Chicago Bears looking for Demps to be defensive anchor
It's not for lack of trying that the Bears haven't drafted a quality safety in a decade.
They've selected at least one safety in nine of the last 10 years but have failed to find anyone who represents a long-term answer.
Last year they drafted two safeties -- Deon Bush and DeAndre Houston-Carson. Another 2016 draft pick, fourth-rounder Deiondre Hall, played cornerback last year but will be tried at safety this year.
The signing of veteran safety Quintin Demps in March to a three-year, $13.5 million contract with $5 million guaranteed provides a veteran anchor on the last line of defense.
The late-blooming Demps has picked off 15 passes in the past four years, and the Bears hope he can add the take-away dimension to a defense that forced an NFL-record-low 11 turnovers in 2016.
The Bears have intercepted just 8 passes in each of the past two years, establishing and then tying the franchise record for fewest picks in a season.
Demps is a clear-cut upgrade, but he will be 32 before the Bears begin training camp.
Adrian Amos has started 30 games in the two seasons since he was Bears' fifth-round draft pick in 2015, but he has yet to intercept a pass and had just 4 pass breakups last year.
Harold Jones-Quartey started 12 games with 1 interception and 4 pass breakups but eventually lost playing time late in the season to Bush, although the rookie didn't make many plays on the ball either.
Safeties drafted by the Bears in the last 10 years
Year Rd. Player School
2016 4 Deon Bush Miami
6 DeAndre Houston-Carson Wm. & Mary
2015 5 Adrian Amos Penn State
2014 4 Brock Vereen Minnesota
2012 3 Brandon Hardin Oregon State
2011 3 Chris Conte California
2010 3 Major Wright Florida
2009 6 Al Afalava Oregon State
2008 4 Craig Steltz LSU
2007 5 Kevin Payne La.-Monroe
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