NFL Chicago Bears

2014 NFL Draft: 5 Sleepers Who Fit Perfectly for Chicago Bears

5 Sleepers Who Fit Perfectly for Chicago Bears

Marc Trestman Chicago Bears
Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Last year, the Chicago Bears missed the playoffs for the sixth time in the past seven seasons. Chicago signed several notable free agents this offseason, including Jared Allen and Lamarr Houston, to help get the team back to the postseason. Still, the Bears need to add young contributors to a number of positions on defense, as well as at running back. Here is a look at five sleepers Chicago can take in the draft who will help improve their team.

5. Brock Vereen, S, Minnesota

Brock Vereen Minnesota
Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

5. Brock Vereen, S, Minnesota

Brock Vereen Minnesota
Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

The Bears desperately need to draft a playmaker at the safety position. Brock Vereen is an elite athlete who is very good in both man and zone coverage. He needs to improve as a tackler, but his ability to cover both wide receivers and tight ends would be an immediate help to Chicago's defense. Vereen can also contribute as a special teams player.

Projected Availability: Fourth Round

4. Chris Davis, CB, Auburn

Chris Davis Auburn
John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

4. Chris Davis, CB, Auburn

Chris Davis Auburn
John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

Chicago's top-three cornerbacks, Charles Tillman, Tim Jennings and Kelvin Hayden, are all in their thirties. The Bears need to use the 2014 NFL Draft to add youth to this position. Chris Davis is a physical corner who is best in press coverage. He can hold his own in run support and is not afraid of contact. Davis is also a dynamic returner who can take over for former return-man Devin Hester.

Projected Availability: Fifth Round

3. Khairi Fortt, OLB, California

Khairi Fortt California
Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

3. Khairi Fortt, OLB, California

Khairi Fortt California
Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

The Bears would be wise to draft an outside linebacker who can eventually take over for Lance Briggs. Khairi Fortt has the size and athleticism to be a productive NFL linebacker. His quickness and agility enable him to easily drop into coverage and matchup against backs and tight ends. Fortt could develop behind Briggs for a few seasons before taking over as the starting weakside linebacker.

Projected Availability: Fifth Round

2. Khyri Thornton, DT, Southern Miss

Khyri Thornton Southern Miss
Brian Losness-USA TODAY Sports

2. Khyri Thornton, DT, Southern Miss

Khyri Thornton Southern Miss
Brian Losness-USA TODAY Sports

The Bears are very thin at defensive tackle and will need to spend at least one draft pick on the position. Khyri Thronton would be an ideal selection on Day 3 of the draft. Thronton is a versatile lineman who can play both the three and five-technique. He is strong against the run and shows promise as a pass rusher.

Projected availability: Sixth Round

1. Storm Johnson, RB, Central Florida

Storm Johnson Central Florida
Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

1. Storm Johnson, RB, Central Florida

Storm Johnson Central Florida
Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

Along with their needs on defense, the Bears should also look to add depth to the running back position in the draft. Storm Johnson is a powerful runner who has the ability to catch the ball out of the backfield. He ran for 1,139 yards and 14 touchdowns while also catching 30 passes as a junior at UCF. Johnson could contribute as a backup from day one.

Projected Availability: Fifth Round