NFL corner, while being an effective jammer and excellent blitzer.
Jeoffrey Pagan, DT, Alabama
Pagan has the perfect frame to work in the base Tampa-2 scheme the Bears run. He’s used to playing DE when Alabama is in their 3-4 sets, but he’d do essentially the same thing on the inside of the Bears’ defense and he could quickly become the star of a revamped defensive line in Chicago. Pagan’s experience as a 3-4 end would be beneficial should the Bears incorporate a hybrid-style defense with several different looks, much like other successful teams have run, including the 49ers, Seahawks, and Ravens.
Weston Richburg, C, Colorado State
6’3 1/4″, 297
A new center has been one of the Bears needs for some time now, and Richburg is one of the best under-the-radar prospects of the 2014 draft class. He’s got a powerful snap equalling to an always pristine delivery. Richburg also has a powerful upper body which keeps him in any battle and can be amplified by his usually good technique. With some fine tuning Richburg could be one of the best centers in the NFL for some time and an immediate upgrade at the position for the Bears.
Stanley Jean-Baptiste, CB, Nebraska
6’2 1/4″, 220
The Bears need to double dip on corners in this draft, and Jean-Baptiste is a tall, athletic corner who’ll best thrive in a defense like the Bears’, where he’ll play man to man coverage more than anything. Bump and run won’t be SJB’s thing in the NFL due to lack of arm strength, and he shouldn’t be lined up on a team’s top WR who could over power him. Jean-Baptiste must work on his sloppy tackling to survive in the NFL. When you see Stanley Jean-Baptiste think of another famous hyphenated NFL CB: Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie.
Brendan Kelly, DE, Wisconsin
Kelly is one of my favorite prospects you’ve never heard of. He’s got the size/speed to succeed in the Bears’ 4-3, can bend the edge and apply pressure on the outside of the pocket, and also possesses the agility and strength to shed blockers and jump inside on run plays. Kelly also provides versatility along the Wisconsin defensive front playing some OLB when Wisconsin is running their 3-4 scheme, which is all the better should the Bears introduce more 3-4 in 2014. Unfortunately Kelly has had a difficult time shaking the injury bug over the last few seasons missing substantial time in the last two years.
6TH ROUND (FROM TB)
Trey Burton, FB, Florida
Most successful offenses have a “move” or “flex” type player who they can play all over to create mismatches around the field, and Trey Burton is just that. He’s got great size and incredible speed, can play any spot you could ask, including FB, TE, HB, and he originally came to Florida as a QB, took on some kick return duties, and is now the versatile player we know today. Burton will be listed as a FB in the NFL, but like a Swiss Army knife, you can simply move him somewhere different and still get production.
Donte Rumph, DT, Kentucky
6’2 1/4″, 323
Rumph is a big-bodied space-eater, but maintains the speed required to run with the Bears 4-3 pressure scheme. His size still gives him the option to play NT should the Bears adapt a hybrid style defense. Rumph’s incredible mass and strength let him maintain pressure, even on a double block.