The Chicago Bears haven’t reached the meat of the pre-draft process yet. That starts next week with the Senior Bowl. However, this hasn’t stopped them from meeting with several prospects that could make up their board during the final day of the 2023 draft or undrafted free agency. Considering how much success they had with that last year, it’s interesting to keep track of which names are popping up. In the past 48 hours, they reportedly met with a linebacker and a cornerback, acknowledging their depth concerns at both positions. Add safety to that list.
Ryan Fowler of The Draft Network updated the list with Indiana standout Devon Matthews. He’s a big guy at 6’2, 201 lbs, with five seasons of college experience under his belt. During that long stint, he developed a reputation for being an enforcer. Matthews isn’t afraid to lay down the lumber on ball carriers when the situation presents itself. He tackles well, attacks the line of scrimmage, and is athletic enough to be a factor in coverage. He has the look of another DeAndre Houston-Carson type of guy.
The Chicago Bears’ interest in Matthews isn’t hard to see.
He exhibits the first trait Matt Eberflus seeks in his players. He is big and long. Size can’t be taught. He’s also a solid athlete with a respectable array of skills. Nobody would accuse him of being special in any category, but his talent is at a level where he can serve both as a solid backup and core special teamer. With more polishing, he might have a future as a starter. There is never any telling how much potential a player can reach until he gets to the show. Matthews has enough to deserve the looks he’s getting.
Safety isn’t a top need for the Chicago Bears. Eddie Jackson should be back healthy by summer. Jaquan Brisker was a rookie sensation. Houston-Carson remains utterly reliable. That trio should stay in place for another year. Still, there is nothing wrong with building depth for the future. Matthews has traits and a decent track record going for him. He fits what this regime wants. He’s big, athletic, smart, and violent.