Jon Bostic's athleticism and speed are easy to see on tape. But the Bears were just as impressed with the intelligence he displayed the past three years as Florida's middle linebacker.
"We felt very good about his football aptitude and his ability to line everybody else up on the field," general manager Phil Emery said after selecting Bostic in the second round of the draft (50th overall).
The Bears experienced that football aptitude firsthand during Bostic's pre-draft visit to Halas Hall.
|Click to view a photo gallery from Bostic's collegiate career.|
"I had a good feel for the coaching staff, especially the defensive coordinator (Mel Tucker) and the linebackers coach (Tim Tibesar)," Bostic said. "Those two guys I definitely spent a lot of time with. I got a good feel for them. I really liked them. It was pretty much in their hands from there."
Bostic isn't worried about following in Brian Urlacher's enormous footsteps or joining a middle linebacker legacy that also includes Hall of Famers Bill George, Dick Butkus and Mike Singletary. Bostic is only concerned about becoming the best NFL player he can be.
"I know they have a great tradition of linebackers," he said. "They have linebackers for days. You could sit here and name plenty of them. I haven't played at this level before, so I know it's going to take a lot of work and a lot of studying, and I'll be able to catch up to the speed of this game."
While Bostic is expected to begin his Bears career at middle linebacker, Emery feels that he's capable of playing all three positions. The second-round pick insists that he has no preference.
"To tell you the truth it really doesn't matter to me," Bostic said. "Linebacker is linebacker. It's just where you line up, so it's not really that big of a difference to me."
No deal: After the second round ended, Emery said that the Bears would not make a trade to recoup the third-round pick they sent to the Dolphins last year to land receiver Brandon Marshall.
"It would be awfully expensive," Emery said. "We don't have enough value in the current picks that we still have to get into that round. The only way we could do it would be to give up next year's [second-round pick], and that right now does not make sense to us."
Nothing doing: Emery did not name names, but he revealed that some teams had called the Bears to discuss possible trades for players currently on the Chicago roster.
"We've gotten some calls from people wanting veteran players that maybe don't work for the new staff and they're ready to move on and they still have some value," Emery said.
"They have [offered] some late-round picks, but we do our homework year-round on the current players in the NFL and we're able to tell them rather rapidly whether we have interest in that, and we haven't found anything that matches up value-wise."
Lopsided trades: Speaking of matching up value-wise, Emery is puzzled that some of the trades in the first round Thursday night appeared to be one-sided, especially based on a universally-used chart that assigns point values for every pick in the draft.
"There have been a number of trades where teams didn't get equal value," he said. "I don't have any explanation for that. I will tell you the Chicago Bears are probably not ever going to be one of those teams. If you're going to trade with us, you are going to come up with equal value, especially if you are coming up to get our pick."