The Bears were one of eight NFL teams on hand for New Mexico State's pro day on Friday. The pro scouts were evaluating former Aggies including wide receiver Marcus Allen, tight end Kyle Nelson, linebacker Frank Padilla, strong safety Alphonso Powell, defensive end Kawika Shook, running back Seth Smith, defensive tackle Branden Warner and fullback Brandon Perez – all of which are last-round/free-agent type prospects.
Yet the player teams were really there to see was cornerback Davon House. Bear Report touched briefly on House from the Scouting Combine last month.
House is 6-1, 200-pounds. He ran a 4.35 40-yard dash at the pro day, improving on his 4.43 from the combine. He had a 33-inch vertical leap and bench pressed 225-pounds 14 times, which is good for a cornerback. At the combine he posted a three-cone drill time of 6.65, which was sixth best amongst defensive backs. His 60-yard shuttle run clocked in at 11.07, good for fifth best amongst defensive backs.
CB Davon House
Michael Conroy/AP Photos
House led New Mexico State with two interceptions last season, while recording 57 tackles and 10 pass deflections. For his career, in which he was a four-year starter, he intercepted 11 passes for 319 return yards, running three back for touchdowns. He registered 198 career tackles, 46 pass deflections and three fumble recoveries. He was named All-Western Athletic Conference his junior and senior seasons.
In 2010, he played most of the season with an ankle injury, yet still earned All-WAC honors. His drop in production from his junior season had NFL teams worried coming into the draft, with many projecting him as a third- or fourth-round pick. Yet his recent performances have shown he's healthy and have propelled him into the second-round conversation.
The Bears sent defensive backs coach Gill Byrd down to his pro day. Byrd put House through an individual workout, indicating some serious interest by the team.
One of the Bears' needs coming into this offseason is cornerback. Charles Tillman is getting long in the tooth and Tim Jennings may not be the long-term solution. House is extremely athletic and has the size to play corner in Lovie Smith's Cover 2 defense. Chicago corners are often asked to jam receivers at the line then trail and react. House has long arms (31.7-inches) which help him not only keep space when jamming receivers but also assist him in pass breakups and jump balls. He is also very aggressive against the run – another necessary trait for Chicago corners.
There's a good chance he'll be available with the Bears' 62nd overall pick. Jerry Angelo and Co. may not be able to pass on a player with his size and speed. He played mostly man-to-man in college, so there will be a learning curve coming into a system that relies mostly on zone coverage. He's good at reading quarterbacks and has solid ball skills though, so the transition shouldn't be that difficult for him. Most experts feel he'll make a very good defensive back in the NFL.
It wouldn't be a surprise at all, assuming Byrd liked what he saw, if Chicago grabs him in the second round. Other teams present at the New Mexico State pro day were the Buffalo Bills, Philadelphia Eagles, Miami Dolphins, Oakland Raiders, Green Bay Packers, New Orleans Saints and the New York Giants.
G/C Mike Pouncey
Pouncey meets with Bears
USA Today's Web site recently reported that former Florida G/C Mike Pouncey recently met individually with representatives from the New York Giants, Jacksonville Jaguars, New England Patriots and Chicago Bears.
Pouncey (6-5, 303-pounds) is projected to go in the mid- to late-first round. He is the twin brother of Steelers C Maurkice Pouncey, who earned a trip to the Pro Bowl his rookie season last year. He's considered one of the top interior offensive linemen in the draft.
The Bears definitely need a guard and Pouncey could take over for Olin Kreutz when he finally hangs up his cleats. That type of flexibility makes him very attractive to Chicago, which Bear Report recently outlined here and here.
This report is newsworthy because of the other teams that met with Pouncey. Jacksonville has the 16th overall pick, New England the 17th and 28th, and New York the 19th. Unless he fails to impress in his workouts, it looks like one of those three teams – all of which need O-line help – will be grabbing him before the Bears at 29.
In the opinion of most experts, Pouncey is the only guard/center worthy of a first-round pick. It's looking more and more like the Bears, assuming they don't trade up, will be addressing offensive or defensive tackle in the first round.
Jeremy Stoltz is Publisher of BearReport.com. To read him every day, visit BearReport.com and become a Chicago Bears insider.