(CBS) The NFL Combine is wrapping up today in Indianapolis with the defensive backs working out for scouts and executives from across the league. That makes it a big day for the Bears, who are in dire need of help on defense and are considering drafting a safety with their No. 14 overall pick.
One player the Bears are evaluating is Alabama free safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, who posted 40-yard dash times of 4.50 and 4.52 seconds Tuesday. The 4.50 tied for the fourth-best time among safeties.
“It’s not going to be the fastest of the day, but it is right where a safety praised for his overall athleticism and ability to close on the ball in coverage (should be),” ProFootballTalk.com wrote.
Along with Clinton-Dix, Louisville’s Calvin Pryor is considered the other premier safety prospect. Pryor is known as a heavy hitter, which Clinton-Dix acknowledged while also explaining why he believes he’s the top safety in the draft.
“Chance is a big play, a big-time safety,” Clinton-Dix told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. “But you also need safeties that can cover slot receivers and also play the deep middle of the field and in the box. So I think you need more versatile safeties in this league now.”
In the bench press, Pryor was one one of the top performers, putting up 18 reps, which tied for fourth-best among safeties.
Oklahoma State cornerback Justin Gilbert was a top performer at his positional group. He ran the 40 in 4.35, second-best among cornerbacks, and was third with 20 reps in the bench press. He’s CBSSports’ No. 20 overall prospect.
Michigan State cornerback Darqueze Dennard, CBSSports’ No. 11 overall prospect, ran the 40 in 4.42, sixth-best at his position.
Click here for full results from the NFL Combine. The complete results of defensive backs should be posted later Tuesday when their workouts are complete.
It’s not clear if the Bears will target a safety with their first-round pick or if they’ll try to grab a defensive lineman, but many consider it a foregone conclusion that they’ll use the pick for a defensive player.