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Hokies Have Attention of Bears

Pro Day Update: Bears assistants Juan Castillo and Deshea Townsend attend pro day for Christian Darrisaw and Caleb Farley at Virginia Tech

Virginia Tech's pro day proved a bit of a letdown, especially for the Bears. Neither cornerback Caleb Farley nor tackle Christian Darrisaw were big-time participants due to past injuries and surgery.  

Darrisaw's was a minor core injury and he was able to go through position drills, but Farley's back injury and treatment required he miss all the on-field work.

The Bears were heavily represented, anyway, with both defensive backs coach Deshea Townsend and offensive line coach Juan Castillo there.

There's no doubt who the most-often mock-drafted player to the Bears has been since the end of the college season. That's Darrisaw.

The left tackle has been put on mock drafts as a Bears pick at times by ESPN, CBS Sports, NFL Draft Bible and BearDigest, to name only a few.

The fit is an obvious one, with the Bears looking for a left tackle and Darrisaw playing the spot well for the Hokies.

He's even being trained by a former Bear in the run up to the draft, former Bears and Packers lineman Josh Sitton.

"Josh Sitton is playing a huge role for me during the draft process to get ready," Darrisaw said in his Zoom interview after Friday's pro day. "Just telling me to keep your head in the playbook and taking care of your body is a huge thing."

Darrisaw has been talking to teams who seem interested in playing him at right tackle for a while. The Bears would not necessarily be one of those, although they could.

"I'm definitely a left tackle but (teams) show like an interest in me playing anywhere," Darrisaw said. "A few teams, they have a solidified left tackle now and they told me like your role would be like a right tackle for like four to five years and then you'll change over to the left."

If the Bears did draft Darrisaw and asked him to play right tackle, it is unlikely to be for more than a year because left tackle Charles Leno Jr. is in the final year of his contract.

"And they just wanted to know if I was able to do it and everything and I told them, like, I'm comfortable playing either side, right or left, but I know I'm a left tackle at the end of the day. But I can get it done on either side," Darrisaw said.

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Darrisaw is 6-foot-5 1/2, 313 pounds and played with a chip on his shoulder throughout his time at Virginia Tech. He was only a two-star recruit but he stuffed that ranking.

"Earning that trust that I got from coaches and being the starter Day 1, it's just a lot of pride and joy," Darrisaw said. "All the other coaches were wrong about me."

Farley is a player who could be unavailable to the Bears unless they traded up because many scouts have h ranked the best cornerback in the draft. Some have him down as low as No. 3. NFL Draft Bible says he's No. 1 among corners and that's even after he opted out last year and had some injury issues.

He had a back issue requiring recent surgery, and also early in his career a torn ACL in a non-contact situation.

At the next level, Farley wants to be the proverbial lockdown corner like the Bears are looking for after losing Kyle Fuller to a salary cap situation.

"I would love for a coach to come to me and say take out this team's best wide receiver this week," Farley said.

Although the Bears are interested enough to have Townsend at the pro day, Farley said they hadn't spoken directly yet.  He definitely has followed former Bears cornerback Kyler Fuller as he left Chicago. Fuller is a former Virginia Tech player.

Farley doesn't think teams need to be worried about his injury situation. He could have had the back surgery earlier because he didn't play last season, but waited and it prevented his workouts.

"I'm not really concerend about that at all," he said of his back. "It's just unfortuntae about how the timing of this played out. I feel like I could have handled it better."

Elsewhere Friday:

BYU cornerback Chris Wilcox produced a 4.37 time working out at the same pro day as quarterback and teammate Zach Wilson. He had a 37 1/2-inch vertical leap and 10-foot-6 broad jump. BYU tackle Brady Christensen came away happy with his workout. The 6-6, 302-pounder did 30 reps in the bench had had a 40 time of 4.89 seconds. Christensen has been touted by Pro Football Focus to have allowed the lowest pressure rate on quarterbacks by any lineman since 2014, 0.8% ... South Dakota State slot receiver Cade Johnson turned in a time of 4.49 Friday in his pro day. The 5-10 1/2, 184-pound receiver is ranked as a third-round pick by NFL Draft Bible. He had a 35-inch vertical leap.

The Bears have Allen Robinson as an X-receiver but Nico Collins definitely made any team sit up and take notice at the Michigan pro day. The 6-foot-4, 215-pound Collins had a wingspan measured at 78 1/2 inches, ran a 4.43-second 40-yard dash, and had a phenomenal 6.71-second three-cone drill. His vertical leap was 37 1/2 inches and his broad jump was 10-5. ... Wolverines edge rusher Kwity Payne ran a 4.52 in the 40 at 6-2, 261 pounds and has a wingspan of 78 1/2 inches. He also did 36 reps in the bench at 225 and had a 35 1/2-inch vertical leap.

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