Bears

NFL Draft Profile: Georgia CB Damian Swann

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NFL Draft Profile: Georgia CB Damian Swann

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.

Damian Swann (WR), Louisville

6’0” | 189 lbs.

2014 stats:

65 tackles, 4.5 TFL, 2 sacks, 4 INT, 8 PD, 4 FF, TD

Projection:

5th round

What scouts are saying:

"Gangly cornerback with spindly legs but a willingness to play physically and with great energy and effort. Swann doesn't play tightly enough in coverage or make enough plays on the ball to be a starting cornerback and doesn't have the size to transition to safety full time, but he's versatile and highly competitive and has a legitimate shot to make a team." — Lance Zierlein, NFL.com

"Adequate height for the position with lean muscle tone. Plays bigger than he looks with active and aggressive limbs. Feisty to take on blocks and work through contact, attacking the point of attack with heavy hands.Natural burst and quickness to click-and-close, doing a nice job anticipating wide receiver breaks. Decent reflexes and reactive athleticism. Physical blitzer with timing and fortitude." — Dane Brugler, CBSSports.com

"Natural corner who has played and can play all over field. Played in the box in dime package and used as deep safety on a few snaps. Good length pressing and crowding receivers to the sideline. At his best as bump-and-run corner playing inside leverage. Thin but physical in run support. Covered big receivers and tight ends from the slot. Blitzes like a heat-seeking missile." — Lance Zierlein, NFL.com

Fit for the Bears:

The Bears will likely address the corner position at some point in the 2015 NFL Draft with the roster lacking depth behind starters Kyle Fuller and Tim Jennings. Swann is a player that had a knack for making the big play during his team at Georgia. Chicago could use a playmaker on the back end of their defense, and Swann could be worth taking a flyer on as a Day 3 selection. 

Click here for more NFL Draft Profiles

Roquan Smith helps shear a sheep at Bears community event

Roquan Smith helps shear a sheep at Bears community event

Roquan Smith has more sheared sheep than tackles on his stat sheet as a pro football player.

Smith and several other Bears rookies participated in a hands-on community event at Lambs Farm in Libertyville, Illinois on Monday where he assisted farm staff with the sheep's grooming. Smith said it was a first for him despite growing up around animals. 

"It's like on the norm for me though, playing linebacker you're in the trenches," Smith said of the experience.

"Shaving a sheep, I never really envisioned myself doing something like that," Smith said via ChicagoBears.com. "I was around animals [growing up], but it was more so cows and goats here and there and dogs and cats. I've petted a sheep before, but never actually flipped one and shaved one."

Bears rookies got up close and personal with more than just sheep.

Smith was selected with the eighth overall pick in April's draft and will assume a starting role opposite Danny Trevathan at inside linebacker this season. Here's to hoping he can wrangle opposing ball-carriers like a sheep waiting to be sheared.

The Bears' defense is ahead of its offense, but Matt Nagy doesn't see that as a problem

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USA Today Sports Images

The Bears' defense is ahead of its offense, but Matt Nagy doesn't see that as a problem

Asking players about how the defense is “ahead” of the offense is a yearly right of passage during OTAs, sort of like how every baseball team has about half its players saying they’re in the best shape of their life during spring training. So that Vic Fangio’s defense is ahead of Matt Nagy’s offense right now isn’t surprising, and it's certainly not concerning. 

But Nagy is also working to install his offense right now during OTAs to build a foundation for training camp. So does the defense — the core of which is returning with plenty of experience in Fangio’s system — being ahead of the offense hurt those efforts?

“It’s actually good for us because we’re getting an experienced defense,” Nagy said. “My message to the team on the offensive side is just be patient and don’t get frustrated. They understand that they’re going to play a little bit faster than us right now. We’ll have some growing pains, but we’ll get back to square one in training camp.”

We’ll have a chance to hear from the Bears’ offensive players following Wednesday’s practice, but for now, the guys on Fangio’s defense have come away impressed with that Nagy’s offense can be. 

“The offense is a lot … just very tough,” cornerback Prince Amukamara said. “They’re moving well. They’re faster. They’re throwing a lot of different looks at us and that’s just Nagy’s offense. If I was a receiver I would love to play in this offense, just because you get to do so many different things and you get so many different plays. It just looks fun over there.”

“They’re moving together, and I like to see that,” linebacker Danny Trevathan said. “We’re not a bad defense. They’re practicing against us, so they’re getting better every day, and vice versa. It’s a daily grind. It’s going to be tough, but those guys, they got the right pieces. I like what I see out there. When somebody makes a play, they’re gone. Everybody can run over there. It’s the right fit for Mitch, it’s the right fit for the receivers, the running backs.”

Still, for all the praise above, the defense is “winning” more, at least as much as it can without the pads on. But the offense is still having some flashes, even as it collectively learns the terminology, concepts and formations used by Nagy. 

And that leads to a competitive atmosphere at Halas Hall, led by the Bears’ new head coach. 

“He’s an offensive coach and last year coach (John) Fox, I couldn’t really talk stuff to (him) because he’s a defensive coach and it’s like Nagy’s offense so if I get a pick or something, I mean, I like to talk stuff to him,” Amukamara said. “He’ll say something like ‘we’re coming at you 2-0.’ Stuff like that. That just brings out the competition and you always want that in your head coach.”