LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- The pick: Ego Ferguson, defensive tackle, LSU
My take: The Chicago Bears continued to stack the chips on defense Friday night in the second round of the NFL draft with the 51st overall pick. The Bears re-signed veteran defensive tackle Jeremiah Ratliff in free agency, and he's capable of playing both the nose and 3-technique spot. But Ratliff can play only one position at a time. So the addition of Ferguson here makes sense. Going into the draft, Chicago's roster featured just three defensive tackles in Nate Collins (coming off a torn ACL), Stephen Paea (missed three games due to a nagging toe injury) and Ratliff. Recent signees Israel Idonije and Lamarr Houston can play outside and inside, but the Bears needed an inside presence. Like most young players, Ferguson is raw in term of his technique and has a tendency to play high at times.
It's unknown whether Ferguson is an instant starter on Chicago's defensive line. But the fact the group possesses so many accomplished veterans bodes well for Ferguson's transition to the pro game.
Ferguson played 38 games at LSU, and finished his career with 85 tackles and only one sack. But his physical skill set matches up well with a one-gap scheme such as Chicago's.
Ferguson didn't become a starter at LSU until 2012.
Social media savvy: After the 2013 season, Ferguson announced on Instagram that he wouldn't be returning for his senior college season. "First off, I want to thank God without him none of this would be possible," he posted. "I also want to thank my parents for always being in my corner since day one. I want to thank coaches too for giving me the chance to play in front of the best fans in college football. These past four years have been amazing. Without my teammates I don't know where I would be right now. They were more than teammates, they were my bruddas. After talking to my parents and praying about this decision I decided to enter the 2014 NFL draft #blessed #squad #family first."
What's next: The Bears will likely continue to bolster the defense with their third-round pick. The Bears addressed a need at cornerback in the first round, and defensive tackle in the second. It's expected the club will look to add at safety or linebacker in the third round.