Inside Linebacker: Is This as Good as It Gets?

Dan Wiederer at the Chicago Tribune touts former UCLA linebacker Myles Jack as a potential firt round pick for the Bears:

“Teams with 4-3 defenses told him he could play linebacker. Middle, strong side, weak side. Wherever.

“Others creatively envision him in a secondary role, an instinctive safety who could become an in-the-box enforcer.

Kam Chancellor‘s name came up as a comparison.”

Ordinarily being compared to Chancellor would be a huge compliment. But its also sort of a backhanded slap when you are being drafted as a linebacker.

Indeed, the comparison tells you everything about the bind the Bears are in when it comes to drafting an inside linebacker. This draft is full of players like Jack, a quick guy who is likely to be good in coverage but whose performance as a physical inside presence will be questioned. His alterĀ ego, Reggie Ragland is exactly the opposite:

“‘He’s a thumper,’ ESPN draft expert Mel Kiper Jr. said. ‘And he’s a guy who really, in the ’70s, ’80s or ’90s would have been a top-10 pick guaranteed. But coverage ability is going to be something (to watch).'”

Probably if the Bears had to choose, they’d take the thumper. But taking a limited athlete of any type in the first round isn’t exactly what you have in mind going in. The truth is that there really are no top of the line, all around linebackers in this draft class. And that’s bad news for team like the Bears in desperate need of help at the position.

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