This time last year Chris Conte was buried on the depth chart. Not until he moved to safety did his career--and NFL prospects--develop to an All-American level. Conte credits the move to safety (and Coach P) as the reasons he received the call from Chicago on Friday.
On how much moving to safety improved his draft stock:
"100 percent. I think I would have not been drafted if I hadn’t moved to safety."
On why safety is better suited for him:
"It just fits me and my style of football better. I can be a lot more aggressive. I can use my skills covering slot receivers and tight ends and just diversify the amount of things I can do and become more of an all-around football player instead of just being on an island the whole time."
On how much playing corner and safety helped his draft stock:
"Having that ability to play corner, not a lot of people have that. Being a Pac-10 corner showed that I can cover and have the athleticism to do that. … Bringing that to the safety position helps a lot."
On when it hit him he was a draft prospect:
"I learned how much of a prospect I was from Coach Pendergast. He believed in me a lot and really told me how good of a player I could be. He’s seen guys go into the NFL and develop and he believed in me. That really built my confidence and it just kind of developed from there. Every week, I was more and more confident. By the end of the season, I pretty much felt like I was getting drafted. From there on out, it seemed like my stock grew higher and higher. It was a great experience, the best experience I’ve ever had."
After the jump ESPN rates the draft (including picks of the Bears), the Bears react to being drafted, and Maynard appears to have locked up the top quarterback spot.
- Cal had the second-most draft picks in the Pac-12, behind USC (of course).
- Shane Vereen and Chris Conte joined the Patriots and Bears, respectively in the 2nd and 3rd rounds of the NFL Draft.
- Mike Mohamed was the only Bear drafted on day 6 of the NFL Draft. He joins Syd Thompson and the NFL Broncos. When John Elway called Mike, he said "Imagine a Stanford guy picking a Cal guy."
- Cameron Jordan's parents talk about Cam getting drafted and how they raised and prepared him for this moment.
- Denver, Chicago, New Orleans, and New England earn a B, B, B, and C+ from Mel Kiper. He says Cam was a great value and that New England reached on Vereen (and Ridley).
- ESPN breaks down rounds 1, 2, 3, and 6 (note: each round is a separate link), which feature Cameron Jordan, Shane Vereen, Chris Conte, and Mike Mohamed, respectively.
- Vereen talks about receiving the call, playing for the Pats, his immediate goal, and moving to the Boston area.
- The quarterback competition might not be much of a competition anymore--Maynard continues to take first-team reps and Tedford said he will have a QB announcement later this week.
- Maynard's confidence is rising along with Tedford's confidence in the favored starter.
- BearTerritory covers the offense and defense from the Spring's final practice.
- CalBears.com has a handful of stats from the final scrimmage.
- The 20th-ranked Bears' slide continues with a 4-3 loss to Oregon. The Bears made a comeback bid but could not overcome the deficit.