With a shallow talent pool of free-agent edge rushers, the Bears may be compelled to address that weakness in the draft, where the problem is that talented pass rushers disappear in a hurry. There are several outside linebacker/defensive ends in this draft who are considered impact pass rushers, but five could come off the board in the first round. If the Bears don't use the eighth overall pick to boost a pass rush in need of help, they have to hope one of the quality edge players falls to their second-round pick at 39 overall. North Carolina State's Bradley Chubb will be gone before the Bears make their first selection. But they should have their pick of Tremaine Edmunds, Marcus Davenport, Harold Landry or Arden Key, and one of them may be around in the early part of Round Two. Davenport was the proverbial big fish in a small pond at Texas-San Antonio, and he grew increasingly bigger in his four years after coming out of high school at 198 pounds. Now at 6-foot-6 and 255 pounds, his game and his body have changed, and he describes his style as "violent." "I feel like with strength I was able to develop violence," he said. "At first I was light, so I had to use speed and finesse." Davenport's impact plays increased along with his size. His sack totals ascended from 3, to 4, to 6½, to 8½ at UTSA. His tackles for loss did likewise, going from 3, to 7½, to 10, to 17½. Davenport gets dinged by critics for having played against a lower level of competition in mid-major Conference USA. But he uses that as motivation. Like when a questioner at the Scouting Combine asked if evaluators hold it against him that he played at "UTEP." "What motivates me is really when people say the wrong (school) name," Davenport said. "You said 'UTEP.' I go to UTSA, but yeah, that's a little bit of motivation, I've always got a chip on my shoulder." LSU's Key probably has the best chance of plummeting in the draft because of a rocky senior season, which included shoulder surgery in May, while he was in the midst of taking an unexplained four-month sabbatical from the program.
Chicago Bears need to act fast to acquire pass-rush help in draft
Daily Herald | Mar 4