Bears Scouting Tour: 3/17

The Bears were on hand at the recent pro days of Alabama, where the team worked out a receiver, and Colorado State, where two intriguing mid-round prospects performed.

Call me Deacon Blues

The Chicago Bears were on hand for the Alabama pro day last week where a number of early-round prospects worked out:

QB A.J. McCarron
LB C.J. Mosley
S Ha Ha Clinton-Dix
WR Kevin Norwood
WR Kenny Bell
DE Ed Stinson
CB Deion Belue
DE Jeoffrey Pagan

Mosley, who didn't run at the scouting combine, ran an unofficial 4.62 and 4.66 40-yard dash. He reportedly had a quality workout, which to some solidifies him as a solid first-round talent. He's been slotted as a Top 10 pick in many mock drafts but there are serious concerns about his knee, which required surgery while at Alabama, as well as shoulder, hip and elbow injuries during his collegiate career. Still, Mosley is considered the best middle linebacker in the draft, due in large part to his ability in coverage.

The Bears just signed D.J. Williams to a one-year deal but still need a long-term MLB. If they fell in love with Mosley, he could be a surprise selection in Round 1.

Clinton-Dix is another option for Chicago at 14th overall, although many believe he'll be drafted before then. He stood on his combine numbers and looked good during his positional workout, showing very good hands. It can be argued that safety is the Bears' biggest position of need, so Emery surely has Dix on his short list at 14.

McCarron reportedly had an outstanding "A-plus" workout, throwing the ball with velocity and accuracy. At 6-3, 220, McCarron is a pure pocket passer with good size. He doesn't have the strongest of arms and was called "a game manager" by teammate Norwood at the pro day event, yet in Chicago's offense under Marc Trestman, game managers have potential. The Bears need a developmental quarterback and they could give McCarron consideration in the third or fourth round.

Kevin Norwood
RVR Photos/USA TODAY Sports

The Alabama player of note is receiver Kevin Norwood, whom Bears scouts personally worked out. Norwood (6-2, 198) is considered a fifth- or sixth-round pick. He's a well built, quick receiver who worked mainly out of the slot in the Crimson Tide's offense. He caught 38 passes for 568 yards in 2013, proving adept in the red zone with seven touchdown grabs. In fact, he caught TD passes in five straight games leading up to the team's loss in the Sugar Bowl.

Norwood ran a 4.48 at the combine and has good red-zone size. His eight bench press reps indicate a lack of strength, which shows on film in his inability to beat press coverage, and he has no experience as a returner. He has very good hands and is projected as a reliable possession receiver at the next level.

Norwood isn't an amazing athlete, which is why he's slotted as a late-round pick, yet his skill set could fit in well as a nickel receiver in Chicago's offense. He's an experienced two-year starter who is considered a high-character guy. Keep him in mind as the draft rolls into the third day.

Two Rams to Watch

The Bears were also present at Colorado State's pro day last week.

The top prospect on display was C Weston Richburg, who stood on his combine numbers. He reportedly looked very good during his positional workout.

Richburg was also the most impressive center at the Senior Bowl and is considered a late-second, early-third-round pick. He was first-team All-Mountain West last year and started 49 consecutive games for the Rams during his career. He's an aggressive blocker who can anchor against the bull rush and has good agility at the second level.

Richburg is smart, durable and experienced, and is the type of guy who will anchor an NFL offensive line for the next 10 years. The Bears signed Roberto Garza to a one-year deal this offseason but are still in the market for a long-term pivot player. If Richburg is staring Emery in the face in the third round, he'll be tough to pass up.

TE Crockett Gillmore is a fourth- or fifth-round prospect who was also very impressive at the Senior Bowl, both as a receiver and as an in-line blocker. He ran the 40 in 4.80 and 4.89 but pulled up during the second run with a hamstring injury, forcing him to skip positional drills.

Chicago has Dante Rosario as Martellus Bennett's backup but he's a journeyman with little upside. Gillmore has the skill set to instantly challenge Rosario, particularly as the club's primary blocking tight end.

One last player of interest is RB Kapri Bibbs (5-11, 208), who rushed for 1,741 yards and 31 TDs as a sophomore last season. He started just one year before leaving CSU for the draft but it was one heck of a season.

He was nursing a toe injury at his pro day yet still ran 4.54 40-yard dash. He proved adept as a pass catcher at the combine as well. He's a seventh-round pick or priority free agent whom the Bears could invite to rookie minicamp, as the club needs more competition at backup running back.

Jeremy Stoltz is Publisher of and a member of the Pro Football Writers of America. He is in his fourth season covering the Chicago Bears full time. Follow Bear Report on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Bear Report Web site or magazine, click here.

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