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DT Bruce Gaston is viable option for Bears in middle to late rounds

Notre Dame running back Armando Allen Jr. is tackled for safety by Purdue's Bruce Gast(90) Ryan Kerrigan (94) CharitWilliams (15)

Notre Dame running back Armando Allen Jr. is tackled for a safety by Purdue's Bruce Gaston (90), Ryan Kerrigan (94) and Chariton Williams (15) during the fourth quarter of an NCAA college football game in South Bend, Ind., Saturday, Sept. 4, 2010. Notre Dame won 23-12. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

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Updated: June 10, 2014 6:36AM

Like other local NFL hopefuls, Purdue defensive tackle Bruce Gaston left Halas Hall feeling confident about his performance at the Bears’ local pro day last month.

“It went really well,” the St. Rita graduate said. “I think I made a good impression.”

That Gaston did. The Bears called Gaston back after the local pro day. He returned to Halas Hall to go over his Purdue film with defensive line coach Paul Pasqualoni and assistant Clint Hurtt, answering questions about his assignments and thought processes on certain plays.

“It felt a little more in depth,” Gaston said.

The Bears’ draft needs start with defensive tackle and safety. Considering the injuries the defensive line faced last season, using more than one draft pick on defensive linemen is a strong possibility.

Gaston looks like a real option for general manager Phil Emery and Co. to consider in the middle to late rounds.

At 6-2 and 316 pounds, Gaston said he feels most productive at nose but believes he has the talent to handle the responsibilities of a three-technique tackle.

“I feel I can play any position inside,” Gaston said.

Gaston, a Sun-Times All-Area selection at St. Rita, was a four-year starter at Purdue. He led the Boilermakers last season with three sacks and seven tackles for loss.

Getting snubbed by the NFL Scouting Combine also fuels Gaston. To his credit, teams have remained interested without him being at the important pre-draft event.

“It’s motivated me a lot, to be honest with you,” Gaston said. “[The draft process] has gone really well. A lot of teams have shown interest, so I’m really excited to see what happens with the interest I’ve been getting.

“But [not getting invited to the combine] motivates me in every-day life. Just thinking that I didn’t go and I feel like I should have with the numbers I’ve put up and everything; my whole goal is that I want to prove everybody wrong. It’s the way I’ve been my entire life. I like proving people wrong. I try to turn it into positive energy and motivation.”


Twitter: @adamjahns

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