Beavs' Paea headed to Chicago

Posted Apr 29, 2011

BEAVER STEPHEN PAEA is headed to the Windy City. Chicago drafted the Oregon State defensive tackle in the second round on Friday. So what's the Bears' situation at d-tackle for the incoming Paea?

Stephen Paea (6-1, 303), who set an all-time NFL combine record with 49 bench press reps at 225 pounds, will embark on his NFL career in Chicago's 4-3 defense.

Chicago won't release a 2011 depth chart until August but a quick look back at the Bears' 2010 depth chart listed four d-tackles.

The Bear starters on the depth chart were Matt Toeaina and Anthony Adams.

Adams, a 6-0, 310-pounder is a nine year pro out of Penn State -- but he's a free agent. He was originally drafted in the second round by San Francisco. Toeaina is a 4-year pro out of Oregon, checking in at 6-2, 308 pounds. He was a sixth round pick in 2007 by Cincinnati.

Chicago's No. 2 d-tackles listed on the 2010 depth chart were Henry Melton and Tommie Harris. But Chicago cut Harris (6-3, 295), an eight year veteran out of Oklahoma, back in February. Melton is a 6-3, 260-pounder who is more of a d-end. He's a three year pro out of Texas.

"He can certainly get in that backfield and be disruptive," said ESPN Draft Analyst Mel Kiper of Paea.

"I think the only question on their defense for Chicago is on the inside," added ESPN's Jon Gruden. "..This guy has the strength to play the nose position...and I think he's athletic do a lot of things. They love to stunt and move that front, and Paea plays hard. It's a (Defensive Coordinator Rod) Marinelli type pick."

Paea logged 14 sacks and 29 1/2 tackles for loss during his OSU career. He was named All-America and the Pac-10's defensive player of the year in 2010.

Kiper said before Paea was selected that his knee injury on the first day of the Senior Bowl practice week hurt his stock and bumped Paea down some in the draft, from a first rounder to a mid-second round pick. Headed into the draft, Kiper's final projection on Paea was as the 27th best overall prospect. There were 32 picks in the first round.

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