Chicago Sun-Times

Bears keeping tabs on athletic Rutgers lineman Zuttah

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We’re still gathering some information from the action down in Fayetteville, Ark., at the Razorbacks pro day earlier today and should have an update a little bit later on. Lovie Smith and Bears Southwest area scout Chris Ballard were on hand to watch running backs Darren McFadden and Felix Jones, among others.

But there’s more draft information coming in all the time.

J.J. Pesavento of Next Level Scouting has reported that the Bears put Rutgers offensive lineman Jeremy Zuttah through a private workout. Zuttah is also scheduled to have private workouts with the Atlanta Falcons and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and has already worked out for both New York teams as well.

Zuttah played both guard and tackle in school but probably projects best as an interior lineman. He gave himself a real boost at the combine where he was the only lineman to register a sub five-second time in the 40-yard dash, clocking in at 4.99. He also showed strength, putting up 35 reps at 225 pounds in the bench press.

Although Zuttah is a little undersized at 6-4, 303 pounds, that fits the Bears’ scheme, as does his mobility. He’s projected as a mid-round selection.

Also, Josh Buchanan of reports the Bears attended the Bethel (Tenn.) College pro day on March 20, keeping a keen eye on running back Adrain Smith. He seems to fit the mold of a potential free-agent signing. At 5-9, 218 pounds, and coming from an NAIA program, Smith would not be legitimate competition for Cedric Benson. He played in the Texas vs. The Nation all-star game. He finished with 5,275 career rushing yards and went for 1,635 as a senior.

Check back later for more info.

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Zuttah would be a good 4-5th rd pick for the Bears to bring in and develope at guard. The Bears like there guards to get to the second level and seal of the linebackers, thats why they liked Roberto Garza coming out of Atlanta. Garza has shown flashes of that ability but lacks strength. Zuttah had 35 reps with the 225lb bench press so he should be strong. I say bring him in and develope him to maybe eventually push Garza for the right guard spot. At left guard I think Josh Beekman will be the man. I like Beekman who was a projected 1st day pick last year who fell partly because of his size only 6-2 and because most scouts felt he was more of a center prospect, centers are usually not high round draft picks. At Boston College Beekman got three starts at center that is probably why the scouts felt that Beekman was more of a center prospect alog with his size 6-2. Beekman should give us that strong inside present that we have been missing since Ruben Brown of 2005-06. Speaking of center another second day under the radar player the Bears might want to look at is Buffalos Jamey Richard. Richard like Zuttah has athleticism and good size at 6-5 300lbs. Richard would give us a big athlete type to develope at center to eventually replace the great Olin Kreutz. Also Richard has a great hand punch that can knock defenders off there feet, I say use a 6th round pick on him to help give the Bears some needed infusion of youth and strength to develope so in a few seasons the Bears won't be in the same boat of having no young linemen to replace the present starters GO BEARS!!

This is what they mean when they say "no stone unturned" when it comes to preparing for the draft. Perhaps Zuttah is a candidate for a second day pick (maybe one of our compensatory picks), and his athleticism would be a big help to an offensive line who looked like they were running in sand this past season.

We have a bunch of marginal prospects at RB between the roster, practice squad, and developmental players. I don't think we need any more. PJ Pope is probably a better prospect than Smith, and he hasn't had a chance to make the roster. Maybe Smith will be a decent camp body, but I would rather draft a kid that has a chance to push the players we have than a guy who will be barely qualified to carry their helmet to practice.

Maybe those projects would be good to develop in late rounds but in the first four rounds you need to go for as much pedigree as possible and small athletic are not our style we don't have any coaches from Denver, the trend is large and mobile drive blocking, road graders that get push and give the back cutback lanes and can get that 1st down on 3rd and one or two that takes the steam out of a pass rush( see the Bears season tapes ) as I have said before some of the best guards are failed tackles who couldn't operate in space but are maulers, it also makes the defense better because the game has been shortened as well as the field and thats Bears football. So Jerry draft them big and draft them often, get a homerun threat. I like Mendenhall but speed kills. Why isn't anyone talking about Tony Temple or Steve Slaton they are homerun hitters Temple showed he was durable in the bowl game with all those carries and receptions? Come on Jerry A. this is your year get it right.

Not a surprise looking at Zuttah he's a top 15 OT in this draft, but he has some injury issues. Gosh what a surprise. If the Bears get a extra 4th rounder they may take a shot at him. Kevin I like Beekman too I think the Bears have been working on him as a backup for Olin and hopefully his replacment one day. I don't know if he will be ready to start next year at guard though. I know he is supposed to be a hard worker. Zuttah is a very athletic Linemen the only thing that has been slowing him down is injuries. I think Zuttah could stand to add a little weight but I do not feel he is undersized. 6'5 315 is big but 6'4 305 is undersized??? He is real athletic though, I bet Denver and Carolina look at him too. Nice player I hope he gets over his health issues. He could be a starter at RG from day one well depending on who is playing RT that is. Move Garza over if they don't have Albert that is. I don't think Beekman will start though this year, he will probably be Olin's backup and eventual replacment and may spot start. Again I am not a big fan of the Bears ability to develop offensive talent so when they draft players on that side of the ball, I prefer the player who is ready to play, rather than a project.

Kevin what do you think of D Thomas out of Conneticut and Chilo Rachal out of SoCal? You seem to be a big fan of the Oline so I just thought I would ask? Poor guy, an Oline fan in Chicago right now has to be hard to watch.

