Road to the Draft…Part Eight – Safeties

This is a position that has been much maligned for the past few seasons; in fact, it seems that we haven’t had a pair of reliable safeties since the days of Mike Brown and Tony Parrish early in the decade. Last season, Danieal Manning was moved to SS, Chris Harris was brought back from the Panthers to play FS, and Major Wright was drafted in the 3rd round of the draft to spell both of those guys and develop into a starter. Manning and Harris played solidly, if not spectacularly. Wright showed flashes in the preseason, but was plagued by injuries. And when he was in there; he was rarely around the ball.
Going into this season, Harris will return to start at one safety spot. Manning turned down a contract extension offered by the Bears; he probably will not be back. reserves Craig Steltz and Josh Bullocks do not appear to be part of the team’s long-term plans. So that leaves Major Wright to start at the other safety spot, if by nothing else than the process of elimination. Veteran Free Agents such as OJ Atogwe and Bob Sanders have been passed over by the Bears, giving the indication that they feel good going into this season with Harris and Wright as the starters; or that the team has a guy targeted in the draft. So here are the prospects, as always, click on the name for a scouting video/report:

1st Round: None.
2nd Round: Rahim Moore (UCLA); Quinton Carter (Oklahoma).
3rd Round: DeAndre McDaniel (Clemson); Tyler Sash (Iowa); Chris Conte (California); Ahmad Black (Florida).
4th Round: Robert Sands (West Virginia); DaNorris Searcy (North Carolina); Chris Culliver (South Carolina);
5th Round: Jaiqwan Jarrett (Temple); Jeron Johnson (Boise State); Deunta Williams (North Carolina); Shiloh Keo (Idaho).
6th-7th Rounds: Jerrard Tarrant (Georgia Tech); Joe Lefeged (Rutgers); Mistral Raymond (South Florida); Jermale Hines (Ohio State); Nate Williams (Washington); Eric Hagg (Nebraska); Dom DiCicco (Pittsburgh).

I am not sure that the Bears spend a first or second day pick on this position; there is enough value at other positions of greater need that should be available then. But they should spend a third day pick on some depth and someone to help on special teams. Culliver, who should be available in the fourth round has a 40-time that really jumps out at you; he also has experience playing CB and FS in college—so you know he can matchup coverage-wise with slot WRs and TEs. Ahmad Black might slip into the third day because of a slow 40-time at his pro day; but he is a guy who could step right in and star on special teams and is a perfect match for a cover-2 safety, as far as his skill-set goes. If they Bears do not draft a safety at all; expect them to try to keep Steltz or Bullocks for depth.


8 responses

  1. Thorsten

    thanks mate!

    April 21, 2011 at 7:41 pm

  2. Thorsten

    hmm there’s quite a lot of pages called like that 🙂 can you provide me with a link please?

    April 21, 2011 at 4:24 pm

    • No problem.


      April 21, 2011 at 6:27 pm

  3. Thorsten

    oh, really? didn’t know about that! Thanks for telling!

    April 21, 2011 at 4:20 pm

  4. Thorsten

    I could see Manning coming when he sees that he is not getting the money he is looking for. I’d be pleaesed with him returning for he had a solid season and finally seems to have settled in one position. Otherwise I agree that Major Wright will start and the Bears should then add some depth with a late round pick. I just don’t see them using an early or mid round pick there’s bigger needs imo than the Safety position.

    April 21, 2011 at 6:41 am

    • the only problem with Major Wright is that he could not stay healthy last year—could be “Post-2004 Mike Brown, Version 2.0″… I wish we would make a run at OJ Atogwe once the lockout is lifted. The problem with the draft is there really is very little talent that could come in and start right away for us. Drafting a CB in the 1st or 2nd round, and moving Tillman to safety might be a better alternative.

      April 21, 2011 at 6:49 am

    • but considering that we play the Packers with Jennings/Driver/Finley twice per year; the lions with Megatron and Pettigrew twice per year—you better be shored up in your deep zones.

      April 21, 2011 at 6:51 am

    • Thorsten—you can also see us back on Facebook at the group “Monsters of the Midway”…

      April 21, 2011 at 6:52 am

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