LB Arthur Brown to visit Bears

CHICAGO -- Former Kansas State linebacker Arthur Brown will make an official pre-draft visit to the Chicago Bears early this week, according to a league source.

Brown, the 2012 Big 12's Defensive Player of the Year, is scheduled to be in the Chicagoland area on Monday and Tuesday to meet with the team.

ESPN Insider Mel Kiper Jr. projected the San Diego Chargers selecting Brown in the second round at No. 45 overall in his latest mock draft, although several publications list Brown as a potential late-first-round choice.

The Chicago Tribune reported last week that Brown and the Bears would meet prior to the NFL draft.

Brown originally signed with the University of Miami out of high school but eventually transferred to Kansas State, where, after sitting out the required one season, he had a breakthrough junior year with 101 tackles, 2.0 sacks, 9.5 tackles for loss and one interception en route to being named the Big 12's Defensive Newcomer of the Year in 2011.

Brown put up similar numbers last season for the Wildcats as he recorded 100 tackles, 7.0 tackles for loss and two interceptions, but a right shoulder injury prevented the linebacker from participating in drills at the NFL combine.

But Brown seemed to ease those health concerns last month at Kansas State's pro day when he reportedly was timed in the 4.56-4.66 range in the 40-yard dash and did 21 reps on the bench-press drill.

Brown is one of several linebacker prospects on the Bears' radar in advance of draft weekend, for which the Bears currently have five picks, a number that could increase if the team decides to move back in the early rounds and stockpile more draft choices. Kiper had the Bears selecting Notre Dame linebacker Manti T'eo in the first round at No. 20 overall in his mock draft.

Linebacker is a clear need even after the club signed veterans D.J. Williams and James Anderson to one-year deals in free agency. Williams and Anderson will attempt to offset the losses of former starters Brian Urlacher and Nick Roach, but the fact that the Bears committed to each for only one year further emphasizes the need to inject some youth at the linebacker position.

Weakside linebacker Lance Briggs, who is coming off another outstanding year, will turn 33 during the regular season.