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Prove-it season ahead for Bears DT Melton

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Dan Parr
Associate editor

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By Dan Parr

Bears DT Henry Melton had some great spurts in 2011, when he recorded seven sacks in his first season as a full-time starter at three-technique. He also disappeared for lengthy stretches.

Melton looked dominant at times in Week One vs. the Falcons, when he sacked QB Matt Ryan twice and was credited with an eye-popping seven quarterback hits. He finished with a team-high 15 QB hits last season (Julius Peppers, who made a team-high 11 sacks, was second in QB hits with 13) and Melton’s seven sacks placed him among the league’s leading defensive tackles in the category.

He made only four sacks in the final 13 games, though, and recorded only eight QB hits in the next 15 games after breaking out in Week One.

League evaluators are enamored with the explosiveness Melton shows at times and one scout gushed to PFW that he is “loaded with ability.” The Bears also see rare potential in Melton, but they want more consistent disruption from him as he enters the final year of his rookie contract.

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