NFL Draft: Bears Show Interest in Developmental Young Linebacker

Linebacker Davion Taylor met with the Chicago Bears

Getty Linebacker Davion Taylor met with the Chicago Bears via FaceTime.

Ryan Pace has no qualms about going after players and coaches with minimal experience. The GM of the Chicago Bears drafted Mitchell Trubisky second overall in 2017 after Trubisky had just 13 career starts at North Carolina, and he hired Matt Nagy as his head coach a year later. Nagy, who had never been a head coach, had just two years of experience as an offensive coordinator with the Kansas City Chiefs under Andy Reid. Nagy also had just five games of play-calling experience in the regular season before taking over as the Bears’ primary signal caller.

According to one NFL Draft analyst, Pace may be looking to take another chance on a young prospect in the upcoming draft. According to Justin Melo of The Draft Wire, the Bears have held a FactTime meeting with Colorado linebacker Davion Taylor.

Taylor is currently projected to be taken in the third-fourth round, but he could also fall to the fifth, considering the unpredictability of the draft. The Bears could snag him if he falls to the fifth round, but they could also trade up to the third or fourth if they felt the need. With other needs at offensive line, tight end, wide receiver, safety, corner and quarterback, however, should they?

Davion Taylor Had Unique Football Beginning

Taylor is very much viewed as an athletic-yet-developmental player. The Draft Network called him “green,” while also noting he could contribute right away not as a starter, but in a rotational role. His lack of experience is is major red flag.

Taylor played only one game in high school due to his family observing the seventh-day Adventist Sabbath on Fridays and Saturdays, and he has just two years of experience playing in the FBS. He started 12 games for Colorado his junior and senior years after transferring from Coahoma Community College in Mississippi, which he attended out of high school with his mom’s blessing.

He had 129 tackles, two sacks, three fumble recoveries and a defensive score in his two seasons in Colorado, but while he has a great deal of promise, he may not be worth the reach. Pace has been hit or miss with risks like this. The Bears’ GM has had a few draft picks come from Division II schools in recent years: Tarik Cohen comes to mind. SO does big-time bust Adam Shaheen. If Taylor falls to the fifth, he may be worth a look, but beyond that, he could be a reach.

The Draft Network said this about Taylor:

“Traits-based linebacker project with rare speed and explosiveness who may need an extended developmental runway to counter his lack of experience and awareness. Religious beliefs prevented him from playing high school ball (other than a single game) and he is still in the early stages of learning and applying proper technique and fundamentals in all phases of the game. While his inexperience shows up plenty on tape, he has flashes that show off what he could be capable of in the future. Scouts say he’s very coachable and that he’s one of Mel Tucker’s (current CU head coach and former NFL coach) favorites. At best, he develops into a playmaking starter after two or three years. At worst, he should be a plus special teams talent fairly quickly.”

After adding veteran Barkevious Mingo last month, the Bears addressed depth at the linebacker position via free agency, but players like Joel Iyiegbuniwe and Josh Woods remain unproven at the position, so it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Pace take a linebacker in the draft.

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