Hoge’s Bears Big Board: No. 1 S Calvin Pryor
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By Adam Hoge-
(CBS) — A look at the top 20 NFL Draft prospects that could be on the Bears’ radar, based on projected availability, position of need and player skill:
S Calvin Pryor, Louisville
Hand: 9 1/8
Arm: 31 3/8
College Career: Started 2.5 of his three seasons at Louisville. Racked up 218 tackles, 13 TFLs, two sacks, nine forced fumbles and seven interceptions in 38 career games. Only missed one game in his college career (suspended).
Strengths: Motor never stops. Doesn’t take plays off. Physical, hard-hitter who is all over the field. Good hands to make plays on the ball. Strong enough to play in the box at the next level, but athletic enough to play centerfield too. Ability to line up at corner and play press coverage. Confidence is appealing.
Weaknesses: Lacks ideal height. Over-aggressive at times. Hard-hitting style could lead to penalties in NFL. Combine numbers don’t blow you away. 34.5 inch vertical is underwhelming.
Bears Outlook: Pryor would not be the No. 1 player on the board if the Bears had the No. 1 overall pick. But given the players that will be gone at No. 14, and the Bears’ need for a safety, Pryor gets the nod. Some will prefer Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, but Pryor’s style of play is exactly what the Bears need. They haven’t had a high-motor, playmaking safety since Mike Brown. Pryor has more versatility in the secondary and will be even more dangerous as his instincts adapt to the NFL. He’ll add much needed support against the run immediately and can develop the skills to be an effective center fielder as well. If he embraces the coaching, he can be an All-Pro, and it can’t hurt that former Louisville defensive line coach Clint Hurtt — who has been in contact with Pryor during the draft process — is on the staff.
Adam Hoge covers the Bears for CBSChicago.com and is a frequent contributor to 670 The Score. Follow him on Twitter at @AdamHoge.