For better or worse, what happens at the NFL Scouting Combine this February/March will help shape the narrative surrounding the players eligible for this upcoming draft. And because the Bears don’t have a pick in the first two rounds this year, we must dig deep into the available talent pool of players. Fortunately, one name has already stood out as someone who both fits, carries upside, and could be available when it’s the Bears turn to pick.
Indeed, Miami safety Sheldrick Redwine was recently pegged as a player the Bears should keep an eye on during Combine weekend by NFL Network Insider Daniel Jeremiah. Given his experience as a scout and a talent evaluator, Jeremiah has become a key resource for draft-related nuggets like this. So when he highlights a player for the Bears, it’s going to pique out interest.
Here’s what he had to say about the latest stud defensive back to come out of The U: “Redwine took a step forward this past season and has the size and speed to potentially step into free agent Adrian Amos’ position, even as a middle-rounder. The fact that he has interchangeable safety talents and can cover tight ends makes him worth a closer look for the Bears.”
In addition to everything above, you should know that Redwine was an All-ACC honorable mention after a senior season in which he collected 64 tackles, 3 sacks, three interceptions, and 3.5 tackles-for-loss. The Bears have thrived with defensive backs who can make plays against the pass, as well as help against the run, and Redwine seems to fit the mold in that regard.
Of course, because of a salary cap induced budget crunch, Chicago’s front office has to work around the edges to improve on a roster that won 12 games and a division title in 2018. One way to work within the constraints of a tight cap situation is by selecting starting-caliber players in the mid-to-late rounds of the draft. The good news is that GM Ryan Pace has shown a knack for doing just that with the selections of Adrian Amos (5th-round safety, 2015), Jordan Howard (5th-round running back, 2016), Eddie Jackson (4th-round safety, 2017), Tarik Cohen (4th-round running back, 2017), and Bilal Nichols (5th-round defensive lineman, 2018). Pace will need to hit on late picks again, in order for the Bears to take the next step in their quest for a Super Bowl title, and perhaps Redwine can be that guy.
After all, he sure checks a lot of boxes for the Bears. He’s an athletic talent with size and speed coming off a strong season. He’s got the potential to start as a rookie. He’s got the skill and ability to play multiple spots in the secondary. And perhaps most importantly, he’s expected to be available in the middle rounds. What’s not to like?
Obviously, a killer showing at the Combine could boost his stock and put him out of Chicago’s range, but that’s just the game we’re playing right now. So with that in mind, we’ll take Jeremiah’s advice and keep our eyes peeled for Redwine at the Combine.