No. 167 Selection: S Kevin Payne

Safety was a glaring need for the Bears heading into the offseason, but trading for Adam Archuleta moved that position down the list of priorities. But with Todd Johnson and Cameron Worrell both gone via free agency, depth in the secondary is still needed. Kevin Payne was quite versatile in his career at Louisiana-Monroe, the same school that produced Chris Harris.

Safety Kevin Payne
On whose idea it was to move him from running back to safety:
"[ULM head coach Charlie] Weatherbie. Actually, the reason why he switched me was because we lost a great player in Chris Harris to Chicago that year. We had also lost about 10 more seniors off the defense, and he felt like we had two pretty good running backs behind me. He felt like I could make a great transition. He came in and talked to me, and I accepted that challenge."

On how he came about to be the punter in college, as well:
"I punted in high school. I was ranked in Arkansas as a punter. Through my recruiting process, they talked to me about it. But it wasn't until the coach I have now came to ULM, and he saw me clowning around one day before pre-game. It was the day before the game, and we were doing a walk-through and he saw me punting. Ever since then, I have been the backup punter starting my junior year."

Director of College Scouting Greg Gabriel
On how much he saw of Payne at safety since he was originally a tailback:
"He was a starter for two years. He played in two All-Star games in the Senior Bowl and the East-West Game. He stuck out at both of them. He's a very, very physical player. There were three guys that we went into this draft wanting to get somewhere along the draft. Two guys were taken in the third round, and Payne."

On how he compares to Chris Harris, who also played at Louisiana-Monroe:
"Different kind of player. Chris was more of a free safety-type. In college, this guy – like I said before – real physical in the box. He's a force against the run."

For everything you could possibly want to know about Kevin Payne, feel free to visit his Player Profile Page at

John Crist is the Publisher of Bear Report and Editor in Chief of To read him every day, visit and become a Chicago Bears insider.

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