Bears make Major decision

LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- The Chicago Bears addressed maybe their biggest area of need, selecting Florida safety Major Wright in the third round at No. 75.

"Words can't even describe it," Wright said. "I literally just ran down the street, laid in the middle and started crying."

And after the initial excitement wears off, he will be ready to go to work.

"I'm looking to come in and just basically work my butt off for the coaches, and wherever they need me at, I'm willing to go play," Wright said.

The Bears didn't just choose the best player available. This pick had been in the works for quite a while.

"Going into the draft, safety was one of the positions we had targeted to improve our ball club," head coach Lovie Smith said. "We evaluated quite a few defensive backs. ... Major Wright was one of the players we liked from the start. We spent a lot of time with him. [Defensive backs coach] Jon Hoke went down and worked him out within the last week or so. At the NFL combine ... any time we had a chance to evaluate him as a player, we liked what we came back with."

Wright, a three-year starter for the Gators, has the reputation of being a big-hitter with playmaking ability. He had only 32 tackles in 2009 but did have three interceptions, finishing with eight career picks for Florida.

"He's going to bring a lot of energy to our defense," Smith said. "Big hitter. He has good skills as far as coverage is concerned. He's pretty excited about being a Chicago Bear, and we are too."

With Craig Steltz and Danieal Manning currently working with the first team, Wright figures to challange for a job at free safety. He is the first Florida player drafted by Bears general manager Jerry Angelo since four were taken in 2003 (Rex Grossman, Todd Johnson, Ian Scott and Tron LaFavor).

Wright says he is a team player.

"I'm very smart. I communicate on the field. I'm very physical [and] I can cover," he said. "With me, I play within the defense and never play outside the defense where I try to do my own thing. I always play the calls and whatever the coach tells me."

Smith may tell him to get on the field right away.

"He has the traits to start," Bears general manager Jerry Angelo said. "That's where it starts with us. Now the instincts, picking up the system, the ability to handle the rigors of the pro game ... you don't know that until a guy gets on campus."

Wright didn't raise any red flags when it came to character either, according to Angelo.

"I think you'll find him to be a very good person," he said. "He's a tough guy [with] the characteristics we look for at the safety position. Given that he was an underclassman, we felt very good about knowing as much as you can know about him, and felt good about all the information that we got."