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.
Chris Hackett (FS), TCU
6’0” | 195 lbs.
75 tackles, 3.5 TFL, 7 INT, 6 PD, FF
What scouts are saying:
"Hackett has limited speed and is thinner than desired for the position. He has some holes in coverage and isn't going to come up and thump as a run supporter, but there are some personnel men that think highly of him as a potential playmaker at the next level." - Lance Zierlein, NFL.com
"Long-limbed athlete with a tapered frame with room for additional muscle mass. Smooth, coordinated athlete who frequently was asked to handle single-high safety coverage, as well as drop down to cover slot receivers. Very good key and diagnosis skills. Anticipates the direction of the play, making him faster to the ball than his 40-yard dash time might indicate. Impressive hand-eye coordination for a defensive back, showing the ability to extend and pluck the ball outside of his frame as well as contort his body in mid-air to make the tough interception. Disciplined defender, who will sacrifice his body to take out the legs of oncoming blockers to funnel the action back toward his teammates, rather than going for the tackle, himself, and potentially leaving cutback lanes for nifty ball-carriers to exploit. Long arms and strong hands to grab hold and drag ball-carriers to the ground. Generates impressive closing speed and has a knack for knocking the ball loose (five career forced fumbles)." - Rob Rang, CBSSports.com
Fit for the Bears:
If there's one position the Bears are thin at it's safety. Antrel Rolle, Ryan Mundy and Brock Vereen are the only safeties on Chicago's roster, and none appear to be long-term solutions at the position. The Bears will likely go into the 2015 season with at least four safeties on the roster, meaning Ryan Pace will probably address the position via draft. Hackett has seen is stock fluctuate in recent months after a dismal showing at the Combine, with most pundits pegging him as a late Day 3 selection. For a guy that possesses decent size and speed, it wouldn't be a bad idea to see Pace use a Day 3 lottery ticket on the former TCU product.
Click here for more NFL Draft Profiles
It's early (extremely early) in the 2020 NFL Draft process, and the Bears' team needs between now and when their first pick (No. 43 overall) is on the clock are certain to change. The general consensus right now is that offensive line, tight end and quarterback will be early draft targets, but edge rusher can't be overlooked.
Leonard Floyd's failure to emerge as the pass rusher the Bears need to complement Khalil Mack is a bigger problem than GM Ryan Pace or coach Matt Nagy want to admit. In fact, Floyd's ineffective style of play could cost Chicago a chance at becoming a truly elite defense and potentially limit the astronomical upside Mack has as a generational talent.
If the Bears decide to pull the fifth-year option from Floyd, they'll have no choice but to attack the position early in the 2020 draft. It appears like they're doing their homework for that scenario, too.
Bears scouts met with Tulsa edge rusher Trevis Gipson at length following Wednesday's Senior Bowl practice, an indication that the position is at least high enough on their wish list that extensive homework on pass rushers is being done.
Gipson helped his draft stock at the Senior Bowl and was an early winner among edge rushers at the game. His practice reps confirmed his tape; the dude knows how to get to the quarterback. He had eight sacks in 2019 and plays with a high-energy style that's certain to entice Chicago's coaching staff. He isn't an elite athlete, but he has an appealing frame (34-inch arms) and powerful hands.
Gipson began the week as a late-Day-3 prospect. He helped his stock and may have jumped a round or two along the way.
The Bears didn't have much of a rookie class in 2019. Last April's draft produced just five picks, two of which didn't appear in a regular-season game for the Bears.
But the production of running back David Montgomery was enough to carry the rookie class to a top-10 ranking, according to Pro Football Focus.
The Bears checked-in at eighth.
The Bears have a strange class. They had only five picks, none before Round 3, with three of those five selections coming after Round 6. As a result, their expected return was low. Running back David Montgomery was really the only Bears' rookie to play significant snaps, and he managed to provide enough return from his third-round selection to land them at No. 8.
It's pretty remarkable that Chicago's 2019 rookie class — essentially, Montgomery — garnered this much respect from PFF. Wide receiver Riley Ridley showed signs of life late in the season and cornerback Duke Shelley will be given an opportunity to carve out a role on defense next season, but with running back Kerrith Whyte, Jr. and cornerback Stephen Denmark making no impact whatsoever (Whyte is no longer with the team), the 2019 class won't be remembered as one that laid a championship foundation in Chicago.
Sure, Montgomery has a chance to become one of the NFL's more talented starting running backs (he ended his rookie season with 889 yards and six touchdowns), but if Ridley and Shelley don't turn into legitimate contributors in 2020 or 2021, the class will go down as an epic failure for GM Ryan Pace.
Remember: The Bears didn't have a first-round pick because of the trade for outside linebacker Khalil Mack. That's a win for Pace, but it doesn't change the fact that he had five selections at his disposal and ended up with what appears to be just one impact player after their rookie seasons.