BR Scouting Report: S Calvin Pryor

The Bears recently met with Louisville safety Calvin Pryor, one of the top safeties in this year's draft class. Let's go to the film room to evaluate Pryor's potential at the next level.

As first reported by ESPNChicago.com, the Chicago Bears recently met with former Louisville safety Calvin Pryor.

Pryor and Alabama's Ha Ha Clinton-Dix are considered the top two safeties in this year's draft class, and the only players at their position expected to land in the first round.

Let's go to the film room to find out what Pryor could bring to the table if the Bears select him with the 14th overall pick.

Calvin Pryor, Louisville (5-11, 207)

40-yard dash: 4.58
Bench press: 18
Vertical jump: 34.5
Broad jump: 9-8

Pros

-Solid build. Strong player.
-Played all over the field. Lined up in center field, as an extra linebacker and in press coverage.
-Powerful hitter. Has ability to explode into and drop ball carriers.
-Seeks out contact. Not afraid to get dirty in the trenches. Finishes plays with authority.
-Experienced blitzer. Effective off the edge.
-Extremely athletic. One-handed interception vs. UCF while keeping toes in bounds.
-Very solid tackler when he breaks down.
-Quick to react to plays in front of him in zone coverage. Reads quarterback's eyes.
-Special teams experience.

Cons

-Doesn't use hands well to fight off blocks. Can be cut down by low blocks.
-Has tendency to drop to his knees when tackling. Needs to stay on his feet and keep his head up.
-Takes too many bad angles in run support. Too often approaches ball carrier out of control. Doesn't break down.
-Bites on play fakes. Can be exploited with misdirection.
-Plays with a lot of emotion, often emerging after the whistle, which isn't necessarily a good thing.
-Not asked to play much man-to-man. Inexperienced.
-Not a sideline-to-sideline center fielder. Often a step late.


Calvin Pryor
Joe Robbins/Getty

Analysis

Pryor was a three-year starter for the Cardinals and was a two-time All-Conference player. He finished second on the team in tackles in both his sophomore (100) and junior (75) seasons.

As an in-the-box safety, Pryor can be very good. He's very aggressive against the run and shows no fear when tackling. It's obvious on film that he enjoys hitting opponents. He was lined up as much as a linebacker as he was a safety. He reads plays well and flies to the football.

In zone coverage, Pryor shows good instincts and awareness. He closes quickly on short and intermediate passes, and can jar the ball loose with explosive hits – he led Louisville in forced fumbles (5) in 2012.

In man sets, Pryor has the athleticism to keep pace with opposing tight ends and running backs, and isn't afraid to jam a receiver at the line of scrimmage. Yet he's not technically sound one-on-one and often allows too much separation. He also has gets "handsy" on deep passes.

While he's a big hitter, Pryor all too often plays out of control. When he fails to break down, ball carriers fly right by him. He needs to work on his angles of attack as well.

Pryor is a strong, punishing safety who could instantly upgrade Chicago's run defense. As a free safety though, he could struggle. His place is near the line of scrimmage.

Based on six games of film evaluation, it's hard to consider Pryor a Top-15 pick in this year's class. He's not as refined as Clinton-Dix. Pryor has a lot of athleticism and the ideal, hard-nosed mentality to perform at the next level, yet he's still a work in progress. The pieces are all there, he just needs to put them all together.

There's no reason he can't do that, but at 14th overall, the Bears need a Day-1 starter, and Pryor may not be that guy. If GM Phil Emery can find a trade partner to move back into the second half of the first round, then Pryor makes a lot of sense. But at 14th overall, there are a number of players better prepared to contribute next season.

Pryor is a quality safety, just not an elite safety.


Jeremy Stoltz is Publisher of BearReport.com 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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