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Picks to Improve: Stephen Paea

Bonus points if you can spot Stephen Paea in this photo.
Bonus points if you can spot Stephen Paea in this photo.

So far with this little miniseries on recent prior draft picks we've discussed a player who'll probably retain a starting spot and another player who need to step up to keep his. Let's go now with a player who will see his playing time increase but should still show more before he gets comfortable with 2013 - last year's second round draft pick Stephen Paea.

Paea didn't see the field until the first game against Minnesota and responded by picking up a sack/safety in his first game action. He picked up one more sack in his last nine games that season - a run-stuff against Tim Tebow, called a sack because of Tebow's quarterback title.

Paea is a massive human being with ridiculous strength who is still very raw, and still has a lot of development to go through as an NFL player, including learning techniques beyond just blasting other large men out of his way. He's so far shown a decent ability to penetrate the interior of offensive lines and will almost certainly get a chance to - the Bears released Anthony Adams this offseason and have signed a couple camp linemen, but right now Paea sits behind Henry Melton and Matt Toeaina.

It'll be interesting to see how often Paea lines up at each tackle spot and how productive he is, particularly in preseason - he provides some down-and-distance flexibility this year, with Melton at 3-Tech, Toeaina at the nose and Paea's ability to play either.

What's your outlook on Paea this season?