This draft season has harkened thoughts of the old days in the Black and Blue division: lots of middle linebacker talk. With half of the NFC North seeking long-term answers at the position, we've discussed some of the best-known middle/inside linebacker prospects in the draft, from Notre Dame's Manti Te'o to Georgia's Alec Ogletree.
The Minnesota Vikings hosted both Te'o and Ogletree last week at their annual "Top 30 event," and the Chicago Bears are bringing in another prominent prospect for a visit starting Monday. The Bears are getting a closer look at Kansas State's Arthur Brown, projected by Scouts Inc. as a second-round draft pick, according to Jeff Dickerson of ESPNChicago.com.
Brown has been on the radar for a while but he opened more eyes at Kansas State's pro day by running his 40-yard dash in the 4.56-4.66 range, according to Dickerson. Scouts Inc.'s Insider report notes that Brown is a bit undersized at 6-feet 3/8th-inches and suggested he is best suited for a system that "protects" its linebackers with two-gapping defensive tackles. On the other hand, his speed gives him "sideline-to-sideline range," according to the analysis.
From a bigger picture, Brown's visit indicates the Bears are not sitting pat at linebacker even after signing free agents D.J. Williams and James Anderson, a topic we discussed last week. Even if they intend for Williams to be their starting middle linebacker in 2013, they still need to make plans to find a longer-term replacement for Brian Urlacher.