Originally posted on Midway Illustrated  |  Last updated 4/22/12

Phil Emery has done a lot for the Chicago Bears this off-season, he's been very busy in the free agency market.  So far in the free agency period Emery has addressed receiver, linebacker, running back, backup quarterback, corner back and offensive line.  Some of the moves were big, adding Brandon Marshall via trade, a starter capable backup in Jason Campbell and Michael Bush as a starter level capable running back.

Now the focus shifts to the draft and the strategy has become clear that the Bears will likely address defense with their first round pick.  The Bears have been tied to two players through various reports, DT Michael Brockers and DE Whitney Mercilus.  Brockers doesn't seem to fit the Bears scheme all that well and Mercilus is listed by some as a better 3-4 OLB prospect.  Brockers may be better suited for the 3-4 DE position known as the 5-technique rather than the three technique.

With this knowledge there is another strategy that is quietly revealing itself that helps the Bears even if they are not successful during the 2012 season.  If the Bears fail to reach the playoffs then Lovie Smith may be fired and a change in defensive scheme may come with his replacement.

If the Bears shift to a 3-4 defense then they will need to completely rebuild the players on defense and could be able to with either Mercilus or Brockers as a piece of the foundation.  If the Bears grab a player a scheme versatile player in the first round, they may grab yet another in the second who serves in that same role.  Kendall Reyes is a three technique/five technique scheme versatile DT that might be around in round two.

Other scheme versatile players that the Bears may look at include Shea McClellin who is a solid base end prospect and versatile OLB prospect.  At 6-foot-3 260-pounds can rush from a standing position or from a down position with his hand in the dirt.  He's athletic in his drop backs and shows the ability to read and diagnose and tackle in the open field.  He's also a strong blitzing prospect that can attack any gap on the line, increasing his value in the 3-4 defense.

Another base DE prospect we have talked about is Nick Perry from USC.  Perry put on 25-pounds for the combine to solidify his spot as a base DE, but he also played at 250-pounds.  If Perry plays well at 275-pounds dropping weight back down to the 255-260 range to play as a 3-4 linebacker if required.

Fortunately for the Bears this draft offers some scheme versatile players who can play as needed in a 4-3 or 3-4.  Bottom line though is the Bears don't want to lose in the first place, but if in that unenviable position Emery will likely put himself in position for the present and the future.

MORE FROM YARDBARKER:
Best athlete by state all time
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

James Harrison on retirement: ‘I’m not done’

Olivia Munn thanks supporters of Aaron Rodgers, slams his family

Le’Veon Bell hid groin injury from Steelers ‘for weeks’?

Tom Brady claims ‘no animosity’ towards Roger Goodell

Steve Kerr cracks 'alternative facts' joke to embellish playing career

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Yordano Ventura killed in car accident

Falcons benefit from questionable call after turnover

Report: Tomlin, Steelers fined Antonio Brown $10,000

Ten biggest winners and losers from NFL Championship Sunday

Luke Walton rips Lakers after 'embarrassing' 49-point loss

Oregon firing OC David Reaves after DUI arrest

Best of Yardbarker: Roger Goodell does what we all expected him to do

Eat, Drink, Watch for Jan. 20-22, 2017: Dips, rye, football and Death Race 2050

Box Score 1/20: 37 years ago today, Carter said no to Moscow

NFC & AFC Championship preview: We love scoring

Roger Goodell is a coward, but then we knew that

TailGreater: Picking the conference champions by their signature cocktails

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Ranking the top three conferences in college basketball

The NFC Championship’s two most important players

Eight bold predictions for second half of NBA season

Box Score 1/19: Happy anniversary to the 'Tuck Rule' game

Clarification Please: Why college basketball needs to ditch the possession arrow

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

QUIZ: Name every prominent quarterback in the history of the New England Patriots

Best of Yardbarker: Roger Goodell does what we all expected him to do

Eat, Drink, Watch for Jan. 20-22, 2017: Dips, rye, football and Death Race 2050

QUIZ: Name the owners of these 50 famous NFL nicknames

NFC & AFC Championship preview: We love scoring

Roger Goodell is a coward, but then we knew that

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

TailGreater: Picking the conference champions by their signature cocktails

The 'What's a Romo worth these days anyway?' quiz

Clarification Please: Why college basketball needs to ditch the possession arrow

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker