Bears News: Getting to Know: Clark, Trahan, Szmyt
Clark is a talented DB (Photo courtesy: Tulane)

Bears News: Getting to Know: Clark, Trahan, Szmyt

by - Senior Writer -

We have reached the final installment of our getting-to-know series as we move to the back half of the Bears' defense. Despite all the issues the Bears' defense had, the secondary wasn't one of them, even if the numbers don't show that.

When you don't get a pass rush or put pressure on an opposing QB, your secondary will get torched, which is what oftentimes happened to the Bear's secondary a season ago. They may not have gotten the turnovers they would have liked, but with Jaylon Johnson, Kyler Gordon, and Jaquon Brisker as three of the four starters, your future is in good hands.

Throw in some sneaky good pickups in the draft, and the Bears' secondary has quietly become one of the deepest secondary units in football with a chance to be one of the best. Along with all the moves that everyone knows about, why not focus on the ones that are not going to be talked about, which happen to be a pair of undrafted FA pickups?

Like the WR room, you can never have too much depth in the secondary, and undrafted pickups are solely being brought to camp as a depth option. They get the same opportunities everyone else does in camp, and worst comes to worst; they perform well enough to land on a practice squad roster.

Macon Clark CB

Anytime you inquire about players on the undrafted market, you must look at their overall production against the competition level they played. For Clark, coming from the University of Tulane may not seem like a big-time program, but when you face UCF, SMU, Cincinnati, and Houston, you see plenty of explosive players.

Not only did Clark see that, but he was one of the Green Wave's most reliable defenders and helped orchestrate a massive turnaround for that program last season. Clark is 5-11 and checks in at 203 pounds. He has 59 games of collegiate experience under his belt, where he picked up 204 tackles. 18.5 of those were tackles for a loss to go with five sacks, but what he does in pass coverage stood out.

Clark broke up 18 passes throughout his career while coming away with nine interceptions. Two of those picks were returned for scores, as he is the definition of a playmaking defender.

Bralen Trahan DB

Much like Clark, Trahan comes from a smaller program in Louisiana, but one that sees plenty of explosive offenses in non-conference play. Another undersized CB at 6-0 and 191 pounds, Trahan must use his overall instincts to make up for what he lacks in size, especially when covering some of the league's elite WRs.

Trahan spent six years in college but only played in six games his first two seasons, earning a pair of red-shirt years. Over the last four years, Trahan has been busy playing in 51 games, with most of them coming as starts. While on the field, Trahan has done a fine job at producing where he has logged 214 tackles, but only 6.5 coming as a tackle for a loss.

Trahan isn't getting paid to tackle, but instead, he is getting paid to be a playmaker, which he was in college. Not only did he have two four-interception seasons, but he finished his career with 13 picks. Along with those 13 picks came 323 yards in return yardage which equates to 24.8 yards per interception. Trahan also has one TD to his name, as he had a chance to go the distance every time he touched the ball.

Andre Szmyt K

The final player on our list is a rare free agent pickup in former Syracuse kicker Andre Szmyt. No one is saying Kickers don't deserve to be picked up, but you usually don't have too many teams taking kickers on the undrafted route, especially teams with an established kicker like Cairo Santos.

Looking back at his film, you can see why the Bears took a chance on him as he burst onto the scene as a freshman and never looked back. He is a record-setting kicker who ranks No. 1 all-time in points for Syracuse with 485 and is in the top 15 all-time in scoring among the NCAA ranks. He is also fourth all-time in the ACC in scoring while making 81% of his field goal tries. Look for him to be a sneaky good pickup, Poles and his staff.

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