First-round pick Kevin White was the talk of the Chicago Bears' 2015 draft due to his explosiveness and big-play capability, but it's fifth-round pick Adrian Amos who stands out as the team's most intriguing pick.
The Bears still have serious question marks at free safety, so even though Amos is a late-round selection, he has every chance to come in and win the starting job with a strong training camp.
Amos has the size to compete with the big boys. He's an athletic 6'0", 218-pound center fielder who plays with great range and has a reputation for shutting down any passes thrown his way.
You want to be impressed? Lance Zierlein of NFL.com notes Amos only allowed 3.9 yards per target in 2014 to go along with his seven career interceptions at Penn State. Any quarterback who throws the ball his way is virtually asking for an incomplete pass.
New #Bears' safety Adrian Amos allowed a QB Rating of 13.0 when targeted, the lowest in the nation among all DBs (min. 200 cover snaps)— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) May 4, 2015
The Bears haven't had a true safety they can trust in single-high coverage since Mike Brown last played for the team in 2008, and therein lies what makes Amos so intriguing.
Defensive coordinator Vic Fangio runs a friendly scheme for free safeties that allows them to feast. Current 49ers free safety Eric Reid has seven career interceptions in just two seasons, and Dashon Goldson did the best work of his career under Fangio in San Francisco. Goldson went to two Pro Bowls and had nine interceptions combined in 2011 and 2012.
It's going to take time for Amos to put up those kind of numbers, but he's fully capable of doing so. He has an improved front seven in front of him, a veteran strong safety next to him in Antrel Rolle and an emerging and talented corner in Kyle Fuller.
How can a fifth-round safety come in and be an impact right away? Easy. Amos instantly becomes the most talented free safety on the roster. Veteran Ryan Mundy is more of an in-the-box hitter who isn't strong in pass coverage, and second-year man Brock Vereen's instincts look to be about a second too slow.
One major element lacking in past Bears free safeties is trust. Amos is trustworthy, and he's rarely out of position. This becomes paramount when a safety is facing a master technician like Aaron Rodgers or has to maintain his lanes and spacing against Calvin Johnson.
Amos closes well on the football and is versatile enough to play slot corner in sub-packages. Amos is strong and will be able to use his strength to win 50-50 balls when closing in against receivers.
Zierlein also points out that Amos needs to improve his run defense. He's not a willing participant to step up and offer more run support. It's not due to a lack of talent, but rather a lack of desire. Hopefully, strong coaching can change that.
If Amos can step up even just a little bit against the run, he becomes a complete safety. It was this deficiency that knocked him to the fifth round. Amos has to show the same amount of passion against the run as he does in pass coverage.
Dashon Goldson was a fourth-round pick who developed into a good safety under Fangio. He struggled once he left Fangio and took big bucks down in Tampa Bay. Fangio's system makes slightly above average free safeties play to a Pro Bowl level.
Amos has the ball skills and overall ability to succeed in Chicago. Most people thought the Bears came away with three starters from the draft in Kevin White, Eddie Goldman and Hroniss Grasu, but a fourth name needs to be added to the list.
Amos will be the starting free safety in 2015. Are you intrigued yet?