The Chicago Bears added some much-needed safety help near the end of the fourth round of the 2014 NFL Draft, as they traded up with the Denver Broncos in order to acquire the 31st pick in the fourth round and select Minnesota Golden Gophers free safety prospect Brock Vereen. The younger brother of New England Patriots talented all-purpose back Shane Vereen, Brock was one of the hottest prospects in the pre-draft process, as he visited with and worked out for a long list of teams.
During the offseason, the Bears didn’t fully address the safety position, as adding Ryan Mundy and M.D. Jennings didn’t really accomplish much, other than adding two depth bodies. The Bears safety play last season was putrid, and I believe defensive coordinator Mel Tucker had a lot to do with the abysmal play of Major Wright and Chris Conte. Wright is gone, but Conte should bounce back next year once he returns from injury. Mundy will play an in-the-box role, and Jennings will ideally keep somebody’s seat warm at free safety (Bears fans enjoyed picking on Jennings last season when he manned the position for the Green Bay Packers).
Vereen has a good chance at starting this year because of the questions at safety, and the Bears certainly did well to move up for Vereen. Draft day trades are usually the best later on, when less compensation has to be given in order to land a prospect that a team is high on. The Minnesota safety has the versatility to play CB, and he has a great blend of speed, athleticism, ball skills, and football IQ.