We recently had a chance to talk with Andy Hutchins about Chicago Bears 2nd round draft pick Jon Bostic. Andy is the Editor In Chief of Alligator Army, which is the SB Nation site that covers the Florida Gators, so he'll bring a unique perspective of Bostic's play.
Windy City Gridiron - Jon Bostic will have the unfortunate expectations of being the first linebacker drafted after the Brian Urlacher era ended in Chicago. Bears fans will undoubtedly try and compare their games, and the one things I've read about Bostic is that he's a very cerebral player. Can you expound on that aspect of his game?
Alligator Army - I think Bostic has learned how to play linebacker in a way that will serve him well for many years in the NFL -- he learned from Will Muschamp, of course, but also from D.J. Durkin, one of the finer linebackers coaches in the country and one of the most talented young coaches in the country. Playing as the middle linebacker next to Jelani Jenkins in the Florida defense, Bostic got to and had to be responsible for alignments and such on the field, the sort of stuff that translates well to the NFL.
Also worth remembering: Bostic essentially took over for Brandon Spikes at Florida, who was very much a vocal leader and has turned out to be a pretty good NFL player. And Bostic wasn't all that far from Spikes as a Florida player.
WCG - In that same vein, how would you categorize his leadership skills?
AA - I don't think many mentioned Bostic as a leader, vocal or otherwise, but he was certainly never a detriment to the the team. Other players did more to visibly key the Gators defense, but I don't know that I wouldn't trust Bostic to do that.
WCG - Many scouting services list speed and quickness in the weakness category, but at the combine his numbers were very good. Did he struggle with speed at Florida?
AA - Ask more than a few Florida fans and they'll tell you that Bostic's inability to get off blocks was a problem. But I think Bostic improved in that respect throughout his senior season, and developed great closing speed. For proof, see his annihilation of Teddy Bridgewater: Click Me.
WCG - Some scouts pegged Bostic as a better OLB prospect, and Bears GM Phil Emery said he could play all 3 of the linebacker positions for the Bears. Does Bostic have any collegiate experience at OLB, and if so, how did he fare there?
AA - I don't believe Bostic made any of his starts as an outside linebacker, but playing the Mike position in Muschamp's 3-4 puts a player in line with a defensive end, not a defensive tackle. He's got skills at both positions, at least.
WCG - With new Chicago defensive coordinator Mel Tucker keeping the Bears defensive scheme intact, we know the Bears will require their LBs to drop into zones on occasion. Was this something Bostic did well at Florida?
AA - Bostic was not Florida's best linebacker in coverage (that was Jelani Jenkins), but he did have the best hands in the linebacking corps: He had five picks in his career, with three as a sophomore and two as a senior.
Thanks again to Alligator Army's Andy Hutchins for his insight on Jon Bostic!
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