Bears

NFL Draft Profile: Clemson ILB Stephone Anthony

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NFL Draft Profile: Clemson ILB Stephone Anthony

As part of our coverage leading up to the 2015 NFL Draft we will provide profiles of 200 prospects, including what the scouts around the league are saying and video interviews with each player.

Stephone Anthony (ILB), Clemson

6’3” | 243 lbs.

2014 stats:

75 tackles, 10.5 tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks, INT, 3 passes deflected, 2 forced fumbles

Selection:

1st round, No. 31 overall (New Orleans Saints)

What scouts are saying:

"Carries an ideal frame for an inside 'backer, with thickness through the middle and broad shoulders, and he exhibits the explosive downhill first step and feisty demeanor to be a strong contributor in the box. He diagnoses early and does a good job of putting himself in position to make plays between the tackles against the run, and will hold his own when asked to drop back in short zone and cover the middle against the pass. As a tackler, he does a good job of extending and wrapping up below the waist to finish plays, and he prides himself on laying the occasional wallop without sacrificing technique." - CBSSports.com's Derek Stephens & Rob Rang

"Highly aggressive and will attack gaps, leaving cutback lanes for savvy runners to exploit. Just average lateral agility and sideline-to-sideline range, and he seems to take shallow angles against the run when the play goes to the outside. Too often relies on his burst to the ball and must show better pop on contact to disengage from blockers. He's stiff in the hips when asked to flip and redirect, so he'll waste some motion and take some time to get up to speed after making an adjustment, and thus far he hasn't shown "plus" coverage when asked to man up, flip and run with a tight end. Suspended for the first half of the 2014 Russell Athletic Bowl due to a disputable targeting penalty against South Carolina." - CBSSports.com's Derek Stephens & Rob Rang

"Anthony showed off his athleticism this post season and now the question becomes whether he can play fast all the time as a pro. He tries to get downhill and make plays, but more often it feels like he's guessing rather than instinctive. If he can play with more control and play to his traits, he'll be a starting linebacker in the league." - NFL.com's Lance Zierlein

Video analysis provided by NBC Sports and Rotoworld NFL Draft expert Josh Norris.

Click here for more NFL Draft Profiles

Predicting the value of Roquan Smith's rookie contract with Bears

Predicting the value of Roquan Smith's rookie contract with Bears

Chicago Bears first-round pick Roquan Smith remains unsigned, a situation that prior to the rookie wage scale would've been cause for concern. With contracts now based on slotting, or where a first-round pick is selected, there's little reason or room for agents to haggle over terms. A holdout isn't expected.

There have been some exceptions to this general principle, however. Joey Bosa, who was selected with the third pick by the Chargers in 2016, held out until August 29 over offset language and his signing bonus. So, while a holdout for Smith is unlikely, it's not impossible.

Assuming he agrees to a contract on time, here's what the terms of his deal should look like, according to CBS Sports:

2018 Cap Number: $3,349,485
Signing Bonus: $11,517,940
Four-year value: $18,477,168

If the numbers are correct, Smith will have the 17th-highest cap hit for the Bears in 2018, according to Spotrac. By comparison, Danny Trevathan has a $7.15 million cap hit this season.

Drafting well is critical for long-term success. If a general manager misses on first-round picks, the cap consequences mount over time. Consider Kevin White, the seventh-overall pick in 2015. He has zero touchdowns in his pro career but has a $5.27 million cap hit this year. Leonard Floyd, the team's first-rounder in 2016, has a $4.30 million cap hit and Mitch Trubisky, last year's second pick overall, is $6.59 million. Pace's four first-round picks, when counting Smith's expected deal, are four of the top-17 paid players on the payroll even though none of them have the production to back it up.

Smith, however, is as close to a bust-free prospect as the Bears have drafted in Pace's tenure. He was considered one of the best pure football players in the entire 2018 draft class and will start immediately alongside Trevathan as a rookie, assuming he's under contract in time to contribute in Week 1.

Which Bears have the highest player rating in Madden 19?

Which Bears have the highest player rating in Madden 19?

The time has come to start counting down to the release of Madden 19. The most popular football video game franchise of all-time is set to release in early August and as is a tradition with the weeks leading up to the game appearing on store shelves, leaks about features and player ratings have started.

Here are the highest rated Bears players in this year's edition:

Adrian Amos leads the way with an 88 rating, followed by Akiem Hicks (85) and Allen Robinson (85). 

Chicago's offense received a 75 overall rating, which should result in a significant challenge for Bears fans trying to score virtual points later this summer. The defense, however, will be stout, coming in with an overall rating of 81. Amos and Hicks have a lot to do with that.

Ratings are subject to change due to injury. Madden 19 is scheduled for release on August 10.