By Clyde A. Speller @ClydeASpeller on March 24, 2014
Even before the start of free agency, I made a list of potential NFL Draft prospects that the Chicago Bears should target with their 14th overall pick in the upcoming 2014 NFL Draft. For the most part, that list hasn’t changed, but the order in which the players are ranked has. The recent signings the Bears have made during free agency have dictated the new order of the top five players that Chicago should target this May.
Take a look.
Even though the Bears have decided to stick with the 4-3 alignment, defensive tackle Louis Nix III would still be a good choice for Chicago’s defensive line rotation. The only red flag on the 6-foot-2, 331-pounder is the knee injury he sustained in 2013. The Bears’ D-line was decimated with injuries last year, and Chicago will have to think long and hard about drafting Nix if he is on the board when they are on the clock.
Defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan was originally No. 1 on my list of players the Bears should target in the first round. Although selecting Jernigan wouldn’t be a bad move, Chicago probably can afford to pass up such talent with a very deep class of defensive tackles in this year’s draft. Their focus could be directed towards something more important.
As of right now, Aaron Donald is the top-ranked defensive tackle among this year’s pro prospects. If Chicago were to decide to go with a defensive lineman with the 14th overall pick, Donald would appear to be the best choice.
The Bears have signed four safeties this offseason thus far, but the position is far from being upgraded from last season. Calvin Pryor is one of two safeties projected to go in the first round of the draft, and he is labeled as the second-best safety in this year’s class. Considering that the number of high-quality safeties in the draft pool is low, the Bears shouldn’t hesitate at grabbing him if he’s available.
Ha Ha Clinton-Dix is the top safety in this year’s draft class, and his ball-hawking style of play will greatly help revamp the Bears’ secondary. Clinton-Dix is the type of player who can come in on day one, take over and easily beat out current Bears safety Chris Conte.
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