Second-year linebacker Jon Bostic won’t have to worry about any of the Chicago Bears’ 2014 draft picks breathing down his neck for a starting spot, considering that the Bears didn’t select a linebacker in the 2014 NFL Draft. However, Bostic will have some stiff competition with a couple of fellow veterans.
It’s uncertain if Bostic will play in the middle or on the strongside, but there is a good chance of him occupying one of those spots in Chicago’s defensive starting lineup this season.
Last year, Bostic was thrown into the fire before he was ready, replacing D.J. Williams, who suffered a season-ending torn pectoral muscle. Unfortunately, Bostic had to learn on the fly while playing behind a defensive line that was ravaged with injury. As a result, the 2013 second-round draft pick finished his rookie season with 57 tackles, two sacks, an interception, and numerous missed tackles and assignments while starting nine games.
Bostic has already stepped in with the first-team defense at middle linebacker in organized team activities (OTAs), splitting time with Williams. However, once training camp gets underway this summer, Bostic will more than likely compete with Shea McClellin for the strongside position. McClellin is a third-year player who has transitioned to linebacker from defensive end.
Even though Bostic has impressed Chicago’s coaching staff with his play at middle linebacker during OTAs so far, the real test won’t come until the pads are put on, and spots are earned during the preseason. Bostic does possess the speed and athleticism to man the middle linebacker position, but he still has a lot to learn before he can be considered to take sole control of that position. As of right now, it looks like Bostic’s best chance at crack the starting lineup is to outplay McClellin on the strongside.
Clyde A. Speller is an NFL writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @ClydeASpeller.