Saturday, April 30, 2016. The Chicago Bears are on the clock with the 113th pick of the 4th round. They select 22 year old LB Nick Kwiatkoski out of West Virginia. Now, almost 2 years later, Nick Kwiatkoski is a relatively unknown name outside out Chicago and West Virginia. But I, as well as every other Bears fan, have a few reasons to think that’s going to change.
Kwiatkoski excelled as a safety in 2012, then was moved to Linebacker for the rest of his time at West Virginia. He finished with 200 solo tackles, 95 assisted tackles, 6 interceptions, 2 fumble recoveries, 10 pass deflections, and 3 forced fumbles. Kwiatkoski preformed well at the combine as well. 4.73 40 yard dash, 19 reps on the bench press, 32 inch vertical, 120 inch broad jump, 7.16 second 3 cone, and a 4.22 sec 3 cone.
With the release of LB Jerrell Freeman, Kwiatkoski should see more playing time this year. Starting 6 games last year, playing in 11 total, Kwiatkoski racked up 34 solo tackles with 11 assisted tackles, 2 sacks, 2 pass deflections and a forced fumble. Kwiatkoski has an excellent nose for the ball, as well as fantastic ball skills. He excels when finishing tackles, and has a tough play demeanor. Playing opposite of Danny Trevathan, Kwiatkoski should make a name for himself this year as a hopeful full time.
So the final verdict? I think he’s a hidden gem. I think Kwiatkoski has the ability and potential to go above and beyond for this team. I think him and Trevathan are gonna contribute to one of the best linebacker cores here in the next few years.