Originally posted on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 2/11/14
It has become widely suggested that the Chicago Bears use their 14th pick on Ha Ha Clinton Dix, the hard hitting free safety out of Alabama. Dix fills the most glaring need for Chicago, the backside of the defense, since the only legitimate starting safety under contract is Chris Conte. The Bears cannot go through another year of bad angles, even worse tackles, and blown coverage’s from a starting NFL safety. On draft day nothing goes as planned, if Clinton Dix is off the board, who does Chicago target? Here are a few names to keep your eye on. Louis Nix III, DT, Notre Dame I am a huge believer in taking an interior defensive lineman early this year. The Bears finished 32nd in the league in rush defense last season, largely due to the holes in the defensive line. The unit decimated by injury had 12 different players get action throughout the season. If the need isn’t filled in free agency, you have to strongly consider taking a gap plug like Nix high in the draft. Considered the number one player at his position in the draft, he could immediately be a difference maker on the defensive line. There is concern about the knee surgery that made Nix miss some time at the end of the 2013 season. Will his knee heal properly? Is that question alone enough to make his stock fall? Perhaps. When healthy, this kid is a beast. Kony Ealy, DE, Missouri Kony Ealy was the most dominant pass rusher in the SEC last year, amassing 14.5 tackles for loss, and 9.5 sacks against some of the best offensive lineman in the country. The 6’5” 275 pound Ealy plays explosive and can get up the field quickly. I like the fact that his statistical output has improved every year, and he has a track record of forcing fumbles when he gets to the quarterback. With the uncertainty of where Julius Peppers will end up next year, Kony would be a good fit opposite another promising edge rusher, Corey Wootton. Ealy has been compared to San Fransico 49er Aldon Smith, for his size and length, and athletic ability. I love this kid and I think he could be special. Timmy Jernigan, DT, Florida State Jernigan fits the one gap scheme that the Bears could be looking for. He is a strong interior defender that uses his strength to go through blockers, instead of relying on quickness. The national champion recorded 63 tackles, 4.5 sacks, and was a second team AP All-American. He will not blow you away at the combine, but his light feet, upper body strength, and improved ball awareness can have Timmy creeping up the draft boards. Ra’Shede Hageman, DT, Minnesota Weighing in at 6’6” 311 pounds, Hageman has an unbelievable combination of size and athleticism. He started his college career as a tight end before making the switch to an interior defensive lineman. Size and athleticism has made the difference for him the past two seasons, as he is still learning the nuances of the position. This would be a high risk pick, but wasn’t Kyle Long? How did that turn out? Hageman has long arms, benches 465 pounds, and plays with good pad level. Depending on the combine, his stock will rise or fall. If the Bears could wait and snag him on day two, that would be great. In a perfect Windy City world, Bears sign Michael Bennett (brother of tight end Martellus) or Lamarr Houston in free agency, and select Clinton Dix 8th overall. All pro safety’s are hard to come by, he could be special. If he is off the board already and the need is there, I would still go with Louis Nix III. Chicago can plug him in day one and see results. And that is something defensive coordinator Mel Tucker is desperate for.

This article first appeared on isportsweb.com and was syndicated with permission.

PLAYERS: Chris Conte
TEAMS: Chicago Bears
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

NFL players wrote Roger Goodell seeking support for political activism

On the similarities between Kyrie Irving and Kobe Bryant

Tickets for 49ers-Rams game at Levi's going for $14

Sixers still open to trading Jahlil Okafor

Aaron Rodgers has funny quote on never beating the Bengals

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Raul Mondesi sentenced to prison for corruption as mayor in Dominican Republic

WATCH: Youth football coaches engage in ugly brawl

Richard Sherman critical of NFL injury report: It is for gamblers

Adidas hooked Giannis Antetokounmpo up with an entire truck full of sneakers

Carmelo Anthony trade rumors suggest he’s headed to the Rockets soon

John Farrell may use David Price as temporary closer

NFL Week 3 predictions

The 'MLB is as powerful as ever' quiz

After a decade in the WNBA, MVP Sylvia Fowles is ready for the spotlight

College football 2017 Week 4 predictions

10 teams that can unseat the Warriors in 2018

NFL Referee Hotline: Mike McCarthy is sick of these calls

The 'Kevin Durant has mad (Twitter) handles' quiz

Baseball's most underwhelming teams of 2017

The 'Remember the tight ends' quiz

Ranking the best college football fan bases

Getaway Day: Time runs short as postseason nears

Sports & Politics Intersect: White House sticks it to sports

Bears 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 Yardbarker Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

NFL Week 3 predictions

After a decade in the WNBA, MVP Sylvia Fowles is ready for the spotlight

The 'MLB is as powerful as ever' quiz

10 teams that can unseat the Warriors in 2018

College football 2017 Week 4 predictions

NFL Referee Hotline: Mike McCarthy is sick of these calls

Baseball's most underwhelming teams of 2017

The 'Kevin Durant has mad (Twitter) handles' quiz

Ranking the best college football fan bases

The 'Remember the tight ends' quiz

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