Chicago Sun-Times

Quin, Nolan emerge as options at safety in middle rounds

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We covered a couple options for the Bears at safety earlier in the week when we touched on Alabama's Rashad Johnson and Ohio's Mike Mitchell.

In our quest to uncover some more possibilities for the Bears, we jumped on a teleconference this afternoon with Nolan Nawrocki of Pro Football Weekly. He identified Oregon's Patrick Chung as someone who will merit ``strong consideration'' if he's on the board when the team goes on the clock with the 49th pick. Chung is considered one of the top three or four safeties in the draft and while the Bears have shown no outward interest in him, that doesn't mean a whole lot. West Coast scout Marty Barrett has seen plenty of Chung's career with the Ducks over the last four seasons when he made 51 consecutive starts. The question that we raise most when it comes to Chung is whether or not he has the range to play free safety.

``One that will be interesting for the Bears is a guy like Glover Quin (pictured above) from New Mexico,'' Nawrocki said in answer to our question. ``He played cornerback there but he is a big, physical player and he could be converted to safety. I think he'll definitely get some looks.''

Quin is 5-11, 204 pounds, and he is probably among the top five or six free safeties in this draft. This highlight tape provides a real good look at Quin in action. He made seven interceptions over the last two seasons to go with 19 pass breakups, and was the first defensive back selected as the team's MVP since Brian Urlacher in 1999. Quin is an interesting prospect for the middle rounds. He's taken an official visit to Atlanta and has been put through private workouts by New England and Carolina and Jacksonville both sent defensive backs coaches out to work him out.

Another possibility is Arizona State's Troy Nolan. Bears defensive backs coach Jon Hoke went to Los Angeles for the Hawaii pro day on April 2 to work out cornerback Ryan Mouton (more on him later) but Mouton pulled a hamstring. While he was there, Hoke put Nolan through some positional drills. Nolan came to Arizona State from the junior college ranks and was very productive in 25 starts for the Sun Devils. He had 10 interceptions and returned five for touchdowns, including a 100-yarder vs. UCLA. The instinctive Nolan is another mid- to late-round possibility. Here is a look at a highlight tape of Nolan.

Mouton is very athletic at 5-9, 187. He has long arms and had a 39 1/2-inch vertical jump to go with a broad jump of 11 feet. He's an interesting guy because people have his draft value all over the board from the second to the seventh round. The safest bet is he is probably a fourth-round choice. Multiple teams are headed to Houston to put Mouton through positional drills next week but the Bears are not one of them. They are in the middle of organizational meetings with all of the scouts and coaches that began Wednesday.

Back to the chat with Nawrocki, he also mentioned Michigan State's Otis Wiley as a late-round possibility. Wiley had surgery on his right knee at the beginning of February to repair some cartilage damage suffered against Northwestern. He went for a medical re-check in Indianapolis at the start of the month--a follow-up to the medical evaluation he had at the combine--and everything looked good. He might not have the range to play free safety but could be someone to watch late on Sunday.

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27 Comments

waht a HUNK! jus look at those furm thighes....those mity biceps...taht marble chest...droool.....but he will be a BUST! ans i now you loosers wil wine oh tahts not fair crap-ton why do you thik he be a bust? youre not a scout or a coach ans you reraly have nothing to do wit hte NFL or teh NCAA. ans i always havs to remind you loosers tah IAM ALLWAYS RIGHT ANS I ONLY GIVE FACST!!!!

but you guys now me old crap-ton jus trying to be posative???

ps. "I will be outside Soilder Field in a hot pink panties that say spank me"

Patrick Chung would be a nice pick if the Bears were looking for a strong safety, he plays a lot like Mike Brown, in the way he hits and is always around the ball. But I think another Oregon Duck Jairus Byrd would be the perfect fit for Free Safety, he is also 5'11 and 205 pounds and had 17 career interceptions and can flat out play, he also tackles extremely well, I believe he would be able to move from corner to free safety with no problem, he also is extremely football smart learned from his father who played for the Chargers. And then maybe the Bears would also be able to draft Strong Safety Michael Mitchell this kid can also flat out hit, and still give us the chance to draft a receiver with the 49th pick. So Brad what is your opinion of Jairus Byrd.

Kieth I agree Chung does remind me of Brwon too, but Brown was never really a FS. Brown was a SS who would play FS. Chung is a Tweener, like Brown was. To small to be a true SS and not good enough in coverage to be a FS.

