Brock Vereen had one simple message for his new home fan base Saturday:
The University of Minnesota Golden Gopher's defensive back was taken by the Bears in the fourth round of the NFL Draft Saturday, at the 131st overall pick. The team traded up to take the senior, giving up their fifth-round picks both this year and next to the Denver Broncos in exchange for pick 131 and a seventh-rounder this year.
Vereen is a 6-foot, 200-pound safety, but would have the flexibility to play either safety or corner. He played both positions with the Gophers. He was a first-team all-Big Ten selection last season, recording 59 tackles. He started all 13 games at free safety for the Gophers. Vereen’s 25 bench-press reps were the most among defensive backs at the combine, and his 4.07-second short shuttle was second amongst safeties.
With the pick, the Bears address a "major need" at safety, the Chicago Tribune writes. NFL.com calls Vereen an "Intelligent, athletic, rangy free safety with desirable strength and cover skills to go along with football bloodlines. Needs to improve against the run but is instinctive and brings terrific intangibles that could propel him into a role as a starter and defensive leader."
His teammate in Minnesota, Ra’Shede Hageman, was drafted Friday night in the second round by the Atlanta Falcons.
Vereen comes from a football family: His dad was drafted by Tampa Bay and his brother, Shane, is a currently a running back for the New England Patriots.
Speaking of, check out the Chicago Bears' schedule: Oct. 26, at New England.
The younger Vereen already has it circled.