3 Best Adrian Amos Replacements For Chicago Bears

Photo: © Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

The 2018 Chicago Bears defense boasted the best safety tandem in the league, with ballhawking Eddie Jackson roaming deep and late-round stud Adrian Amos fitting in to the gaps. Amos, originally a fifth-round selection out of Penn State, played everywhere and did everything for the Bears, earning a lucrative 4yr/$36M contract in Green Bay. His departure is the biggest gap currently on the Bears' roster.

Of course, the Bears did try to mitigate the loss with the addition of HaHa Clinton-Dix, though the ex-Packer and Redskin was only signed for one year. New defensive coordinator Chuck Pagano, who loves to run dime sets, needs more than just a stop-gap safety (with only replacement level tape, mind you) to keep the Chicago Bears defense as fearsome as it was last season.

The Bears don't have any early picks, so they may not be able to get a bonafide starter for Year 1 -- but these are the best 3 safety fits I could find for the Bears at their selections:

Pick 87: Amani Hooker, Iowa

Here's how I'd look at it, were I the Bears: you have Darnell Savage, Juan Thornhill, Taylor Rapp, and Hooker. That tier of safeties is likely going to start leaving the board in the 50s, and you're praying that any one of them falls to you.

I think the most likely is Hooker. We know the league is big on Rapp (I'd guess he's the first off the board from this tier), and Thornhill tested out of the building and has good production, so he'll go high as well. Savage has been a big-time riser throughout this process, so he's tough to slot -- but he's more well-known than Hooker, a surprise declaree after his junior season.

Hooker rode a productive season (4 INTs, 7 PBUs) into the 2019 NFL Draft, and his film reflects the ball production: Hooker's an aggressive cover safety who can rotate down into the box and win in man-on-man against tight ends, but still win with good angles and anticipation from short and deep zones. We didn't expect Hooker to test well, so his above average agilities and explosive drills (at 210 pounds) really shine as well.

If Amos' best trait was his versatility and combo ability, then Hooker really is one of the most snug fits that you'll find in this class.

Pick 126: Mike Edwards, Kentucky

Interesting player, Mike Edwards. You tell me if you can think of a college safety with 44 consecutive starts, who played almost every DB position imaginable with degrees of success. Dude is impossibly versatile and experienced, and that will appeal to the Bears' needs big-time.

Of course, the NFL game is a different speed, and we know that often limits players who won with versatility at the college level. Edwards' best deployment is up in the box, where he'll be able to shoot gaps and rally against the run, as well as read the quarterbacks' eyes and jump routes in the quick game. That style of downhill, anticipatory play illustrates Edwards' best tape.

I don't want Edwards floating over slot receivers and getting challenged with quickness in space, but as a deep-half defender who regularly rotates into the "Rat" or "Hole" zone, he'll have a high impact in the passing game. For a team that wants to play three safeties, Edwards is a great option.

Pick 162: Ugochukwu Amadi, Oregon

Once we get into the 160s, we're usually not drafting starters -- though Amos himself was in the 140s, so let's never say never. Either way, once you're drafting for depth, you have special-teams in mind: Amadi took on returning duties this year on punt returners and showed an early knack for the role. That could help you protect Tarik Cohen, who you don't want exposed to unnecessary hits.

Amadi has played a bevy of positions for the Ducks, coming to Eugene first as a corner and then transitioning to safety his junior season. Basically filling the nickel/overhang role for the Ducks, Amadi's transitional quickness and explosive click-and-close has led to great ball production over the last two seasons (7 INTs, 16 PBUs).

Amadi's a particularly interesting fit for the Bears because they also lost quality slot corner Bryce Callahan to ex-DC Vic Fangio, now the head coach in Denver. Playing that quasi-nickel role would be a perfect fit for Amadi, as it's the position in which he excelled in Oregon. With an early starting role there, he could grow into more playing time (much like Amos did), and prove another Day 3 hit for the Bears.


Written By:

Benjamin Solak

Director of Special Projects

Director of Special Projects and Senior NFL Draft Analyst for The Draft Network. Co-host of the Locked On NFL Draft Podcast. The 3-Wide Raven.

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