Coach Lovie Smith has made it clear to general manager Jerry Angelo he wants depth behind the starters. Former first round pick Michael Haynes is on his way out of Chicago. Restricted free agent DL Israel Idonije signed an offer sheet with the Buffalo Bills the Bears are likely to match.
Still Smith craves speed and that's where Florida State DE/OLB Kamerion Wimbley. Despite missing three games with a knee injury, he finished with 7.5 sacks as a senior for the Seminoles. He's quick off the snap and could improve the consistency of a Chicago pass rush that produced 41 sacks in 2005. Scout.com rates him as the second best defensive end prospect.
At six-foot-4, 248-pounds Wimbley ran the 40 in 4.63 seconds at the NFL Combine. He's suited to be a linebacker in a 3-4 defense or an end in a 4-3 scheme.
"A lot of teams have talked to me about standing up," Wimbley said about playing linebacker. "I think it's a possibility. I'm open to it. I think it would be a fun challenge. I think it would give me a chance to display some of my athleticism that you don't necessarily get to show at defensive end. It gives me opportunities to roam around and make a lot of tackles and a lot of plays."
While cornerback is a high draft priority, giving the quarterback less time to throw makes the secondary more effective.
It would be hard to imagine Wimbley lasting until the Bears are on the clock in the second round, but he might be a reach with the 26th overall pick.
Among the other teams interested in Wimbley are the Denver Broncos, Philadelphia Eagles, Cleveland Browns, Jacksonville Jaguars, and Kansas City Chiefs.
Positive: Outstanding athlete who is an undersized speed rusher. Fast off the edge, fluid changing direction and makes a lot of plays in pursuit. Great range and speed in every direction of the field. Can drop off the line into coverage and effective on special teams.
Negative: Swallowed up by blocks or overpowered at the point defending the run.
Analysis: Consistently progressing on the field and taking his game to another level, Wimbley has potential at a variety of positions in the NFL. Could be used as a pass rushing right defensive end or tried at outside linebacker in a 3-4 defense.