Great Debate: Bears thinking safety over linebacker?

Great Debate: Bears thinking safety over linebacker?
May 1, 2014, 11:30 pm
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CSN Staff

As expected, Phil Emery didn't disclose all that much about the Bears' draft plans at Thursday's press conference.

But that doesn't mean he wasn't somewhat revealing in what he said about this year's class, the position the Bears are in and the spots they may be looking for when they select at No. 14 a week from Thursday.

And from what Bears Insider John "Moon" Mullin was hearing, it sounds as though defensive line may not be the biggest position of need at Halas Hall.

"I think (Emery's) going to be surprised if a defensive tackle -- Aaron Donald -- is going to be there," Mullin said in speaking with CSN's Jen Lada. "Frankly, I'm going to adjust my mock draft away from the defensive line. I sense the bigger need and smaller talent pool is at safety, so just from the little things he said -- (Emery) doesn't give out information but at the same time he doesn't lie, he doesn't make stuff up."

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If the Bears indeed look at safety, Alabama's Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, Louisville's Calvin Pryor and Northern Illinois' Jimmie Ward could all be options. If they want to improve the defensive line, Pittsburgh's Aaron Donald, Florida State's Timmy Jernigan, Minnesota's Ra'Shede Hageman and Notre Dame's Louis Nix may be on the Bears' big board -- Emery said they'll trim their first-round list down to six or seven players.

No matter who they take, that player will have to have a good mix of athleticism and production. It's important not to get too caught up in either, something Mullin says Emery has done well through two drafts.

"Phil Emery kept coming back to production. He's not going to be drafting based on a stopwatch; those things go into their evaluation but as you saw with people like Alshon Jeffery, he's looking for production, not just athletes," he said.