Chris Conte draft capsule

Chris Conte draft capsule

Chris Conte, Safety
Height: 6-2 Weight: 197 College: California

What they say about Conte

CBSSports.com

Overview
Having spent the first three seasons of his career at California as a reserve cornerback, Conte's emergence last season as a first-team All Pac-10 free safety surprised many scouts. So too, did his physical, reliable play despite the relative in-experience. Conte has prototypical size and good athleticism overall for the position and proved to be a very reliable open-field tackler as Cal's last line of defense. Pessimists will argue that he's only been successful one season. Optimists will point out that it was his first year at the new position and that his blend of size and athleticism should translate into a more productive NFL career than the one he had in college. In a weak year for safeties, Conte's upside could ultimately earn him a top 100 grade.Analysis
Positives: A former cornerback with good balance, agility and speed for coverage. Improving instincts for the position, showing better awareness as he gained more experience. Reads the quarterback's eyes and has the range to get to the sideline. Long arms and good timing to break up the pass. Reliable open-field tackler. Breaks down in space and can make the one-on-one stop against the smaller, quicker athletes. Takes good angles in pursuit. Negatives: Developing instincts. Will take a false step toward the line of scrimmage when he reads run and can be caught out of position on play-action. Adequate ball skills. Has only two interceptions over his career. Has only one season as a starter and played behind an aggressive pass-rush.
Sideline ScoutingPositives: Has a very good frame, above-average height and good bulk... Has a strong upper-body, put up 18 bench reps at the combine... Had a very good senior season, recorded 72 tackles, an interception and two forced fumbles as a starter... Has solid range when in a two-deep look, is adequate with deep-half responsibilities... Solid leaping ability, can hold his own in jump-ball situations... Is an adequate wrap-up tackler, not a big hitter, but does well breaking down in space... Has good agility and change-of-direction ability for his size.

Negatives: Did not get a lot of experience while at Cal, only started senior year and still looks a little raw... Instincts need some work, seem to be below-average at this point... Is a better run-stopper than coverage safety, not a good man coverage defender... Has somewhat stiff hips, overall body control is lacking... Is not a playmaker or ball-hawking safety, may be a better fit at strong safety in the NFL... Gets a little too high, backpedal is a bit sloppy. National Football PostA tall, upright defensive back who possesses a good-sized frame and above-average length and power for the position. Displays decent closing range on the ball carrier and does a nice job taking proper angles toward the football and is a solid wrap-up guy on contact. Isn't overly physical and doesn't generate a ton of force, but has the ability to get his man to the ground. Possesses above-average instincts when asked to read his runpass keys, locate the football and routinely is able to get early jumps on the play. Displays some natural coordination when asked to slip blocks inside the box. However, is a leggy defender who struggles to maintain balance and quickly get back up to speed.

Doesn't do a great job sitting into his stance in his back-pedal. Has a tendency to get bent over at the waist or will just allow himself to get too upright down the field. Struggles to cleanly break down and change directions quickly out of his breaks. Allows himself to get either too upright or leggy when asked to change directions and doesn't have the ability to generate a ton of burst for himself when closing on the football. Lacks a second gear to allow him to make up for a false step and doesn't have the closing range to routinely make plays on the football.

Impression: A nice-sized defender with some good instincts, but will struggle in the deep half and looks more like a special teams type guy and reserve DB.
Pro Football Weekly

Notes: Last name is pronounced CON-tee. Safety-receiver out of Los Angeles but began as a cornerback at Cal. Played in all 13 games in 2007, starting three, and recorded 32 tackles, zero pass breakups and zero interceptions with a tackle for loss. Played in 12 games in 08 (one start) and tallied 28-7-1 with a tackle for loss. Broke his thumb against Stanford and did not play against Washington. Played in all 13 games (one start) and managed 25-1-0. Transitioned to strong safety in 10 and produced 72-3-1 with two tackles for loss, a forced fumble and a blocked kick in 12 starts. Was a 21-year-old senior.Positives: Good body length to match up with receivers. Runs well in a straight line. Plays with a sense of urgency and is quick to support closes fast. Takes good angles in pursuit. Aggressive, dependable wrap tackler plays full speed ahead. Has some upside and a frame to carry more weight.Negatives: Short arms. Builds up speed and is not sudden. Is leggy, pedals tall and sticks some when changing direction. Average flexibility and lateral agility. Range is just average and is too often a step late getting over the top. Still developing positional instincts is not anticipatory and does not show an understanding of route combinations. Not a punisher.Summary: Lacks starter-caliber burst and flexibility and has man-coverage limitations but tackles well and is athletic enough to make it as a fourth safety and core special-teams player.NFL Projection: Priority free agent.