Your probably going to have a stroke when the Bears draft Mendenhall in the 1st and Andre Caldwell in the 2nd. Then DT Red Bryant in the 3rd oh wait he is too tall for Angelo make that Fluellen. JK. Well I hope I am just kidding, who knows this year.

Just thinking out side the box.Jerry Angelo calls up Atlanta.Offers the Bears 14th pick, one of the 3rd round picks and a pick in the 09 draft to move up to the #3 spot.The only way I can see that to happen is if the Player they want is still there.Who would that player be? Can Jerry pull the trigger and trade up? Is Ted Phillips putting a little pressure on him to bring in a Top Notch cant miss player?The Bears did just sign a new PR guy.There might be something going on in Halas Hall that we the fans dont know.We wont know untill the draft.
Im also thinking that if the Players that Jerry drafts this year dont pan out in 2 years,Angelo might be released.I would hate to see Angelo gone.This draft cant come soon enough.

Creighton, I would not have a stroke if the Bears took Rashard Mendenhall, yes if Chris Williams or Jeff Otah were still on the board I would be a little disappointed but I would like that pick also. I like Rashard Mendenhall and what he could do for the Bears. Mendenhall would be a strong inside presents for the Bears running attack. I just think an offensive tackle is of much more importance. Think about it, John Tait is the only legit tackle on the roster right now and he is 33. I think the Bears should be able to land Chris Williams. Of the teams ahead of us projected to take a tackle Denver and Carolina I see both of them going in different directions. First Denver I see them taking a wide receiver especially with the recent injury to there star receiver Brandon Marshall, mind you it was not very serious but it will make them think. Next Carolina I see selecting Floridas Derrick Harvey who some scouts think flashes all the tools to make an immediate impact. Also it would make no sence to bring in another tackle when the Panthers got all that recent money rapped up in Jordan Gross and Travelle Wharton. The Harvey pick just makes more sense because he is of more value and fills a need for the Panthers. As of right now the Bears starting o-line lineup looks like this LT John Tait, RT John St. Clair, C Olin Kreutz, RG Roberto Garza, and at LG a training camp battle between Terrence Metcalf and Josh Beekman. I don't see Metcalf winning the job. Metcalf has had many a chances to land that job and has failed every time. The Bears are big on Josh Beekman, they like his strength and intelligence. I think Beekman did not see the field because the Bears only keep the five starters and a swing tackle and guard to dress on sundays, the Bears like to dress corners and linebackers probably for special teams purposes. And yes I like Donald Thomas of Connecticut, also a little under sized at 6-4 292lbs but Thomas is a well built athlete and is explosive at the point of attack and can stun defenders with his initial jolt. He would be another great 4-5round pickup for the Bears. I also like Chilo Rachal of usc. Hehas nice size for the guard position at 6-5 315lbs. Chilo is a three year starter and has explosive hands for the power running attack also would be a nice pickup. Creighton I hate to tell you but I think the Bears would be better of going tackle and useing another pick maybe a third or fourth rd pick on another o-lineman be it guard or another tackle maybe even a center prospect. Oh ya by the way I agree with what you said on another blog about the Bears tradeing up for Clady or Jake Long now that would give me a stroke GO BEARS!!

Brando, maybe you should have Angelos job as your right on the money. The only thing I'd add is don't take another undersized lineman. I've watched the overrated Kreunts get swallowed up by Minnesota's tackles to long. thank God rodgers is gone in Detroit. the other thing I harp on is don't trade down. we have three bust from this practice so far in manning, haynes, and grossman.and low first round picks like olsen have failed to make much impact so far. Take a chance on the 14th best player in the draft rather than stockpiling cheap marginal talent

Kevin Mendenhall wasn't the Joke it was the 2 guys after him. Yeah I agree OT is the biggest need followed by RB. My thinking with Mendnehall if he is there, is that he is a great value at 14 where Williams and Otah are both a bit of a reach. I actually think that the Bears would be better off addressing OT in rounds 2 and 3 because it is a very deep draft at Oline and they will get guys who are right up there with Williams and Otah actually I think better than either. This Oline class does not have an Ogden or Pace and the best Prospect is probably going to be a RT in Long. In fact it is a very good RT class and only a decent LT class in my opinion. Not to mention a lot of OT's that are going to play guard and the next level and probably be really good at it. I can also see the Bears going RT because the position is easier to develop. Heck Ogden and Pace didn't even start with there teams in the begining. Well it only took Pace like three games and Ogden one game before they became starters but no one in this class is even close to those two. Whoever they get will need time to develop get there timing down with the rest of the line, learn the plays. The class is deep but not exceptional. Thats why I am all about round 2 and 3. Plus I don't trust Angelo drafting Oline in the first round. He got the bad mojo there.

I think the Bears are going to have a crazy draft. I don't know if it will be good or bad, but it will be crazy.

Billy thanks for the compliment.There is NO way that I could do the job Angelo has done.I have some football knowledge,but not even close enough to be anywhere near the NFL ranks.
It is so easy to read and listen to all the experts and have your own take on things.It is so hard to do it.If GMs listen to all the fans and media it would be a disaster.Jerry Angelo and the rest of the GMs out there know what there doing.They perform on a high level, and I have alot of respect towards the NFL GMs.I even has a little respect for Matt Millen and the job he is doing in Detroit.

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This page contains a single entry by Brad Biggs published on March 25, 2008 6:27 PM.

Revised look at Bears draft picks was the previous entry in this blog.

Reports: Lovie impressed at Arkansas pro day is the next entry in this blog.

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