Bears Pick Up Three More in Draft - NBC Chicago
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Bears Pick Up Three More in Draft



    The Bears continued to pick up players in the final rounds of the 2011 draft, adding to the defense and giving Jay Cutler and Caleb Hanie a back-up. Along with Gabe Carimi and Stephen Paea, the Bears picked up five players over the course of the weekend.

    Third round -- Chris Conte, SS, 6-3, 220 lbs., California: For the seventh year, the Bears picked a safety in the draft. Conte is a true safety -- not a corner moved over -- who has both the size and speed to cover the backfield. He won first-team, All Pac-10 honors and caught Jerry Angelo's eye.

    "There has been a lot of talk about taking corners and moving them to safeties," Bears general manager Jerry Angelo said. "He is true free safety with size and speed."

     He isn't expected to be an instant starter, but will be brought along slowly, like Major Wright.

    Fifth round -- Nathan Enderle, QB, 6-5, 240 lbs., Idaho

    The Bears had discussed their wish to pick up a quarterback to develop. In Enderle, they definitely got a project. At Idaho, he had an up-and-down career, passing for more than 10,000 yards, but with a QB rating much lower in his senior year than he had garnered during his junior season.

    Offensive coordinator Mike Martz was a fan of Enderle's, as he was one of the coaches who braved bad weather to watch Enderle's pro day in Idaho. Enderle already had a Bears connection. His college roommate was Bears fullback Eddie Williams. He was also sought after by the Vikings, but the Bears got to him first.

    Sixth round -- J.T. Thomas, OLB, 6-2, 220 lbs., West Virginia

    Depth at linebacker was one of the Bears goals in the draft. Thomas gives it to them. He is known to have a good work ethic and do well on special teams.

    (Note: the Bears traded away their fourth-round pick.)