April 5th, 2011
by bearsbacker

Defensive lineman Henry Melton got his first playing time this past season. Melton definitely took advantage of his chance. Melton flashed potential during his rookie year, 2009, but suffered a season-ending ankle injury during the pre-season.

Melton appeared in all 16 games last season making 16 tackles, three sacks and one forced fumble. Melton’s first sack came in week 10 against the Vikings. In that game Melton sacked Vikings QB Brett Favre.

Five weeks later fellow teammate Corey Wootton knocked Brett Favre out on Monday Night Football helping the Bears clinch the NFC North for the first time since 2006.

The Bears defensive line was much improved last season. The addition of Julius Peppers through free agency, the emergence of Israel Idonije at defensive end, second-year player Henry Melton and rookie Corey Wootton helped the Bears unit get back to the where it used to be.

Melton could be a big part of the defense next season with the departure of Tommie Harris this off-season. The only other defensive tackles under contract are Matt Toeaina, Marcus Harrison and Tank Tyler.

Veteran Anthony Adams is a unrestricted free-agent and should be re-signed. Marcus Harrison and Tank Tyler are both question marks to even make the team. The Bears will be looking to add a defensive tackle through the draft.

Henry Melton and Matt Toeaina project to be the starters. If Anthony Adams is re-signed, which he likely will be, he will be in mix for some playing time.

Through the draft, Corey Liuget could be an option at the #29 spot. Liuget is moving up draft boards according to Mike Mayock of NFL.com and might not be there at #29. Stephen Paea from Oregon State is another option. The Bears will add a defensive tackle sometime in the draft coming up on Arpil 28th, if not in the first round they will look for someone special in the later rounds.

Either way DT Henry Melton will be a vital part of the Bears next season. He will get his shot, the Bears like what they saw out of him. He is an athletic player who can come right in and replace the disappointing Tommie Harris.

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