Bears trying a first-round reclamation project after Ratliff release

Bears DL Ziggy Hood was a first-round pick of the Steelers back in 2009.
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sport

When the Chicago Bears dumped veteran defensive lineman Jeremiah Ratliff late last week following an in-house controversy, they replaced him with former first-round draft pick Ziggy Hood.

Hood, 28, was selected 32nd overall by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 2009 NFL Draft. He spent his first five seasons with the Steelers and eventually became a serviceable starter, but never a sack master. The 300-pounder has 12.5 sacks through six NFL seasons.

Hood’s role was reduced to that of a full-time reserve after signing with the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2014. He developed a foot injury earlier this year and spent the season up until his signing with the Bears on Jacksonville’s injured reserve.

Back in 2009, Hood seemed worthy of a first-round pick. Now, Chicago is practically plucking him out of the scrap heap. Still, Bears head coach John Fox comes off as pumped about the new addition in this Tweet from Dan Wiederer of the Chicago Tribune.

Perhaps defensive coordinator Vic Fangio will find a good use for Hood in his 3-4 system. Although Ratliff hadn’t been contributing much, other players in the front seven — such as linemen Eddie Goldman and Jarvis Jenkins and linebackers Pernell McPhee and Shea McClellin — have been pretty productive so far this season.

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