CSN Bears analyst Chris Boden's 2017 NFL Mock Draft

CSN Bears analyst Chris Boden's 2017 NFL Mock Draft

1. Cleveland Browns: QB Mitchell Trubisky (North Carolina)

Hue Jackson gets a taste of what working for Jimmy Haslam is like. The owner wants the kid from Ohio, but how long will he let him sit behind Brock Osweiler and Cody Kessler. They don't get the top-rated player in Myles Garrett, but can circle back and address the pass rush at 12.

2. San Francisco 49ers: DE Myles Garrett (Texas A&M)

Well look who dropped into their lap. Perhaps a bit redundant after drafting Oregon defensive linemen DeForest Buckner and Arik Armstead in the first round the past two years, but they'll worry about running back, quarterback, you name it…later on.

3. CHICAGO BEARS: S Jamal Adams (LSU)

Tempted by Solomon Thomas, who's not a true 3-4 end, but Vic Fangio would move around, and feeling Jonathan Allen's topped out, potential-wise, they go with the proven, healthy guy who can lead the secondary for the next decade. Malik Hooker more of a playmaking center fielder, but the injury history helps this decision.

4. Jacksonville Jaguars: TE O.J. Howard (Alabama)

They've sunk a ton of money and draft picks on defense the last few years, and while Blake Bortles is on "notice" with Tom Coughlin, he gets a perennial Pro Bowler to throw to with the wideout tandem of Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns. Leonard Fournette also tempting, but they'll stick with T.J. Yeldon and Chris Ivory for the time being.

5. Tennessee Titans: CB Marshon Lattimore (Ohio State)

They'll circle back for a much-needed wide receiver at 18, but roll the dice with the protypical, if hamstrung by injury, top corner on the market to help the 30th-ranked pass defense.

6. New York Jets: WR Mike Williams (Clemson)

Tempted by DeShaun Watson after drafting quarterbacks three of the past four years, Josh McCown needs someone to throw to after parting ways with Brandon Marshall. They go with Watson's deep target from the national champs over Corey Davis.

7. Los Angeles Chargers: S Malik Hooker (Ohio State)

Eric Weddle was great for a lot of years in San Diego, but they found out how difficult he was to replace last season. Defensive Rookie of the Year Joey Bosa has another young star to build that side of the ball around, provided he stays healthy.

8. Carolina Panthers: RB Leonard Fournette (LSU)

The Cam Newton Preservation Society (of which the former MVP still isn't a member) wins the War Room vote in Charlotte.

9. Cincinnati Bengals: DE Solomon Thomas (Stanford)

A surprising drop based on the way his stock skyrocketed since the Sun Bowl, but the 3-4 teams who passed will discover he's a perfect fit for this 4-3 that has a need on the edge and has suffered a defensive exodus recently.

10. Buffalo Bills: LB Reuben Foster (Alabama)

New coach Sean McDermott gets himself the best inside linebacker on the board as he puts his stamp on a defense he hopes to re-create from Carolina.

11. New Orleans Saints: DE Derek Barnett (Tennessee)

Cameron Jordan gets a partner on the opposite side to rush the quarterback on a defense that ranked 27th (last against the pass).

12. Cleveland Browns: DL Jonathan Allen (Alabama)

Allen's ideally a 4-3 tackle, but is versatile enough to provide impact as a "5-tech," alongside stout nose tackle Danny Shelton. If not, blame the Browns after long-term concerns about his shoulders and how much higher he can raise his level after an excellent college career. 

