August 30, 2012; East Hartford, CT, USA; Connecticut Huskies linebacker Yawin Smallwood (33) celebrates after sacking Massachusetts Minuteman quarterback Mike Wegzyn (11) during the first quarter at Rentschler Field. Mandatory Credit: Michael Ivins-US Presswire

Chicago Bears: New Coaches Offer NFL Draft Edge


Aside from the scouting department, the Chicago Bears may have an inside edge in the NFL draft thanks to their new coaching additions.

Clint Hurtt – Assistant D-Line Coach – Formerly:  DC at Louisville

Notable Prospects:

Calvin Pryor – SS

Marcus Smith – DE

Preston Brown – ILB

Clint Hurtt was among the last additions to the Bears coaching staff, catching on as the assistant defensive line coach.  Before that though he’d built a highly successful defensive unit at Louisville that should be well-represented in the draft.  Hurtt should have inside information on some key players including safety Calvin Pryor, a first round lock, as well as top pass rusher Marcus Smith and thumping inside linebacker Preston Brown.  Each of those players have value to Chicago and Hurtt’s presence should give them the best expertise on what to expect if they’re drafted.

Paul Pasqualoni – D-Line Coach – Formerly: Head Coach at Connecticut

Notable Prospects:

Yawin Smallwood – ILB

Shamar Stephen – DT

Perhaps the most notable coaching hire in the off-season for the Chicago Bears was Paul Pasqualoni.  The veteran has loads of experience at the pro and college level.  After a short but solid stint in Dallas he eventually landed as head coach at Connecticut where he developed a respectable program largely showcased by its defenses.  Two such prospects should be drafted in Yawin Smallwood and Shamar Stephen.  Smallwood is an athletic inside linebacker known for his sideline-to-sideline range and tackling prowess.  Stephen is a very raw but extremely talented defensive tackle with great upside if he can be honed properly.  Pasqualoni’s opinion should have heavy sway in whether either ends up on the roster during the NFL draft.

Pat Meyer – O-Line Coach – Formerly:  O-Line Coach at Colorado State

Notable Prospects:

Weston Richburg – C

It’s understandable that most fans look at the addition of Pat Meyer as a blip on the screen since he’s the offensive line coach but everyone knows the offensive line is really under the guidance of Aaron Kromer.  However, his brief stint in Montreal under Marc Trestman was preceded by a four-season run at his alma mater of ColoradoState.  There he certainly would’ve gotten a nice close-up view of Weston Richburg, what many see as the best center in the NFL draft.  It’s true the Chicago Bears brass retained Roberto Garza and signed Brian De La Puente to fill the center requirements, but Richburg has more versatility beyond center.  Scouts believe he has what it takes to play guard as well, which only increases his value provided Meyer reaches the same conclusion.

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Tags: Calvin Pryor Chicago Bears Marcus Smith NFL Draft Preston Brown Weston Richburg Yawin Smallwood