After selecting Virginia Tech cornerback Kyle Fuller in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft, the Ego Ferguson, and Arizona State defensive tackle Will Sutton.
The selection of Ferguson came as a bit of a surprise to many, as a lot of evaluators had a third or fourth round grade on the LSU product, and the Bears selected him in the second round with the 51st overall pick.
Ferguson is a very large man at 6'3", 315 pounds, and has lots of upside at defensive tackle, but the results weren't there as much as they should've been at the college level (granted in the SEC) for a guy at that size and talent level. But, the upside is most definitely there, and the Bears clearly like the chances we see it.
And even if Ferguson's overall game doesn't make big strides, the Bears feel Ferguson and his big body will do a nice job clogging up the run lanes, at least:
While Ferguson recorded only one sack in 38 career games at LSU, Emery was impressed with how dominant he was against the run, especially late last season.
"The thing that kept coming up when you watched him against SEC [opponents] was that he controlled the front," Emery said. "People could not run the ball up inside when he was on the field, and that was a big attraction for us.
Emery added this about Ferguson as a pass-rusher:
"He is very tough at the point of attack. This is a very strong, very powerful young man. I wanted to see where he was at rush-wise and each one of those games he had four or five power rushes where he disrupted the quarterback. Does he need to get better at that? Yes, he does. [But] every player in the draft needs to get better at something."Source: ChicagoBears.Com
So, again, Ferguson still has areas to improve and currently leaves you wanting more, but there's some exciting potential there. Dan Kadar of SB Nation's NFL Draft website, 'Mocking The Draft', had this to say on Twitter after the Bears selected Ferguson:
I like Ego Ferguson a fair amount. Thought if he went back to LSU he'd be a 1st in 2015.What made many Bears fans feel more accepting of the Ferguson pick, was the Bears then selecting a player in the third round (82nd overall pick) that many fans wanted the team to just take when they selected Ferguson, in defensive tackle Will Sutton.
— Dan Kadar (@MockingTheDraft) May 10, 2014
Sutton is 6'0" and was playing at a weight as high as 320 pounds as a senior at Arizona State, but saw his production take a big dip in comparison to his junior year, when he weighed 285 pounds.
As a junior, Sutton had a ridiculous 13.5 sacks from the defensive tackle position. So, the Bears definitely think his weight gain played a big part in Sutton's drop in production, and plan to get him back into the 285-295 pound range :
During a conference call with reporters Friday night, Sutton said that he currently weighs 290 pounds. The Bears would like Sutton to keep his weight between 285-295 pounds.
"If he stays consistently in there he's going to be a very good football player," said general manager Phil Emery.
Emery understands that Sutton put on the extra weight at Arizona State because he was asked to do so and feels it was evidence that the defensive tackle was committed to his team.
He was told by a lot of people-people that he trusted-that he needed to gain weight and get bigger.Source: ChicagoBears.Com
"Maybe he needed to gain a little bit, but not quite that much and I think once he did it was hard for him to get it back down. It affected his play but you're still talking about someone that was player of the year in his conference on defense.
NFL Network's terrific analyst (and former scout) Daniel Jeremiah went as far to say that Sutton looked like Aaron Donald, the No. 13 overall pick in this draft, before the 2013 weight gain:
Will Sutton looked like Aaron Donald in 2012…too heavy this yearIf Sutton can return to that level of play, obviously getting him as a third-round pick is an absolute steal.
— Daniel Jeremiah (@MoveTheSticks) May 10, 2014
Ferguson and Sutton add needed young talent to a defensive tackle rotation that also features Jeremiah Ratliff, Stephen Paea, and likely Lamarr Houston and Israel Idonije for passing downs.
Let's go to the links for some more reading material on these draft picks...
How Ego Ferguson Fits In With The Bears (Matt Eurich; Bleacher Report)
How Will Sutton Fits In With The Bears (Matt Eurich; Bleacher Report)
Bears' First Three Picks Address One Core Problem: Run 'D' (John Mullin; CSN Chicago)
Bears Defensive Overhaul Continues In NFL Draft (Brad Biggs; Chicago Tribune)
Ferguson Connects With Veteran DL Coach (Jeff Dickerson; ESPN Chicago)
Will Sutton's 'Weighting Game' Pays Off With Bears (Chris Boden; CSN Chicago)
Bears' New DT Ferguson Do Doubters: 'Watch Out For Me' (John Mullin; CSN Chicago)
And Ego Ferguson video highlights:
And Will Sutton video highlights (the second video is of him in 2012):
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