13. Arizona Cardinals: QB Patrick Mahomes (Texas Tech)

Choosing between Watson and Mahomes, Bruce Arians' confidence level over how he can shape Carson Palmer's heir guides him to the gun-slinger.

14. Philadelphia Eagles: RB Christian McCaffery (Stanford)

McCaffery a multi-dimensional weapon to pair with Carson Wentz and Alshon Jeffery (for at least this year).

15. Indianapolis Colts: Edge Charles Harris (Missouri)

The league's 30th-ranked defense needs a lot of help. Harris is a start.

16. Baltimore Ravens: WR Corey Davis (Western Michigan)

Steve Smith has retired. The barely-recruited kid from Wheaton-Warrenville South slides in.

17. Washington Redskins: LB Hasson Reddick (Temple)

His status grew with every practice heading into the Senior Bowl and has gone nowhere but up.

18. Tennessee Titans: WR John Ross (Washington)

The Combine record 4.22 40 pushed him into the first round, but carries a risk with a history of knee injuries before finally staying healthy in 2016. Say hi to Marcus Mariota.

19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Edge Taco Charlton (Michigan)

Say it. Taco Time in Tampa for a D that finished 22nd against both the run and pass.

20. Denver Broncos: T Ryan Ramczyk (Wisconsin)

There's ALWAYS concern and questions about the Broncos offensive line. Here's one answer.

21. Detroit Lions: LB Jarrad Davis (Florida)

DeAndre Levy's gone, and while they added Paul Worrilow and good use another edge rusher opposite Ziggy Ansah, Davis fits, and fills a need.

22. Miami Dolphins: CB Quincy Wilson (Florida)

Lots of defensive needs for Adam Gase to address. He starts here, and the team saves a bit on transportation costs.

23. New York Giants: TE David Njoku (Miami)

OBJ. Brandon Marshall. And now the fast-rising second-best tight end in the draft.

24. Oakland Raiders: LB Tim Williams (Alabama)

Silver-and-Black lost some defensive personnel this off-season. Williams can cause some distraction from Khalil Mack.

25. Houston Texans: QB Deshaun Watson (Clemson)

Well wasn't this conveeeeenient for Bill O'Brien.

26. Seattle Seahawks: OT Garrett Bolles (Utah)

Sexy? No. But the Seahawks seem to join the Broncos is sweating out O-Line issues every year. Protect Russ.

27. Kansas City Chiefs: DT Malik McDowell (Michigan State)

Dontari Poe and Jaye Howard were off-season salary cap victims.

28. Dallas Cowboys: S Jabril Peppers (Michigan)

Does this say Cowboys, or what?

29. Green Bay Packers: RB Dalvin Cook (Florida State)

Ty Montgomery was pretty good. Cook will be even better.

30. Pittsburgh Steelers: LB Takkarist McKinley (UCLA)

They can go inside with Raekwon McMillan, but decide to go for some James Harrison insurance after parting ways with Lawrence Timmons and Jarvis Jones.

31. Atlanta Falcons: DE Demarcus Walker (Florida State)

The guy just made plays for an elite program and fills a need on Dan Quinn's emerging D.

32. New Orleans Saints: WR Curtis Samuel (Ohio State)

They'll get back to addressing the defense but for now, a Brandin Cooks replacement in the spot the Patriots gave them for Cooks.

 

Clemson's Deshaun Watson is the one situation where a Bears reach has epic upside

Clemson's Deshaun Watson is the one situation where a Bears reach has epic upside

First impressions are so often the right ones, and throughout much of the pre-draft process, View from the Moon has been of the mind that LSU safety Jamal Adams would be the Bears' first selection on Day 1 of the NFL Draft. GM Ryan Pace set forth the premium the organization was placing on a ballhawking safety; Malik Hooker’s injury history raised too many concerns, and Adams was rated among the draft’s premier talents regardless of position.
 
