Over the last two months, the biggest question on the minds of most Bears fans has been in the defensive backfield. At the start of free agency, many were rabid for a top-end starter such as OJ Atogwe or Antrell Rolle. As it was, our starters were Danieal Manning and Craig Steltz, per one ESPN analyst. With a series of moves, we now have a revamped defensive backfield, boasting not only depth, but a hint of talent as well.
I like that combination. Harris is a solid starter, a leader on the defense, and should be great in the clubhouse. I'm just as happy to have him back as I was sad to see him go, and he should give us good to great production, especially with some help from the D-Line. Afalava impressed me greatly last season, showing big upside and playing at an above average level on a defense filled with holes. Payne should be a solid backup, and Steltz, well, Craig Steltz is Craig Steltz.
We never got Atogwe. Or Rolle. We didn't move up in the draft and grab a Nate Allen. And no, we did not get Kam Chancellor. What we did get was the perfect selection for the 75th pick: Major Wright. Wright is a skilled safety prospect with good man to man and zone skills. His not-so Major weakness, playing the run, should be covered up by a stronger D-Line and a healthy LB core. Hopefully. Manning is a very athletic safety who should serve as a good despite tackling issues. However, he may quickly be displaced by the undrafted Quentin Scott, who flew under the radar despite good size (6'4) and better speed (4.4 40). There isn't much tape, but reports indicate that he is good in coverage, good at tackling, and a downright vicious hitter. Bullocks, is just about the FS equivalent of Steltz. Depth.
So, with major upgrades at our weakest position, added depth, and Chris F'in Harris, our pass defense should actually be decent, especially with Peanut and Bowman holding it down at corner. If Manning sticks around, I see him possibly being completely displaced by Scott, who may even give Wright competition for the starting job. Everything else is stable for at least this season, barring injuries. But what do you think, Windy City? I for one am excited about this defense, we're talented, we have depth, upside, and veteran leadership. Assuming we stay healthy, I see this defense being a major asset next season.