Dan Wiederer at the Chicago Tribune documents which Bears veterans are threatened by the arrival of the new rookies:
“Round 5: Penn State safety Adrian Amos.”
“Put on notice: Brock Vereen and Ryan Mundy.
“The details: Sensing a theme here with Emery draft picks potentially being squeezed out by prospects in his successor’s first draft class? Vereen’s versatility, unselfishness and value on special teams gives him a chance to hang around on the 53-man roster when fall arrives. Furthermore, the Bears’ depth at safety remains thin. So Vereen still could win a role as a key reserve.
“Mundy’s case? He was a reliable defensive contributor throughout 2014 and projects to be the opening-day starter again in September opposite Antrel Rolle. But Mundy joined the Bears last year on a two-year contract that will expire in March. So if he’s anything less than superb this season and/or Amos shows a quick ascension, the sands in the hourglass may start to accelerate.”
I have to take mild issue with Wiederer here on Mundy, a strong safety who rates highly in terms of being a sure tackler. Not that the position couldn’t be upgraded but Amos is by all accounts a player who excels in coverage with good range. As Wiederer suggest, you could argue that good man coverage skills could fit Amos in the lineup as a strong safety. And he did play close to the line of scrimmage in college. But I think his range along with the criticism that he’s not as physical as the Bears would like make him to be make him a better free safety. I’ll be surprised in the Bears don’t start him in that position. This would make him a much bigger threat to Rolle, a player who’s considerably older at 32 and who was visibly slowing down and losing range last year.