One of the neat things about us being a part of SB Nation is our access to talk with literally hundreds of experts in the sports world. If the Chicago Bears are playing the Kansas City Chiefs, we'll hit up Arrowhead Pride to get some info on that them and if the Bears pick up an undrafted free agent from VIllanova, we'll hit up VU Hoops to learn all abut him
Don't worry VU Hoops doesn't just cover the Wildcat basketball team, they have a staff of writers dedicated to cover their football team too.
Today we're talking with one of the Editors at VU Hoops, Brian Ewart (@Brian_Ewart), to learn a bit more on Bears' undrafted free agent linebacker, Don Cherry.
Windy City Gridiron - The Bears will probably want the 6'1", 236 pound Cherry to play inside linebacker in their 3-4. Many scouts had him pegged as a 4-3 OLB in the NFL, so were did Cherry play at Villanova?
VU Hoops - At Villanova, Don Cherry was primarily the inside linebacker in the Wildcats' 3-3-5 defensive scheme. He's probably capable of shifting to the outside -- he was a very versatile player in college -- his but his comfort zone will be playing in the middle.
WCG - The two ILB spots for the Bears are the Mike and the Jack, the Mike is more of a downhill run plugger and the Jack has more versatility in terms of blitzing and pass coverage. Which do you think Cherry could back-up at? Or do you think his skill set allows him to back-up both spots?
VUH - I think Cherry is probably versatile enough to contribute in either spot. At Villanova he was known to make plays all over the field and was used in a variety of ways. He has good speed at the position, a nose for the ball, and he's a good tackler who can find his way into the backfield on a blitz. He's not stranger to run-defense, however, as Villanova's unit was geared toward run-stopping during his four years.
WCG - With 46.5 tackles for loss the last three years, I would imagine Cherry has very good instincts for the position. Is that true and was he also a film junkie?
VUH - He was definitely one of the Wildcats' hardest-working players, but he definitely had great instincts for the position. He served as the leader of the Villanova defense and was at times the most active player on the defense. Cherry did a great job reading the play and knowing where to be to have an impact, and at least some of that knowledge is learned in the film room.
WCG - Any special teams experience from Cherry during his time in college?
VUH - Everyone at Villanova does at least some time on special teams (except maybe the quarterbacks). Cherry was pretty valuable to the defense, of course, so his appearances on special teams tapered off as he progressed at 'Nova, but he played a ton there as a freshman, for example.
WCG - Mel Kiper Jr. said Cherry is, "A potential starter you can draft on day three out of a program that isn't short on NFL alums," Do you think Cherry has what it takes to stick on an NFL 53 man roster or is he more a practice squad candidate?
VUH - If he finds the right fit, I can definitely see him sticking. He's a versatile linebacker who has good instincts and was a playmaker in college. That formula doesn't always lead to a big time role, but it's a pretty valuable resume for any defensive coach to keep around if they have a slot.
Cherry really seemed to come out of nowhere. I'm not sure we knew anything about him coming out of high school, but the last couple of seasons, he really blew up for the Wildcats.
It's tough to make the 53-man roster when you aren't drafted, but it does happen, and I do think that Cherry has the type of skillset to make it. The Bears are going to love his work ethic.
Thanks again to Brian for dropping the knowledge on Cherry.
And for those of you wanting a visual of the young man, here you go.
Villanova linebacker Don Cherry signed an undrafted free agent deal with the Bears https://t.co/xh34D7ZecR— VU Hoops (@VUhoops) May 2, 2016