BBAO: Mixed views on Chris Conte

May, 9, 2011
5/09/11
7:45
AM ET
We're Black and Blue All Over:

Is Cal safety Chris Conte a smart find or an untested reach? That's the question Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune explores of the Chicago Bears' third-round draft selection.
Biggs: "There was a wide range of opinions about 6-foot-2, 197-pound Conte on draft weekend. One scouting director in another city said he was the top safety on his team's board. A veteran scout for another club mocked the selection, the seventh safety the Bears have drafted in seven years. The disparity is likely due to the fact Conte was one-year starter at safety and a relative unknown. A mixup that prevented him from playing in a college All-Star game kept him under the radar for West Coast scout Marty Barrett. The Bears view Conte as a future starter and perhaps more importantly they consider him a free safety. It's the position where they have been trying to fit a square peg into a round hole."

Conte has prototypical size (6-foot-2, 197 pounds) to play safety, and his background as a cornerback suggests he has more cover skills than some college safeties. But the fact of the matter is that he's only played one year at the position. Can the Bears develop him into a future starter? Or was he an expensive special-teams selection? We're probably a year or more away from answering that question.

Continuing around the NFC North:

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