Chicago Bears looking for Demps to be defensive anchor

                                                                                                                                                                                                   
  • New Bears safety Quintin Demps needs to bring a veteran presence to a team that has failed to draft a long-term safety over the past few years.

    New Bears safety Quintin Demps needs to bring a veteran presence to a team that has failed to draft a long-term safety over the past few years. Associated Press File Photo

 
 
Updated 4/17/2017 6:43 PM

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.

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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

• Follow Bob's Bears reports on Twitter @BobLeGere.

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