The FS position may remain a riddle to Angelo again this year. To bad it such a bad class for them.

Creighton if the Bears were to go for a Free Safety with the 49th pick I was saying I would like to see them draft Jairus Byrd, he is much better than Rashad Johnson or any of the other free safeties, and he could start immediately for the Bears. Plus he is a much better tackler than Johnson. I still hope one of the receivers Britt, Nicks or Robiske will be available but if not I like Jairus Byrd.

Crap-ton, you can't even spell simple words but think you're smart enough to know the future? You're just an idiot! Until you can learn to spell easy words and stop insulting everyone, crawl under the rock you came from, moron.

Keith they could go Byrd in round 3, his stock is falling a bit, but isn't he CB? Maybe but he is a little slow for a corner posting a 4.67 40 at his Pro Day? He is cover 2 guy thats for sure, but just not sure he is a FS. I thought he was really good in bump coverage but didn't have makeup speed.

Anyway the countdown is on 1 Week till the draft.

Creighton,
I can't remember another year in recent history where the majority of "highly regarded" free safety prospects were guys that needed to either change positions, or were primarily developmental prospects. This is a terrible year to have issues at that position. We should just go after Ken Lucas and be done with it.

Keith,
Byrd is slower than Johnson, and Johnson has performed better against better competition. And I don't think we want the son of our secondary coach on the team. Causes too many complications, as you know Gil will spend extra time with him outside of practice to help him develop, and many of the others in our secondary need that extra time as well. McBride, Graham, Bowman, Steltz, and Manning all need as much work as they can get. I like Byrd as a prospect, but I think he fits much better as a Cover 2 CB than a free safety, even with his speed deficiency. He is bigger, and can jam at the line, but can't run with the faster wideouts. He needs to disrupt, and then pass them off to faster guys. Our defense makes it very difficult to have slower safeties, because of the real estate they have to cover. MLB and safeties have to run better than any other positions on the field. CB needs speed obviously, but not as much as the safeties. We need speedsters back there, which is why they tried Danieal Manning there so many times.

Nolan tape very impressive BUT all his int's look like QB errors. No receivers near the ball. Bad QBing or Nolan not close to intended receivers? Good closing speed and nice returns. Second to Fourth rounder

Big Bob I disagree looks like he was looking into the backfield and left his man to go to the ball. Rashard Johnson is smallish and would be another liability against the the run, just because he is Sanders size doesn't mean he is Sanders. I still think the free safety is in house and strong-side LB and NT are the bigger needs and more veterans will shake loose just before and after the draft.

Troy Nolan might be a steal in the later rounds. Kid looks like a ball-hawk to me!

Joe,
Picking up Ken Lucas would be the best senario for the Bears. I get the feeling that JA is standing still till after the draft to see how players will fall to the 49,99,119 and so on. I think we are going to see 2 more free agent pickups in 2 weeks, Lucas and Holt. But as you said why not get it done before the draft.

I think if Robiskie or Britt falls to the Bears, I can see Nolan, Mitchell, or Quin coming in the 3rd or 4th rounds. It looks as if Quin can easily make the transition to FS with the great range he displayed in those highlights. Anyone will be better than Bullocks!

49, Michael Johnson, 99 Ogletree, 119 Mitchell FS. Next...another WR.

Kieth and Joe, Ken Lucas would be a nice pickup, but as Brad pointed out he is a career corner and no longer in his prime, the change to FS would be tough for him. Also Brad reported that they didn't make an offer to Lucas because a good portion of the staff basically didn't want him.

As for Holt, I don't see that happening for two reasons. #1. Holt may not want to play here, it's not fun here in december and he is a career Turf player. #2 He plays the same position as Hester, there both flankers and Holt will not want to switch to Split End.

Remember when Warner was available and the Bears wouldn't give him a shot to start because of Rex. Well it's basically the same thing but with Hester.

The Bears get very stubborn sometimes about trying to fit a Square Peg (Hester and Grossman) into a round hole (Holt and Warner).

Holt would be a nice signing and if they would let him play his position they could put Hester in the Slot were he belongs. However this still does not solve the need for a Split End. My guess is the Bears want Bennett at the position but again that is a case of Square Peg in a round hole. If anything Bennett and Hester should battle it out for the Flanker position and the looser should be dropped to the slot. They gave Hester that Position last year when they started saying he was a number 1. He is not even close to being a number 1 and they are doing the same thing with him as they did with Benson and Grossman. They need to let young guys earn there jobs and stop just handing them to them.

