With their third selection in the 2016 NFL Draft, the Chicago Bears drafted defensive lineman Jonathan Bullard out of the University of Florida.
Bullard was announced as a defensive end, but he played multiple positions at Florida. The Gators lined him up over the center at nose tackle, as a traditional defensive tackle, and outside at end.
Bullard’s strengths include his instincts and quickness at the snap, and obviously his versatility to line up at multiple positions, which probably made defensive coordinator Vic Fangio’s heart skip a beat. Fangio will find creative ways to use him.
One of Bullard’s weaknesses is his supposed “tweener” frame, which means his body size is not typical of a defensive tackle or end. Normally, this would cause some general managers to shy away from him, but as NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock noted, teams are running hybrid formations and can utilize players with good versatility.
“In the old days, they’d call him a ‘tweener’,” Mayock said after the Bears selected Bullard. “Today they’re gonna call him a millionaire.”
Barring a trade up, the Bears are done for Day 2 of the draft. On Saturday’s third and final day, the Bears have seven picks as it currently stands — three fourth-rounders, a fifth, two sixth-rounders, and a seventh.
Whether or not the Bears keep all those picks or package them to move up for a better selection will be interesting to watch.
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