Defensive Tackle Ronnie Cameron is a huge sleeper pickup for the Bears and could end up being major steal. Although we signed him yesterday as an undrafted free agent as soon as the draft ended, I think a lot of fans would have been fine if Emery had selected him as early as the 4th round (although he was projected as 5th to 7th.) Look Below the Jump to understand why:
Ronnie Cameron looks like he has nearly every trait you look for from a 3-technique DT in Lovie's D.
Firstly, there is the prototypical size: right between 6'2 and 6'3 and the weight right around 300lbs.-- this is exactly how both Tommie Harris and Warren Sapp measured when they entered the draft.
Although he did not receive a combine invite, his pro day results look really good from a strength (impressive 30 reps on the bench) and explosion (30" Vert, 9' broad jump) perspective.
The area where he looks a bit disappointing was in the 40 (5.38s.) Excellent DT's today might go sub-5. But as we know, when does an inside DL ever have to run 40 yards? The 20 yard shuttle may be a better guide of the speed that a DT needs (combined with the explosion measured in the Vert jump and Broad jump.) Cameron's time of 4.60s. flat in the short shuttle is more than fine for a 300 lb DT (see Brandon Thompson this year 4.71 or last year Corey Liuget at 4.68-- Tommie Harris was rumored to hit 4.31 as best ever in his pro day but that is unconfirmed.)
But how we performed in shorts is really not that important. The key is his production on the field. And in the CAA Conference he was the Conference Defensive Player of the Year with some fricking CRAZY numbers including whopping 36 tackles for a loss in just two seasons.
You can get a good feel for his domination and why he was named the conference's defensive player of the year by reviewing this highlight video:
Ronnie Cameron ODU DT #96 Highlight (via RonTheDon96ODU)
Here is one scouting report summary:
Active, highly productive, high-motor three-technique who racked up linebacker-like tackle production, including 36 stops behind the line, in two seasons at ODU. Disruptive and instinctive — quick off the snap to knife gaps. Locates the ball, chases hard and ranges, showing nice balance and athleticism. Marginal competition. Needs to play with more consistent pad level, get stronger and incorporate more power into his game. Outstanding personal and football character — very intelligent and mature and is well-respected by teammates and coaches for his leadership and work habits. Ordinary measurables hurt his draft stock, but he is a better football player than tester, as his combination of impressive tape, production and intangibles will make him a coveted free agent if he is not drafted. Type you root for who will be successful no matter what he does in life.
The biggest knock on Cameron is that he played in a weak conference. But it is still Division 1 and he totally dominated there. All in all, I think this was a great pickup for the Bears and I hope he lives up to the potential I see and is able to stick on the roster.