I would like to see Hester and Bennett go at it along with Williams and Shaffer, Beekman and Omiyale, Forte and Jones, Graham and Vasher, Steltz and Payne. Everyone should get a shot and the best players should play. Harris vs. Harrison.

Creighton,

Some spelling practice for ya ...

L-O-S-E = To NOT win
L-O-O-S-E = Brando's mom

L-O-S-E-R = NeckBeardSucks
L-O-O-S-E-R = Brando's sister as compared to his mom

Know it. Learn it. Love it.

Nolan is really pretty good but more of a strong safety than free safety, probably would be a fit on special teams and could be picked up in later rounds. Chung, does he have the coverage skills and speed to be a free safety? Again seems like he is strong safety material which the Bears seem to have plenty of depth.

Sean Smith converted to free safety could be the ticket. Great height 6'3" at 214 lbs, speed necessary at free safety, physical and aggressive, he is considered to be a better free safety in the pro's than CB. Physically he could be a special player, does he have the intangibles and smarts to be a free safety that is the question? An athlete of his caliber no doubt would be great to have and develop for the Bears. In his first year he might truly excel in special teams with some work at Free safety. He match up well in the red zone with those taller more athletic tight ends and receivers?

He may have to be taken however with the 49th pick as he most likely would not make #99.

A look at one pundits possible draftees in and around #49.

39. William Moore S Missouri
40. Duke Robinson OG Oklahoma
41. Darius Butler CB Connecticut
42. Connor Barwin OLB Cincinnati
43. Evander Hood DT Missouri
44. William Beatty OT Connecticut
45. D.J. Moore CB Vanderbilt
46. Rashad Johnson S Alabama
47. Michael Johnson DE Georgia Tech
48. Sean Smith S Utah
49. Shawn Nelson TE Southern Miss
50. Brian Robiskie WR Ohio St.
51. Jared Cook TE South Carolina
52. Max Unger C Oregon
53. Coye Francies CB San Jose St.
54. Phil Loadholt OT Oklahoma
55. Ron Brace DT Boston College
56. Derrick Williams WR Penn St.
57. Jairus Byrd CB Oregon
58. Paul Kruger DE Utah

Interesting choices. How about giving Marinelli someone to work with like DT Hood or DE Kruger out of Utah. Kruger has a non stop motor, not start and stop like we saw on the line last year.

Da Church of Da Coach- great response to Creighton's post. One more thing

Creighton,

Bird is a corner, but he's not slow...I think people put too much emphasis on 40 yard dashes...while the 40 does have a lot to do with speed, its more about technique and we should focus on football speed, and Bird can flat out play. I think he could be a great Free Safety, but I still think Rashard Johnson would be a better pick.
Im on the fence as to who to draft..personally there is just something about Johnson that I love..he seems to understand the game and maybe just have that "it" factor. He can read QBs and he understands defenses...he has the most pass breakups and INT combo as any free safety since Ed Reed..and while i know he's not Ed Reed, i think he can be a great FS on our defense...however, my top choices for #49 go in this order.

1-Kenny Britt
2-Hakeem Nicks
3a-Rashard Johnson
3b-Brian Robiskie

after those 4, it gets iffy...

5-Michael Johnson
6-Duke Robinson
7-William Moore
8-Jairus Byrd

Obviously I want one of the top WRs..but I think if we miss out on them, we might want to look elsewhere...I really dont feel like we will get good value with a guy like Mossaquoi or Louis Murphey..id rather wait till round 3 and look at guys like Brandon Gibson, Ramses Barden or Ogeltree..

what do you guys think??

By Da Church of Da Coach on April 18, 2009 5:05 PM
Creighton,

Some spelling practice for ya ...

L-O-S-E = To NOT win
L-O-O-S-E = Brando's mom

L-O-S-E-R = NeckBeardSucks
L-O-O-S-E-R = Brando's sister as compared to his mom

Know it. Learn it. Love it.

LMAO, Well Played Sir. Yes we all know about my wonderful spelling. Could someone ask me a math question my ego is bruised.

But if you really want bruised, just ask Brando's mom how she feels about her son.

By Dark is easy on April 18, 2009 8:47 PM
Da Church of Da Coach- great response to Creighton's post. One more thing

You know how I know your Gay? Your name is Dark is easy.


You know what's funny Creighton? When people tell me I've wrote something offensive, not funny or just plain stupid (which I do very often, no question), I tell them that they can simply skip my post if they don't like it since no one's forcing them to read it.

