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.