Fortunately for Chicago, Pryor, who is the second-ranked safety in the 2014 draft class, was still available. Surely, if Alabama’s Ha Ha Clinton-Dix was on the board, I would have chosen him as my first pick. However, Pryor is just as capable of instantly improving the Bears’ horrific safety position from last year.
In 2013, Chicago’s safeties were arguably the worst in the entire league. The organization decided not to bring back Major Wright, and Chris Conte, who is entering the last year of his rookie contract, will be on the mend leading up to training camp after undergoing shoulder surgery. Although the Bears did sign Ryan Mundy, M.D. Jennings, and Danny McCray, and re-signed Craig Steltz this offseason, none of them are talented enough to just hand a starting job to.
Pryor’s physical style of play will greatly benefit Chicago’s defense. The 2013 first-team All-American Athletic Conference selection is a sure tackler in the open field, which could help the Bears’ run defense that was dead last in the NFL. Furthermore, Pryor isn’t afraid to get his nose dirty near the line of scrimmage.
In addition to his physicality, Pryor also has the speed and awareness to quickly close on the football once it is in the air. His ball-hawking trait will blend in perfectly with a Bears defense that has a reputation of generating turnovers.
Besides addressing the safety position in the first round, it would make sense for Chicago to focus on beefing up at defensive tackle also. However, seeing that there are only two safeties that are worth selecting in the first round, it would be smart to get their hands on one of the two if they are available at pick No. 14. Ten of the top defensive tackles are projected to go in the first two rounds. There is a great chance that the Bears can still get a high-quality interior defensive lineman with their 51st overall pick.
Chances are that Clinton-Dix will no longer be available once Chicago is on the clock. So, selecting Pryor with the 14th overall pick will be the best way to strengthen their secondary for 2014.
Clyde A. Speller is an NFL writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @ClydeASpeller.