The Bears selected California safety Chris Conte in the third round (93rd overall).
Conte was a cornerback early in his college career before moving to safety and helping transform Cal’s defense in his final collegiate season. Not only did he peak late in his career, but his best game came against the best team on the schedule. Conte played a key role in Cal’s defense holding then No. 1-Oregon’s prolific offense to a season low in yards and points in a 15-13 loss.
Conte shadowed prolific and dynamic Oregon quarterback Darron Thomas and proved himself as an effective open-field tackler.
Bears general manager Jerry Angelo projects Conte as a free safety in the pros, which is a position that he claims is nearly extinct.
“I don’t know if [former Tampa Bay Buccaneers safety John Lynch] would get drafted anymore,” Angelo said. “You don’t go out looking for John Lynch’s today. Its hard to find a guy who can tackle and has good cover skills and he has to be fast now, too. We just felt because he’s so hard to find let’s not look a gift horse in the mouth.”