The Chicago Bears aren’t afraid to take chances on players with injury concerns in the NFL draft, including 2004 first-round pick Tommie Harris and 2008 first-round pick Chris Williams. So it’s no surprise that they pulled the trigger on Northwestern defensive end Corey Wootton in the fourth round of this year’s draft, despite concerns about his health.
Still, Mike Mulligan of the Chicago Sun-Times reports that at least three NFL teams removed Wootton from their draft boards because of injury issues.
”You will get something from the guy, but maybe his career will be limited,” one source on an NFL team told Mulligan. “We had the same grade on Williams, and he wound up needing surgery. We had a medical on Tommie Harris, too, and [the Bears] probably won with that one.”
Wootton suffered a neck injury as a freshman at Northwestern and ended up redshirting that season. He also suffered a torn ACL in the 2008 Alamo Bowl. According to Mulligan, the three teams that dropped Wootton from their boards did so because of the neck injury, but the Bears were more concerned about the knee.