As the 2014 NFL Draft gets closer, teams are whittling down their list of college prospects who can potentially join their respective organizations. The Chicago Bears have been doing just the same as of late, and focusing on who they should invest their 14th overall pick on this May.
It has been reported that the Bears visited with Louisville safety Calvin Pryor this week. Pryor is one of two safeties that are projected to go in the first round of this year’s draft, along with Alabama’s Ha Ha Clinton-Dix.
There is no secret that Chicago’s safety position was atrocious last season. As a result, the organization has already signed free agent safeties Ryan Mundy, M.D. Jennings and Danny McCray, also and re-signed Craig Steltz. On the contrary, the Bears decided not to welcome back Major Wright, who signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Along with the new faces in the secondary and the departure of Wright, the Bears also have to face the dilemma of safety Chris Conte, who is slated to be out 4-5 months after undergoing shoulder surgery.
Not only is Chicago just targeting Pryor, but they have also visited with Washington State safety Deone Bucannon last Tuesday. Unlike Pryor and Clinton-Dix, Bucannon is projected to go in either the second or third round.
It seems apparent that the Bears are centering their attention on the position of safety during the early part of the draft, and I totally agree with this mindset. Although they could use another defensive tackle, Chicago has done a tremendous job of bolstering the Bears’ defensive line with the signings of defensive ends Jared Allen, Lamarr Houston, Willie Young and Israel Idonije, and also re-signing defensive tackles Nate Collins and Jeremiah Ratliff.
The Bears can definitely afford to draft Pryor in the first round because chances are that they can still get their claws on a top-10 interior defensive lineman in the second round. And if for some reason Pryor or Clinton-Dix isn’t available, then Chicago can focus on going defensive tackle with their 14th overall pick, and then set their sights on Bucannon, or even Northern Illinois safety Jimmie Ward during the second day of the draft.
With the number of new and unproven faces in the secondary, the uncertainty of Conte’s shoulder, and the fact that the defensive line seems to be the strongest part of their defense, targeting Pryor in the first round is the most logical thing to do.
Clyde A. Speller is an NFL writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @ClydeASpeller.