NFL draft season is upon us, and every football fan is scrambling to catch up on the latest reports on prospects. Everyone wants to be the most knowledgeable fan in the room come the 2014 NFL Draft in May. Here are three prospects participating at the NFL Combine this week that every Chicago Bears fan should know about.
Missouri defensive end Kony Ealy is definitely a player to watch. In May, the Bears will be picking No. 14 overall, and Ealy will certainly be in consideration for the pick. Ealy has been overshadowed by fellow Missouri defensive lineman Michael Sam. Sam’s recent announcement of his homosexuality and his title of SEC Co-Defensive Player of the Year have left fans in the dark about the better Missouri prospect. Ealy has everything an NFL team looks for in a pass rusher, and at 6-foot-4, 275-pounds he has been compared to former Missouri Tiger Aldon Smith. That comparison will make any Bears fan salivate as Smith has been a wildly successful pass rusher early in his career. The thought of taking another defensive end in the first round may scare some Bears fans; if they recall the last time the Bears took one in the first round Shea McClellin happened. But Ealy is a much more productive and athletic prospect as his Combine numbers will show.
HaHa Clinton-Dix, a safety out of Alabama, will be another player Bears fans will want to know about at the Combine. Clinton-Dix is the most polished, pro-ready safety in this entire draft class. He will be the most impressive safety in Indianapolis this week. Clinton-Dix’s coverage skills and sound fundamental tackling will make him the number one safety on every NFL team’s draft board. Clinton-Dix will be on Chicago’s radar as a possible draft pick at No. 14 in May.
Dropping some knowledge on Utah cornerback Keith McGill will leave the rest of the draft party speechless and questioning if you really are a draft expert. Realistically, McGill will not be selected until the middle rounds (3-5) of the draft. McGill is one of many talented corners in this year’s crop, but what sets him apart are his size and physicality at the line of scrimmage. McGill is very similar in his size and instincts to Richard Sherman of the Super Bowl Champion Seattle Seahawks. The NFL, being the “copycat league” that it is, will have teams clamoring to attempt to recreate the Seahawks’ blueprint for success. McGill could really help his draft stock with an impressive week at the Combine.
The underwhelming performance on the defensive side of the ball for Chicago last year will make the unit a priority in the draft. These three prospects could all come in and immediately upgrade their respective positions. Watch for these three to light it up at the Combine and rise up the Bears’ draft board this week.