Scout's Take: Chicago Bears
Underrated: Akiem Hicks
Hicks is 6' 4" and long as the day. He’s a monster. It's uncommon to see big guys hustling like he does, and it’s not often you see someone of his size be a three-down player who can rush the passer as well. I was surprised New Orleans traded him. Maybe it was for cap reasons, but he was a handful for people while playing in New England. He's really one of the better interior defensive linemen that nobody in the country knows about.
Overrated: Alshon Jeffery
Jeffery is a talented individual, but he doesn’t work at the game the way you should, and that was an issue when he was coming out in 2012. He showed up heavy at the combine and didn’t run as well as what he should. The best ability in football is availability—you’ve got to be on the field. He’s a good player, but he’s not a difference maker. There’s been chatter about the contract, and he feels like he should be paid at the upper echelon. Listen, you performed at a high level for a year. Let's put two, three, or four highly productive years together before you start pouting.
They are building these current Bears in the image of what the Monsters of the Midway were—adding pieces like Danny Trevathan, Hicks, Jerrell Freeman. They are really trying to get back to the basics of playing great defense.