The great thing about the NFL is that there are so many positions that every year, there is almost always at least one player who has a breakout year on every team, no matter how good or bad the team is. This is one part in a 32 part segment detailing one potential breakout player (rookies don’t count) for the 2013 NFL season on each NFL team. For the Chicago Bears, that player is safety Major Wright.
Major Wright’s season was very similar to the Chicago Bears’ season. The Bears started the season 7-1 before finishing the season 3-5 in their final 8 games and missing the playoffs. Wright, similarly, had a great start to his season, but finished but just above average. In his first 8 games, Wright graded out above average on ProFootballFocus 6 times, including 3 games above +1.0 and 2 games above +2.0. He was only -1.0 once in those 8 games.
Overall, he was my mid-season pick to represent the NFC in the Pro-Bowl from the strong safety position. He had 14 tackles for offensive failure, also known as stops (within 4 yards of the LOS on 1st round, 6 yards on 2nd down, and the full distance on 3rd or 4th down) and only missed 3 tackles on the season. In coverage, he was thrown at 17 times, allowing 11 completions for 132 yards and no touchdowns, while picking off 3 passes, deflecting 1 pass, and committing 1 penalty.
However, in the final 8 games, he was positive in just 4 games, above +1.0 twice, never above +2.0, and below -1.0 twice, including a season worst -5.2 game against the 49ers week 11 that killed his chances of being a very highly rated player on the season. In that game, he allowed 4 completions for 54 yards and his first touchdown of the season on 4 attempts, missing 2 tackles, committing 1 penalty, and only recording 1 stop. Combined in his 8 games, he missed 7 tackles to 11 stops, allowed 12 catches for 131 yards on 20 attempts for 2 touchdowns, 1 interception. He deflected 1 pass in those 8 games and had 2 penalties.
He finished the season above average in both coverage and against the run, but was only 23rd among safeties on ProFootballFocus. Now heading into his 4th year in the league, Wright, a 2010 3rd round pick, doesn’t turn 25 until July and still has plenty of upside. He’ll need to improve his consistency and his tackling, but he has a chance to grade out as one of the better safeties in the league.