WSU SS Deone Bucannon visits Bears

CHICAGO -- Washington State safety Deone Bucannon made a pre-draft visit to the Chicago Bears on Tuesday, according to a league source.

ESPN NFL draft Insider Todd McShay rates Bucannon as the third best safety in the 2014 draft class. Mel Kiper Jr. ranks Bucannon fifth on his list of the top-10 safeties in the draft.

Bucannon earned First-Team All-American honors in 2013 when he recorded 78 tackles, three forced fumbles and a career-high six interceptions. The 6-foot-1, 215 pound safety finished his career at WSU with 15 picks and contributed on defense all four years in college.

Bucannon has the reputation of being a nasty, physical player that delivers big hits from the safety spot. He reportedly had a strong week of practice leading up the Senior Bowl in January.

The Bears are expected to draft a safety next month despite signing several players at the position in free agency.

But only Ryan Mundy appears to be in the driver’s seat to winning a start job in training camp. The rest of the veteran players under contract will be forced to win their roster spots, meaning that a rookie could theoretically step in and start Week 1 if the club feels he can be a difference-maker.

The Bears are likely to take a closer look at several of the top safeties in the draft class in the coming weeks.

Teams are allowed 30 pre-draft visits to their facilities.