2 For 2: Exactly What The Bears Needed
Two Needs Down, Two More To Go
Bears traded their second-round pick (No. 62) and fourth-round pick (No. 127) to the Washington Redskins to move up and grab Paea with the 53rd pick, the 21st choice in the second round.
NFL Draft Countdown’s Scouting Report On Stephen Paea:
Height: 6-1¼ | Weight: 303 | 40-Time: 5.15
• Ripped and cut with good bulk and a solid build
• Extremely powerful with amazing natural strength
• Athletic with nice speed, quickness and agility
• Is stout at the point of attack and can anchor
• Excellent bull rusher and gets a terrific push
• Can penetrate and wreak havoc in the backfield
• Violent hand use and stuns with initial punch
• Plays w/ outstanding leverage and good balance
• Is capable of taking on and shedding blockers
• Active and aggressive in pursuit w/ non-stop motor
• A reliable tackler who will deliver the knockout hit
• Competitive and intense w/ nasty on-field demeanor
• Outstanding work ethic with leadership abilities
• Still improving and has considerable potential
• Durable and productive with lots of experience
• Lacks ideal height and arm length you’d prefer
• Instincts and awareness are still questionable
• Doesn’t feature a wide array of pass rush moves
• Inconsistent and disappears from action at times
• Is still a bit raw and is not a polished technician
Last name is pronounced “pie-uh” — A three-year starter and team captain for the Beavers — Named 1st Team All-Pac-10 in 2009 and 2010 — Garnered 1st Team All-American notice from the Associated Press in 2010 — A two-time winner of the Morris Trophy as the top defensive lineman in the Pac-10 — Won the Pac-10’s Pat Tillman Defensive Player of the Year award as a senior — Grew up in Tongan Islands, where he didn’t speak English, then moved to the United States with family when he was 16-years-old — Focused on rugby as a youth and only played one year of high school football — Spent two years at Snow Community College — Missed some time with a bursa sack issue in right knee in 2008 — Called “Veni”, which is his Tongan name, by teammates — A freak in the weight room who is going to be a Workout Warrior — Considered entering the 2010 NFL Draft, where he likely would have been selected in the top three rounds — Could play either the three-technique or nose in a 4-3 scheme or perhaps even nose tackle in a “30” front — Intriguing prospect due to well- rounded game, versatility and intangibles — Best football’s still ahead.
Russ’ Take: Trading up to get Paea was certainly worth the gamble. He was the Bears pick at 29 if Carimi was gone. Another pick where the need is the best player available.
Next up: wide receiver, cornerback.
“He’s The Guy” Part II: “Real excited about the selection,” director of player personnel Tim Ruskell said. “We feel with the first two picks in the draft we strengthened ourselves in the trenches.
“We felt there were a couple chances for him to go in the next few picks and we didn’t want to risk that. It was a no-brainer.”
“Great thing about him is we feel he is capable of doing both (ability to play both defensive tackle spots),” Ruskell said. “He is a guy who is very strong and very quick. This guy gets off the ball. He is a high motor player. Not just the bench (press), he is a very strong player.”
Paea benched 225 pounds a record 49 times at the NFL combine.
As far as his torn lateral meniscus in his right knee, which he suffered during Senior Bowl practice in January: “Right now, I’m at 100 percent,” he said. “I’m ready to roll. It’s been three to four months off my surgery, and I’m ready to go.”
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