After passing up on drafting a safety with their first four draft picks in the 2014 NFL Draft, Chicago Bears general manager Phil Emery made an aggressive move to finally address the team’s weakest area. The Bears traded two fifth-round picks — one from this year and one in 2015 — with the Denver Broncos for their fourth and seventh-round picks.
With that fourth-round pick (131st overall), Chicago selected Minnesota safety Brock Vereen. This selection isn’t anywhere close to what the team could have had with Calvin Pryor or Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, but the fact that the position was tended to is better than nothing.
Vereen, brother of New England Patriots running back Shane Vereen, is a versatile defensive back who played both safety and cornerback for the Golden Gophers. With all of the free-agent acquisitions added to the Bears’ secondary, chances are that Vereen will be buried somewhere on the depth chart and primarily could be used as a special teams contributor. Even with the addition of Vereen, it looks like Emery, and the rest of the Bears camp, is comfortable with the group of safeties who are already on the roster.
If I had to guess, Chicago’s starting safety tandem for 2014 could be Ryan Mundy and M.D. Jennings. Both players had significant time in the starting lineups for their former teams. The fact that Chris Conte could be on the physically unable to perform list at the start of training camp could eliminate his chance of being a full-time starter for the third year in a row.
Clyde A. Speller is an NFL writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @ClydeASpeller.