Super Bowl MVP Malcolm Smith was a seventh-round draft choice who wasn’t even invited to the NFL Scouting Combine. Cornerback Richard Sherman was a fifth-rounder. Safety Kam Chancellor was a fifth-rounder. Defensive end Red Bryant was a fourth-rounder. Defensive tackle Brandon Mebane was a third-rounder.
Bears general manager Phil Emery currently has a full quiver of draft choices for the first time in his three Bears drafts. He and his staff have not had defensive hits in the mid and late rounds yet, but clearly with the right coaching, if you find the talent, you can win with others than No. 1’s.
What the Bears don’t have that Seattle and even Denver have is size, and if there is one simple mandate, it is that the Bears need to get bigger on the defensive interior in particular. They rarely earned the right to rush the passer last season because they could not stop the run.
Seattle could. The Seahawks jumbos were part of holding Denver running backs Knowshon Moreno and Monte Ball to 18 yards on 11 carries, and half of those yards came on one Moreno carry. Overlooked in the overall were Mebane, Bryant and the other Seattle bigs chasing down screen passes and edge plays.
“We’ve found guys who were big and fast,” coach Pete Carroll said.
Finding those traits in the same defensive lineman is the point of this Bears offseason.