Kelcy Quarles (DT), South Carolina
6'4" | 297 lbs.
12 games played, 39 tackles (27 solo), 9.5 sacks, 13.5 tackles for loss
What the scouts are saying:
"Thickly built, long-armed, talented defensive tackle who was not as consistently dominant as his numbers or accolades suggest. Has quickness, strength and enough pass-rush ability to develop into a rotational three-technique in the pros, but could have benefited from another year of SEC competition." (Nolan Nawrocki, NFL.com)
"Quarles consistently splits gaps, showing both the burst to surprise would-be blockers and the power to crash through late attempts by his opponents to latch on to him. Quarles plays low, showing good power and technique to absorb double-teams, making him a potential fit as a nose guard as well as a traditional three-technique defensive tackle. May just be scratching the surface of his potential." (Rob Rang, CBSSports.com)
"As a run-defender, Quarles needs work. Wisconsin had a lot of success running at him in the bowl game. For the NFL, Quarles looks like a situational pass-rusher. He had a solid performance at the Combine." (WalterFootball.com)
Fit for the Bears:
Quarles dominated the SEC last year, earning All-SEC First Team honors with 9.5 sacks and 13.5 tackles for losses. But you could argue he benefited greatly from playing alongside Jadeveon Clowney, who was often double or even triple-teamed, leaving Quarles facing single coverage. Quarles struggles with stopping the run — scouts say he's better suited as a situational pass-rusher — but could flourish with the Bears, considering Jared Allen and Lamarr Houston will attract the most attention on the ends. Some say Quarles can be taken as early as the second round, and fall as late as the sixth round. If he slips, don't be surprised if Phil Emery takes a chance on a player who's already battle tested and has experience playing next to a star defensive end.