SB Nation NFL Draft editor Dan Kadar was nice enough to answer a few questions about some of the rookies on the Chicago Bears roster. Dan covers the draft year round for SBN on Mocking The Draft, so if you're already looking for a 2014 draft fix, head on over.
Windy City Gridiron - On WCG we devoted a lot of time looking at the top three middle linebacker prospects, Manti Te'o, Alec Ogletree, and Arthur Brown, and the Bears passed on all three of them, even passing on Brown twice. You gave the Brown to the Ravens selection an A+ grade, and you gave the Bears' pick of Jon Bostic in the 2nd round an identical A+ grade, is that because you think Bostic is a better fit for what the Bears need?
Dan Kadar - Firstly, I wouldn't look too much into those grades. The goal of the post was to find at A+ player for each team. The main reasoning behind just about every A+ grade was the player being able to step in and contribute immediately. I was looking for good fits, not necessarily good value or a good player. That's the only reason there's a similar grade there. I'm much, much higher on Brown than I am Bostic. But given Chicago's situation at linebacker, Bostic has a chance to jump right into the starting lineup. Because of that, that was my high grade choice for the Bears.
WCG - This next question is about Cornelius Washington, who at 6'5", 256 pounds, ran a 4.55 40, and knocked out 36 reps on the bench. After shifting between 5-Tech defensive end and outside linebacker in Georgia's 3-4 defense, do you think he'll be a good fit as a 4-3 DE for the Bears?
DK - Washington was severely miscast by Georgia. I don't recall such an athletically gifted player producing so little for a high-level school. Washington's best fit is going to be purely as a pass rush specialist. It's what his skill set lends himself to. While it's possible he could be coached up into something more than a situational player, that's probably his best fit as a rookie.
WCG - The Bears failed to draft a cornerback, a position I felt was needed, what can you tell us about the two undrafted free agent corners they added, North Carolina State's C.J. Wilson and Oklahoma's Demontre Hurst?
DK - Wilson I don't have a ton of notes on. I know he played the boundary and field corner positions at NC State and started a lot of games. He missed the start of his senior season because of eligibility troubles, and I'm not sure he ever got on track. Really, you can say that about NC State's entire secondary. He had a good pro day, though. So there's some athletic ability he can fall back on at least.
Hurst is a pretty similar player. He started a lot of games at Oklahoma but didn't have quite the senior season expected. He didn't stand out at the Shrine Game either. The knock on Hurst is that he doesn't have very good hands and he's thin. But with him as well, there is some natural ability to fall back on. Both pickups were good.
WCG - Bears 4th round pick Khaseem Green played the weak-side linebacker spot at Rutgers, do you see that as his best pro position? Additionally do you see his skill set translating to the strong-side and the middle as well?
DK - Throughout the entire draft process, I thought Greene compared favorably to Lavonte David, who had a great rookie season last year. His best position is the weak side. Greene is at his best when he can run around and get after the ball carrier. He's not the best at engaging blockers and shedding. Depending on the scheme, he could play some middle. But that's only if he's kept clean.
WCG - The Bears raised a few eyebrows with their first round selection of Kyle Long, since that time it's come out that a few other teams had legit interest in Long after the Bears at 20. Were you surprised Long went as high as he did, and what do you think of his NFL potential?
DK - There was talk leading up to the draft that Long was becoming a first-round lock. I never quite bought into it, nor did I think he'd go so high. I didn't buy into it, and didn't have Long rated very highly, because he's so raw. He played just one season for Oregon and even then he wasn't a full-time starter. Add to it he played left guard and he was one of the tougher evaluations in the draft this year. But watching him, you see the obvious athleticism, good size and a mean streak. That attitude is what I like about Long, and what I think the Bears need. He's going to get in the lineup and help set the tone up front. Because he's so athletic, I expect the Bears to use him out on the move to block for Matt Forte in space. Eventually, it wouldn't be a surprise to see Long lining up at tackle in the NFL. He didn't at Oregon because they had a really good freshman in Tyler Johnstone.
And I know this is a cop out on pure analysis, but Long is just a guy you believe in. Interacting with him a little bit and speaking with him at the NFL Combine, he comes across as genuine and forthright. I think that's admirable in an athlete in 2013. Yes, he had the off-field issues. But I think he's going to take advantage of the second chance he's earned.
Thanks again to Dan Kadar of Mocking The Draft for dropping some of his NFL draft knowledge!
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