Bears Interested in Triple Threat

The Bears have a list of needs heading into the draft. Cornerback is among the most important and boosting the return game is also a priority. There is one prospect who could possibly fill both holes and still be on the board deep in the draft.

Bear Report has confirmed the Bears recently worked out Ohio University's CB Dion Byrum. The two-year starter was awarded All-Conference and All-America honors as a senior after making 45 tackles and six interceptions, including running two picks back for scores. As a junior he had 50 tackles and seven pass breakups.

Byrum is the 21st best prospect at the position according to He's a three-star player and ranked higher than Stanford CB T.J. Rushing, who the Bears have also shown interest in for his potential to be a versatile contributor.

Like Rushing, Byrum brings a special teams dimension to his game. The five-foot-10, 175-pounder has experience as a punt and kick returner, as well as a gunner. He finished fifth in the school history with 1,195 yards kick return yards. In 2005, he averaged 7.5 yards per punt attempt.

Playing in the MAC has kept Byrum under the radar and will likely make him a second day pick. Still he has an impressive resume as one of 12 semifinalists for the Jim Thorpe Award, which is presented to the nation's best collegiate defensive back.

Selecting Byrum would initially be for his special teams ability, but he still has a chance to contribute in the secondary. He has 4.43 speed and a vertical leap of 40 inches. If he comes to Chicago he has knowledge of the cover 2. The Bobcats played a version of it during his time at Ohio.

TFY Draft Preview Scouting Report
Game-impacting cornerback with top ball skills. Fluid transitioning off the line, displays outstanding playing speed and runs with opponents downfield. Quickly locates the ball and positions himself to defend the throw. Has a decisive move to the play. Possesses a good sense of timing and outstanding hands for the pick.

Negative: Bites on receivers' moves or fakes. Gets tall in his backpedal. Tends to do more hitting than wrap-up tackling.

Analysis: With opposing quarterbacks consistently throwing away from him last year, Byrum developed into an outstanding cover corner. Offers potential in nickel packages during the early stages of his career with future ability as a starter.

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