That has changed, which is absolutely zero assurance that it was a change for the better. Because the cone of silence over Bears intentions, which may set the media a-grumbling but is at least something that the Bears have in common with Green Bay and New England, naming just a couple, is securely in place, which is a credit to the administration. (If another Administration out East were as airtight, political pundits would be reading their kids' school poems just to fill air time).
 
The revised decision to posit the Bears selecting Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson came on a wave of second thoughts drawn from information from a variety of sources. Chief among the "sources" was Pace himself, who has placed a premium on an individual capable of lifting not just the defense, but the organization. That bespoke "quarterback," and Watson gains the highest grade by virtue of intangibles on top of experience and results, with nods toward North Carolina's Mitchell Trubisky.
 
Usually the pre-draft process is to fault-find and nit-pick prospects, run 'em down a little, hedge bets. But with Watson, the closer this observer has looked, the better, not worse, the Clemson kid has looked.
 
The chief caveat or qualifier with Watson has been general consensus among draft analysts that Watson has some accuracy issues. Not that this would be any sort of picking nit to find something wrong with the guy, but his career completion percentage is 67.4, with all three of his season hit rate at or above 67 percent. No other top prospect (Trubisky Pat Mahomes, DeShone Kizer, Nathan Peterman, Brad Kaaya, Davis Webb – I stopped looking at that point) has three seasons at that level or anything approaching the consistency of all three of his college years being nearly identical for this one measure of accuracy.
 
But a mantra here this draft has been that stats and measurables should not be the starting point for evaluating quarterbacks; it should be intangibles, THEN the measurables. More on the stats in a moment.
 
On the intangibles/character graph, consider:
 
The kid finished his degree, in communications, in three years, which was how long he planned to be at Clemson. Notably, he’s not alone in this kind of degree-compartmentalizing; Leonard Fournette at LSU and Clemson teammate and wideout Artavis Scott are both on schedule for finishing their studies at about the same time as their football. This would be what this reporter considers a very, very big positive in the character area and one that more players are moving on, a good story for another time.

Watson’s chief negative cited has been turnovers, specifically his 17 interceptions in the 2016 season. That also was the season Watson took Clemson to the national championship over Alabama, and the one in which he threw 579 passes. I can’t do this at the moment, but if there are instances where Watson's play was a bit off for a particular game, it might be amusing to find out what finals/tests/labs he had due the day before. Hopefully teams don't gig him for studying something other than game film that week.
 
But back to the stats and measurables...

Watson’s 17 interceptions in 579 attempts this past college season means an interception rate of 2.9 percent – or just about exactly what Brett Favre had for his college career. Obviously, all purely for academic comparison purposes, Watson for his career was a little better than Favre, at 2.7 percent. Watson completed 67 percent or more of his passes in those three Clemson seasons, if accuracy is a concern. This year’s Super Bowl quarterbacks: Tom Brady’s Michigan pick rate was 2.7 percent; Matt Ryan threw 19 his senior year at Boston College before going No. 3 overall to Atlanta.
 
The Favre/Brady/Ryan point is this: Look beyond just the numbers, and even beyond some of the supposed smudges on Watson's game at this point. The position is about leadership and winning, and Watson comes into the draft with zero concerns there.
 
Suggesting that the Bears send up their first card with Watson's name on it doesn't ignore the dubious wisdom in drafting a player significantly higher than his grade on a draft board. But intangibles factor heavily into the quarterback position, and those aren't generally factored heavily into the grading process. Too many draft mistakes (Favre second round, Joe Montana third, Russell Wilson third, Brady sixth) were made ignoring those elements.
 
Reasons abound for the Bears not reaching for Watson at No. 3 – Jonathan Allen. Adams. Malik Hooker. Marshon Lattimore. Solomon Thomas. (Insert your choice here.) And the overall of "he’s doesn't have a top-five grade."
 
But as laid out here previously during this draft season, the quarterback position is about more than height-weight-arm strength-40 time-and such. The Bears hope they won’t ever be at No. 3-overall again. Whether they see Watson as the best chance to keep that from happening will play out later this week.