History shows that John Fox’s teams have always leaned toward defense in that draft, but that wasn’t the case as he enters his first season with the Bears.
General manager Ryan Pace’s first draft with the Bears yielded only two defensive players: Florida State defensive tackle Eddie Goldman in the second round and Penn State safety Adrian Amos in the fifth. But Fox was all smiles afterward, even though he’s implementing a new 3-4 defense.
“I personally think it’s the way the board fell,” Fox said. “If there had been certain guys that would have fit our Bears box, as far as all of the ramifications of that, it would have gone just like we did the whole draft – next-best player available.”
At 6-4 and 336 pounds, Goldman, whom many considered as a possible a first-round pick, gives the Bears’ the 3-4 nose tackle they were looking for to learn behind Jeremiah Ratliff. Fox also said Goldman has the flexibility to handle other techniques.
“I’m very impressed,” Fox said. “He’s a big, wide body, very strong, has great leverage. He plays very low for a big man. He’s tough to knock out of there. Some people have criticized — and he even made mention to it — his pass rush, but he does push the pocket well. So we’re anxious to get started and get a look at him this weekend.”
Amos is expected to compete with Ryan Mundy and Brock Vereen for playing time alongside veteran Antrel Rolle, one of the Bears’ top free-agent signings.
Amos’ experience in coverage — he also played cornerback at Penn State — was a quality that Fox valued. Fox also said he doesn’t have any concerns about Amos’ physicality.
At Penn State’s pro day, Amos (6-0, 218 pounds) ran the 40-yard dash in 4.37 and 4.4 seconds and did 21 repetitions of 225 pounds on the bench press.
“He definitely has the size, qualifications to get it done,” Fox said. “Like everybody, the key is being consistent. None of them are perfect. They’re not going to be perfect moving forward.
“[Amos] is very smart. He’s got good height, he’s got good speed — a lot of the measurables — and he’s got the ability to cover, which in the league now is a big part of the job description.”