The Chicago Bears are on a current free-fall, but one of the few bright spots on this team has been the play of some of the team’s young players. Major Wright has played at a Pro Bowl level throughout the season, and Stephen Paea has given the team a talented defensive tackle that can rush the passer and be stout against the run. The two players on the defense who have been standing out the most are DT Henry Melton and defensive end Corey Wootton.
For Melton, he has been one of the leagues best DT’s this season. If you asked Melton himself, he thinks he’s the best DT in the game.
“We’re still playing the 4-3 … there is not another better D-tackle in the league than myself,” Melton said, via Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune. “I feel like that.”
While most NFL observers would say Geno Atkins, Melton ‘s 13 sacks are the most of any DT in the league since 2011. He’s also ranks number one in the league in run-stop percentage according to Pro Football Focus.
Melton has gone from coming into the league as a DE to one of the most skilled DT’s in the game. His athleticism and quickness can overwhelm opposing offensive guards.
Wootton has been one of the team’s biggest surprises this year. Before the season started, we talked about how Wootton could possibly not make the team. Fast forward towards the end of the season and Wootton is second behind Julius Peppers in sacks with 7.0 and a couple of forced fumbles.
Wootton has looked fully healthy this year as he has look explosive and strong coming off the edge for the Bears.
Melton and Wootton deserve new contracts after this season, but all of that won’t matter if the Bears switch to a different scheme that doesn’t play to their strengths. If the Bears stick with the 4-3 scheme, Melton and Wootton are a big part of the nice young nucleus the Bears can build around.