The Chicago Bears have been searching for competent and consistent safety play for a number of years now. They had the chance to snag the best safety, and one of the safest players in the 2017 NFL Draft, but decided to swing for the fences and go for their quarterback of the future in the first round.
They did address the safety position later in the draft, plus they grabbed a few late round safety prospects the last couple years, so the hope is one of the youngsters will step up and take control of the position.
If the Bears can get at least one guy to take his game to the next level, he’ll be paired with the veteran free agent pick up that I’ll mention in the next section.
The signing of Quintin Demps felt a lot like the signing of Antrel Rolle a couple years ago, but the Demps’ situation is different. Rolle came to Chicago with a lot of miles on his 33 year old body, 139 starts to be more specific. Demps, who was a late bloomer, is 32 with only 41 starts in his nine years as a pro. He should have some juice left to give the Bears a boost for a couple years.
Even though some fans are down on him, I think Adrian Amos is a lock to make the roster too. The lack of turnovers in two years as a starter is concerning, but he’s a good enough football player to make this team.
The rookie Eddie Jackson is a lock as well, in fact, I believe that he’ll be the guy that is paired up with Demps sooner rather than later. His ball skills are what will get him noticed, but it’s his tackling that could win him the job. Once the coaches think his tackling is NFL ready, he’ll be inserted into the starting lineup.
A good bet to make it
I’m not sure if the Bears are certain of any of their safeties beyond the three I already mentioned.
On the bubble
I think there’s a place for a guy like Harold Jones-Quartey in the NFL, I’m just not sure if it will be with the Bears. He had the second most snaps of any safety on the Bears last year, I just think the additions of Demps and Jackson kicks him too far down the depth chart. He did start 12 games last year, while appearing in all 16, but I just haven’t seen him do enough with his opportunities. I could see the Bears parting ways with him because the ceilings from the other young safeties are higher.
I think the Bears like Deon Bush enough to keep him around, but he’ll still have to prove it on the field. He did start 6 of the 11 games he played in last year, so that may give him the edge over some of the other young returning safeties. Plus, Bush is one of their draft picks, so that may be a tie breaker if everything is even.
I really like the traits that I saw from Deiondre' Hall at Northern Iowa. The 6’2”, 206 pounder is making the transition from corner last year, to safety, although he did play both in college. His versatility could give him an edge.
Another guy I liked coming out of college was DeAndre Houston-Carson, but he wasn’t able to play much on defense last year (8 snaps on D, 110 on special teams). Even while starring on defense at William & Mary, he made a name for himself on special teams with his knack for blocking kicks. If he’s going to stick with the Bears, making a splash in the third phase could be his ticket in.
Chris Prosinski’s special teams play has kept him around the NFL for seven years, but at some point a younger player is going to step up and take his job. I think this off season is that point for the Bears.