LAKE FOREST, Ill. (AP) — The Chicago Bears tried to bolster their defense even more in the final day of the NFL draft Saturday, picking two more players on that side of ball. And then they went and picked one of the most prolific quarterbacks in NCAA history to backup Jay Cutler.
With the 181st overall pick, the Bears chose Central Michigan quarterback Dan LeFevour in the sixth round. The Bears had inexperienced Caleb Hanie and former Northwestern player Brett Basanez behind Cutler last season and have not added a free agent backup.
The 6-foot-3, 230-pound LeFevour finished his Central Michigan career with 15,853 yards of total offense, second in NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision history (Hawaii's Timmy Chang had 16,910). LeFevour is the only player in NCAA history with at least 12,000 passing yards (12,905) and 2,500 rushing yards (2,948).
LeFevour also ended his college career fifth in the FBS in career completions and 10th in yards passing. If he sticks with the Bears, he will be playing not far from his childhood home in Downers Grove, Ill.
"It means everything to me," said LeFevour, the first quarterback drafted by the Bears since Kyle Orton in 2005. "It's a dream come true, literally. I've been watching the Bears for quite a few years now. If you go in my room, it's decorated with all Chicago Bears stuff."
LeFevour expected to be drafted earlier, but understood that questions about his arm strength and playing in a spread offense at Central Michigan led to his fall.
"So it might not have happened in the round that I'd liked, but it's definitely to the right team and I'm very excited to be here," LeFevour said.
Earlier, the Bears took Northwestern defensive end Corey Wootton in the fourth round with the 109th pick overall and then took cornerback Joshua Moore from Kansas State in the fifth round at No. 141. This came one day after the Bears spent their first overall pick on Florida free safety Major Wright in the third round.
The biggest change in the NFL for LeFevour might be taking snaps under center after using the shotgun all through college. He started working on it Jan. 7.
"I feel like I've been making a lot of progress, but I've got a few more strides to go before I feel extremely comfortable under center," he said.
Bears general manager Jerry Angelo had no real inclination to draft a quarterback, but couldn't resist taking LeFevour in Round 6 to challenge the others to be Cutler's backup largely because of his accomplishments and 4.65 speed in the 40-yard dash.
"The quarterback position obviously has value any year regardless of what your quarterback situation is," Angelo said. "We've done a lot of work on Dan given the fact that he's played in our back yard. Mid-Americans (Conference players) have a pretty good tradition of their better quarterbacks coming into the league and at some point in time finding their way."
Angelo also wouldn't rule out signing a veteran backup and taking four quarterbacks to training camp.
Wootton made 10 sacks in 2009 but suffered a torn right anterior cruciate ligament in the final game and had then tried to play the 2009 season only nine months after surgery. He had four sacks and estimated he was only 70 percent strength.
"It was definitely a difficult year for me, but since the season ended I've made tremendous gains in my strength and everything like that," Wootton said.
Wootton estimated he's "90 to 95 percent" strength and expects to be full strength by training camp.
The 5-foot-11, 188-pound Moore left Kansas State after his junior season and six career interceptions. Moore worried scouts at the February NFL scouting combine by performing only two reps at 225 pounds in the bench press.
"I know that was a big question on me coming into this," he said. "I know I have to come in and get into the weight room and work way harder than what I did before."
Bears general manager Jerry Angelo said the team liked Moore because he is 5-foot-11 and was one of the faster cornerbacks available in the draft.
With Wright and Moore, the Bears are seeking to improve a pass defense that sank to 20th in the league last year. The Bears last year used 11 different safety combinations and have used 21 different free safeties during Lovie Smith's six years as head coach.
The Bears also used a pick in the seventh round on offensive tackle J'Marcus Webb of West Texas A&M — the cousin of former Miami Dolphins tackle Richmond Webb. As a freshman, J'Marcus Webb had played at Texas but left the school and later wound up in Division II.
The Bears' real offensive line need heading into the draft appeared to be guard because they have moved left guard Frank Omiyale to right tackle. Their solution might not be a draft pick, but guard Alan Faneca, who was released by the Jets on Saturday.
"Who would not consider Alan Faneca if you had a need on the offensive line?" Angelo said.