During the offseason the Chicago Bears lost outside linebacker Nick Roach and All-Pro middle linebacker Brian Urlacher to free agency and retirement, respectively. To fill the void at linebacker, the Bears brought in free agents James Anderson and D.J. Williams. Each of the linebackers received one-year deals to play with the Bears, leading many to speculate that the team would address their linebacking needs in the draft. Those assumptions were correct as the organization used two of its draft picks on linebackers with Jon Bostic and Khaseem Greene.
Drafted in the second round by the Bears, Bostic is a 6’1”, 245 lbs. linebacking product out of the University of Florida. The Second-team All-SEC player in his final season tallied 237 tackles, 7.5 sacks and five interceptions over the course of his college career in Gainesville. Aside from his statistical accolades, Bostic was known on the field as someone who could deliver big hits to opposing ball carriers or receivers running shallow crossing patterns.
Going into training camp, with the exception of Pro Bowl linebacker Lance Briggs, it’s a bit of a mystery as to the other linebackers that will be on the field. Aside from the newest Bears Anderson and Williams, early on during camp, Bostic will also be competing against fellow rookie Greene as well as veterans Blake Costanzo, Jerry Franklin, J.T. Thomas and Patrick Trahan for either strong side or middle linebacker. With his ball hawking skills, Bostic would have been penciled in for new Mike linebacker under Lovie Smith’s regime. However, with new defensive coordinator Mel Tucker coming into Halas Hall, it’s unclear how many new wrinkles he’ll add to the Tampa-2 defensive scheme.
Best case scenario for Bostic is to wrestle the middle linebacker spot away from Anderson, Williams and Greene. Worst case, Bostic will find himself a member of the special teams unit as he is relegated to second team duties at both outside and middle linebacker.