Chicago Sun-Times

Deadline for underclassmen 6 days off

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The deadline for underclassmen to declare for the NFL draft is Tuesday, giving eligible players six more days to toss their hat in the ring.

Four running backs have already announced they will forgo future college eligibility to turn pro, including Illinois' Rashard Mendenhall.

The other backs are Rutgers' Ray Rice, Central Florida's Kevin Smith and Jamaal Charles, who replaced Cedric Benson at Texas.

Three offensive tackles have also declared early, headlined by Boise State's Ryan Clady, who is considered a sure first-round selection. Also declaring are Kansas' Anthony Collins and Middle Tennessee State's Franklin Dunbar.

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11 Comments

I think the Bears should use there first rd pick on Pitts Jeff Otah the 6-7 340lb road grader is also a nice pass protector. In the 2nd rd the Bears should select Adarius Bowman the 6-4 215lb wideout from Oklahoma state. In the 3rd rd the Bears should take QB Joe Flacco of Delaware, I caught a couple of his games this season and i was impressed with what I saw, Flacco has a strong arm and he moves around nicely in the pocket to avoid the rush. With the other 3rd pick the Bears should take C. Floridas Kevin Smith because anybody that runs for 2400 plus yds should get at least a shot. In the 4th rd the Bears should select West Virginias Owen Schmitt I know this is not a need area but the 6-2 250lb fb schmitt is like a third guard and the Bears need that attitude that he and his mohawk bring to the field. In the 5th rd I have the Bears bringing in another wideout Coastal Carolinas Jerome Simpson is known for scoring and never dropping a pass. In the 6th rd the Bears should bring in Geoff Schwartz who was the right tackle for Jonathan Stewart another road grader who was 2nd team pac 10 and could develope nicely into a run blocking right tackle for the Bears at 6-7 335lbs. Finally in the 7th rd another O-lineman in center Robbie Krutilla of Western Michigan. If you noticed I went all Offfense concentrateing on the running game with Otah, Schwartz on the line and Owen Schmitt the road gradeing fullback and of coarse rb Kevin Smith of central Florida. And some wide receivers that can actually catch the ball. Believe it or not Adarius Bowman is projected as a 2nd rounder if he is available the Bears should nab him. Bowman has the size 6-4 220 and all around ability to be a number one receiver. I have heard some people say that the Bears need to address the safety area I don't think so because Kevin Payne is coming back and I think Daniel Manning is a good free safety who got set back because the coaching staff tried playing him out of position at cornerback. GO BEARS.

Kevin, I agree with most of your selections. I like Smith from Central Florida but I also like Chris Johnson from East Carolina. I also like Mendenhall has well for his breakaway speed which we needed in the worse way last year. When the Bears had to wait until the 10 or 11 game to get there first 20+ run from a Running Back that is bad.

Also the O-Line and Wide Receivers must be addressed. The Bears gave up over 40 sacks and almost led the league in drops by Wide Receiver.

Flaco could be there in FA. Now if you are looking for a sleeper at QB, I like the quarterback from Central Michigan and I like to a degree Curtis Painter. These two guys could both be Free Agent lookies. Do not draft a quarterback!

On Defense, yes Safety is a must. We could have had Le Ron Laundry if we would have traded Briggs which was what the Skins were offering the Bears. I also want a Weak side LB with Speed. Hunter Hillermeyer is a nice player but he is not quick enough nor hasty for my taste. He was playing a lot of nickel on 3rd downs.

One thing to remember is that unless you grab the first or second best OL in the draft they will need to develop for at least a year or two. That is why Angelo has gone after FA on the OL, they can step right in (but they get old quickly). If the first or second best LT is available then grab him and move Tait to RT. Grab Faneca in FA (yes 10 yr vet but best guard out there). Get rid of Metcalf and develop a guard in his place instead. We need to also improve the DT and LBs. They are good but we need depth. With Hester running back kickoffs he is scoring a lot of TDs but that is also putting our defense back on the field. I like the idea of getting West Virginias Owen Schmitt and developing some WR (they usually take a year or two or three to become efficient)and a QB.

paul, too bad hunter hillenmeyer plays SLB not WLB.

I think this off season is going to be very interested for the Bears organization. With a nice $20 million dollar cap space to utilize, I think it would be a good choice to make a run for an all pro in Faneca. He would easily fit in nicely into the O-line scheme with Kertz and Tait. If that happens, the draft should be used to either grab a killer safety / an ultimate offensive weapon. Three names come to mind.

Kenny Phillips: A great safety option from Miami, that school always produces great safeties / TE's

Steve Slanton: With him in the backfield, we can finally have that two headed RB option back.

Desean Jackson: If Berrian decides to leave, we get an awesome replacement, and probably put him back there with Hester to take Kickoffs / Punt returns... No one would then kick it to us they would rather give us the ball at the 40 every time.

These are just suggestions, so look optimistic Bear Nation.

defense has been focal point of draft for years time to work the offense. Points and the potential for points make a defense better. Get Faneca and draft, draft, draft o-line and rbs create comp at all offensive spots may the best win

The defense showed some weakness against the run. If they don't pick up a widebody defensive lineman in free agency, they should definately look at somebody like USC's Sedrick Ellis. So many needs for this team. Wide recieving, another running back, defensive backs/safety, and offensive line.

Kevin's draft picks would be great if those players were around at the time the Bears are picking. Aside from Jeff Otah all the other first day picks will be gone before the Bears pick in the second round. Joe Flacco might be available but unless he has great pocket presence and a quick release he is going to another statue back in the pocket. The Bears might be able to get by with their quarterbacks if they improve their line. But I do agree a first day draft of a quarterback is in order. If the Bears choose to go after free agent Travelle Wharton from the Panthers it would allow them to draft Brian Brohm or Andre Woodson with their first pick.

With the third round picks Dantrell Savage RB from Oklahoma State and Aaron Kelly WR from Clemson, to replace Mushin Muhammad, should be available.

The trouble about picking for need is that you sometimes have to settle for a lesser talent.

Dan, My mistake as I said I like Hunter Hillermeyer but a Linebacker with Speed and who is nasty is what I would like.

All these draft niks above need to remember Angelo is smarter than all of us [chuckle] it does not matter who he drafts we will never know because Lovie [the mastermind] won't play them anyway,last but not least can someone give Metcalf directions out of Chicago?

what about Jamaal Charles, he is a very tall (6-1), powerful, and has break away speed. I no its hard to think of picking another back from texas becasue of (cedric Benson), but if we sign free agent michael Turner we could have a 1,2 punch in the back field.

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This page contains a single entry by Brad Biggs published on January 9, 2008 9:18 AM.

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