Coming into today there were a lot of Gophers fans who were hoping the Vikings would select Brock Vereen in the 4th round. Instead it was the Bears decided they couldn't pass him up, trading a 5th round pick in both this year and next year's drafts to the Denver Bronco's in return for the 4th round pick they used on Vereen (as well as a 7th rounder to be used today).
Safety is an area of significant need for Chicago and Brock will have an excellent opportunity with the Bears. The folks over at Windy City Gridiron seem pleased:
A flexible, fluid player with good range, Vereen can compete and neotigate traffic. Strong route recognition skills and awareness, he can carry in man coverage. Smart, capable of lining up defenses and relaying looks, plays as a gunner on special teams.
Vereen does have small hands and short arms, with 30" arms. He doesn't have the ideal size or bulk to match up with NFL-caliber tight ends. He's not a heavy hitter, and his hands aren't what you'd want to be on a turnover-centric defense, with just four career interceptions. Additionally, his size lends to questions about his long term durability.
In short, a smart player with the kind of intangible that could help him overcome physical shortcomings to be a successful defensive back.
As you may recall, Brock's stock rose quickly after a strong senior year with the Gophers and an excellent showing at the NFL combine. He projected as a 3rd or 4th round pick and clearly the Bears agreed with that assessment.
While I'm not glad that he'll be working to beat the Vikings multiple times a season I am ecstatic for Brock. He's going to a team that needs his talent and given what appear to be some long term sports media aspirations I think he's in a great city to hone those skills as well. The sports radio stations in the Chicagoland area are going to love the guy.