With the 115th pick in the 2018 NFL draft, the Chicago Bears select inside linebacker Joel Iyiegbuniwe out of Western Kentucky. Mel Kiper Jr. called this kid a “warrior” and his rangy athleticism and productivity backs that up.
The compactly built Iyiegbuniwe was the most productive linebackers in the USA Conference, racking up a strong 116 tackles and 11.5 tackles for loss in his junior season. He can help in pass coverage and he actively tries to strip the football, finishing 2017 with three forced fumbles.
The Bears are continually searching for athletes on the defense in this draft. Iyiegbuniwe doesn’t bring a lot of size and therefore can’t contribute too much to the suffering pass rush, but he will be able to have a big impact on special teams and in sub packages for his rookie season, at least. Having eleven tackles on special teams to his name gives him value in the special teams immediately.