And yet not only have I attacked people over and over and over again for their posts, but here I am playing school teacher to you.

I tell ya', I really am a clown.

//Ok Da Clown, so now we're spending our time gving spelling tips to strangers on a sports blog? Wow, we really need a hobby or friends or something like that. Even a house plant could help.
//WTF!SOB!SFA! Hahaha Da Clown! Those three letter acronyms are so damn funny! Wait, what if I try FOUR letter ones next time?
//Take a deep breath Da Clown. You know you're on to something with the FOUR letter acronyms. Deep breath now.
//Wow. Four. Just wow. I know making that jump from three to four is super tricky, but I'm not giving up. It's my dream, my purpose...the very reason I exist.

Seems like another depressing day for DaCoach. Dude you must have low self esteem. Every time I read your post you are taking a cheap shot at someone. What do you do this to make yourself feel better?

I think you do that to hide your insecurities!

What a putz

Da Cult what the heck are you talking about, forget to take your prozac.

By DeputyDawg on April 19, 2009 8:06 AM
Da Cult what the heck are you talking about, forget to take your prozac.

Dude it's all about the not jobs on this board. You got people pretending to be other people, you got stalkers, you got people claiming to be best friends with Guys like Angelo, Lovie, Urlacher, you got guys saying they're related to Brad and will ban people if they don't do what there suppose too.

Combine all the above mentioned and you have Brando, the Biggs Blog nut case who is obsessed with me.

Take a look at Crap-ton and Da Cults post, they don't even make sense. You got to be crazy to type that stuff. Thats not like joking around crazy, thats actually really disturbed.

The definition of hypocrisy (and d-baggery):

Jimmy rationalizing: "Every time I read your post you are taking a cheap shot at someone."

Jimmy, cognitive disnonance version: "Dude you must have low self esteem ... I think you do that to hide your insecurities! ... What a putz"

Boy, did you EVER show me. I spend my time taking "cheap shots" at people so you emphasize your point with ... cheap shots? You didn't write anything about the substance of my posts, anything about statements I have made in the past, or even something you could marginally infer from a post. Nope, you went from "he's making fun of Creighton's SPELLING!!!" to full-on, internet-psychoanalysis ... You must be fun at parties!

If I called you a judgemental douchebag with hints of a bible-thumping Christian morality, I'd be making a generalization (and probably hitting VERY CLOSE to home). If I say Creighton sucks at spelling ... I'm stating a WELL-KNOWN fact and even HE knows I'm joking with him. Wow, when the guy I raz laughs it off and you go full-retard ... you must REALLY, REALLY, REALLY be butthurt over something I've said about you in the past!

Maybe you, Brando, the coward who uses Da Cult of Da Clown, and NeckBeardSucks could all start your own coffee clatch about how you spend your days seething over what I (or Creighton) writes on the internet. You guys could even start a support group ... a lot of coaches at Halas Hall got fired in the offseason so I am pretty sure Bill Holland is freed up to be a sponsor!!!

ahhh...i HATE wehn all these WEIRDOES post one here. some tings you loosers ssay are just SICK!!!

like this for instence:
"In fact I am so sure that Angelo will not get him [Cutler] that if he does, I will be outside Soilder Field in a hot pink panties that say spank me, singing the Crackers Happy birthday to me while holding up a sign that reads Brando rules and I suck."

You got to be crazy to type that stuff. Thats not like joking around crazy, thats actually really disturbed. tah makes we want to BARF!

im crap-ton ans i aprove this massage!

ps iwas a MARINE!!! i was in teh COPS!! show me some RESPEKT!!!

hahaha, some people don't get sarcasm here if it was presented to them via 2x4 across their faces.

personally i'm in the get-a-WR-w/49thpick camp. the FS draft class sucks compared to other years and no matter who we get back there will probably get exposed a lot anyway unless our anemic pass rush improves dramatically this yar.

i think creighton should do what he promised because that could be an easy way to get your 15min in. at least here anyways. perhaps you can parlay it into some exposure on the suntimes.

You know how I know you're lame? You're the only person on here who uses a miniscule, midwestern, middle-of-nowhere school as their username.

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This page contains a single entry by Brad Biggs published on April 17, 2009 3:04 PM.

Four Down Territory, April 17: Does strength of schedule matter? was the previous entry in this blog.

Bears draft preview: Need No. 8 Inside linebacker is the next entry in this blog.

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