LAKE FOREST – The Chicago Bears picked Florida linebacker Jonathan Bostic in the second round of the NFL draft with the 50th overall pick Friday, shoring up a position that will be without Brian Urlacher next season.
Bostic started every game his final 2 years in the middle for Florida and figures to compete with veteran free agent acquisition D.J. Williams for the spot.
“I’ve got to say that I have a preference overall toward SEC football players, so my feet were just a little bit off the ground,” Bears general manager Phil Emery said. “The competition they face daily in practice and weekly in the league is at the highest level.”
Bostic had eight sacks, 19 1/2 tackles for loss and five interceptions 4 years at Florida. He ran a 4.6-second 40-yard dash at the combine and benched 225 pounds 22 times.
“The reason we like Jon is he’s a three-position player, a three-position linebacker,” Emery said. “I felt it was very important that if we were going to take a linebacker in the second round that we get somebody that could immediately fill in at all three spots.”
Bostic said there’s no added pressure following Urlacher.
“It’s not pressure,” he said. “It’s more a guy I can pretty much watch and learn a lot of things from on film.”
Bostic came to Florida as a cornerback/safety who had been slated to play weakside linebacker, but moved to the middle when the Gators brought in Jelani Jenkins.
Bostic made it 2-for-2 for the Bears in the draft in terms of sons of former NFL players. He is the son of former Detroit Lions defensive back Jon Bostic, who played in 29 games for Detroit from 1985-87.
The Bears had drafted the son of another former NFL player in Round 1 when they took Kyle Long, the son of Raiders hall of famer Howie Long.
The selection of Long and Bostic leaves the Bears still looking to address several needs, including cornerback. But the team traded away its third-round pick last year for wide receiver Brandon Marshall and, barring trade, does not select again until Round 4.
Emery said the team had a few opportunities to acquire a third-round pick through trade, but none he considered serious.
“The only way we could do it was give up next year’s (second-rounder),” he said. “That doesn’t make sense to us.”