Bears draft 2 defensive tackles on Friday - FOX 32 News Chicago

Bears draft 2 defensive tackles on Friday

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By ANDREW SELIGMAN
AP Sports Writer

   LAKE FOREST, Ill. (AP) -- Phil Emery still sees some holes, some issues to address, so the Chicago Bears' general manager wasn't quite ready to declare the makeover on defense complete.
 
   He likes the progress, though.
 
   The Bears drafted two defensive tackles Friday, grabbing LSU's Ego Ferguson in the second round and Arizona State's Will Sutton in the third, the latest moves to transform a defense that ranked among the league's worst.
 
   "We've got an opportunity to be better because of the overall group of personnel that we brought in," Emery said. "We've brought in some quality ends, a couple young (defensive) ends. We've still got to add to that group."
 
   The Bears have been busy retooling a unit that ranked among the league's worst in an effort to jump to the playoffs after missing out for the sixth time in seven years. They went 8-8 last season.
 
   Chicago addressed the line Friday, taking Ferguson with the 51st pick and adding Sutton at No. 82, after grabbing Virginia Tech cornerback Kyle Fuller with the 14th pick the previous day.
 
   The Bears also have a fourth-rounder (117), fifth-rounder (156) and two sixth-rounders (183 and 191) on Saturday.
 
   The 6-foot-3, 315-pound Ferguson brings size and athleticism, but is also considered raw after leaving school a year early. He was suspended from the Outback Bowl against Iowa for violating team rules and did not work out at the NFL combine because of a right ankle injury he suffered in the days leading up to it.
 
   Ferguson decided to turn pro because his mother Brenda injured her back breaking up a fight at a detention center where she works.
 
   "At the end of the day, she wasn't able to work and I knew that my family needed me," he said.
 
   The Bears hope he can help turn around a defense that struggled in a big way last season.
 
   When he visited the Bears, Ferguson said he talked at length with defensive line coach Paul Pasqualoni. One thing Pasqualoni wanted to know was how comfortable Ferguson is playing head up over the guard, an indication that Chicago will mix up looks.
 
   "We were basically talking ball for a long time, and he was asking me can I play the two technique," Ferguson said. "Can I do it? He said that's what they want me for, and he showed a lot of interest."
 
   Sutton, meanwhile, was the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year the past two seasons, but his weight jumped last year and his production went down. His tackles dropped from 63 as a junior to 48 and his sacks from 13 to four.
 
   "I was just getting information saying, `You're too small for the NFL,"' said Sutton, who went from 285 pounds as a junior to 320 as a senior.
 
   He said he's at 290, which is about where the Bears want him.
 
   Chicago is overhauling its defense after it ranked 30th overall, last against the run and tied Jacksonville with a league-low 31 sacks. The Bears gave up 2,583 yards rushing on 5.3 per carry -- both club records -- and they still had plenty of holes to fill entering the draft even after a flurry of moves.
 
   The headliner, of course, was letting Julius Peppers go and signing Jared Allen from Minnesota in what amounted to a swap of accomplished defensive ends. They also added defensive ends Lamarr Houston and Willie Young along with safeties Ryan Mundy and M.D. Jennings. They brought back cornerback Charles Tillman on a one-year deal, re-signed defensive tackle Jeremiah Ratliff to a two-year contract and split with safety Major Wright.
 
   All the activity is reminiscent of what the Bears did a year ago, when they gave their offensive line a new look. If the results this time around are similar, the Bears will take that.
 
   In Fuller, they believe they have a versatile cornerback who can contribute next season and move into a starting role.
 
   Ferguson figures to back up Ratliff and Nate Collins assuming he's ready after missing most of last season with a knee injury and could push Stephen Paea for time. In his first year as a starter last season, Ferguson had 58 tackles. His main job was to occupy multiple blockers, creating chances for linebackers to make plays.
 
   "I feel like I have a lot of upside," Ferguson said. "I feel like a lot of people didn't realize how athletic I was. My ability to move around out there (was better) than people thought it was. I just feel like I got a perfect opportunity with a perfect team, and I just want to make the best of it."
 
   ------
 
   Online:
 
   AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and http://twitter.com/AP--NFL
 

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