In part two of our draft series, we look at Oregon safety Patrick Chung. I should preface this by disclosing my feelings on Chung, which are almost to the degree of being giddy. This kid can play and, from all I’ve heard, he has all the intangibles one could reasonably hope for in a 21 year-old.
Chung was a four-year starter for the Ducks, recording 384 tackles in 51 games played. He was a second-team All-American selection in 2007, and was named All-Pac 10 in both his junior and senior years.
Although a bit shorter than one would prefer (5’11), Chung is both a strong, physical tackler with the capacity to lay some wood, and a fluid enough to provide help in coverage.
He doesn’t have great speed, nor is he a prototypical, centerfielder-type safety; however, he has the burst to close, and seems to be utterly tireless. Basically, he has the potential to be a deft run-stopper.
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Chung also has great hands and has the potential to be a playmaker both on defense and special teams; he was noted in his time in Eugene
for being constantly around the ball.
The bang on Chung (besides his size) is that he is over-aggressive at times, leading to the occasional over-pursuit, and he isn’t all that hot in coverage. One would do well to avoid putting Chung in a man-to-man situation against a tight end or receiver.
While certainly not the best athlete in the draft, Chung is smart enough, and has adequate enough tools to play on a high level in the NFL
And for those character conscious fans, Chung is, by all accounts, a great character guy and an incredibly hard worker. These attributes will ease Chung’s transition into the NFL, and aid the native-Jamaican in making an immediate impact in 2009.