Durkin's Breakdown: S Adrian Amos
By Dan Durkin--
(CBS) Prior to the draft, the Bears only had three safeties on their roster -- Antrel Rolle, Ryan Mundy and Brock Vereen. That changed Saturday, when the team spent their fifth-round pick (142nd overall) on Penn State safety Adrian Amos.
Amos arrived in University Park as the Baltimore City Defensive Player of the Year as a safety at Calvert Hall College High School. As a true freshman in 2011, he appeared in every game at cornerback in sub packages and on special teams and made one start. He finished that season with 13 tackles, five passes defended and one interception.
In 2012, Amos made 12 starts at cornerback, finishing the season with 44 tackles, five passes defended and two interceptions, earning honorable-mention All-Big Ten honors. In 2013, he split time between cornerback and free safety, making all 12 starts and finishing with 50 tackles, five passes broken up, two-and-a-half sacks and one interception. In 2014, he moved to free safety full time, making 13 starts and finishing with 42 tackles, seven passes defended and three interceptions.
Physically, Amos checks all the boxes. He's 6-foot and a solid 218 pounds and pushed 21 bench reps while running a 4.37-second 40-yard dash at his pro day. He's a true center field safety prospect who mans his zone and shows the range to get off his deep landmark and make plays at the hash marks. He has fluid feet and hips to pattern match and drive on throws in which he's targeted. Opposing quarterbacks didn't have much success when throwing at him or into his zone.
Despite his physical traits, Amos must improve in run support. His tackling fundamentals are flawed as he's more of a grabber than a hitter in the open field. Thus, he could be a liability when called upon to drop into the box or on coverage rotations.
Given the spread offenses and pre-determined reads, scouting the safety position at the collegiate level has become a challenge. More often than not, NFL scouting departments are counted upon to project traits at the next level. Amos has the traits, but will they translate to a starter remains to be seen.
The safety position has been a sore spot for the Bears for the better part of the decade. The team has now spent 10 draft picks on the position since 2005, and has lined up 18 different starting combinations since the 2009 season. Rolle should help stabilize the position in the short term, but a long-term solution at the position is needed. Whether Amos can fill that is to be determined. However, he figures to be an immediate contributor on special teams.
Dan Durkin covers the Bears for CBSChicago.com and is a frequent contributor to 670 The Score. Follow him on Twitter at @djdurkin.
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