Chicago Sun-Times

Sooie! Lovie in Arkansas to see McFadden, Jones

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When it comes to trades in the first round, Jerry Angelo’s history is to deal down.

He’s done it three times total (twice in 2003, and traded down twice in the second round in six drafts). It would take a big jump up for he Bears to realistically have the opportunity to draft Arkansas running back Darren McFadden. That doesn’t mean they are not doing their homework.

Coach Lovie Smith lunched with McFadden and Razorbacks teammate Felix Jones in Fayetteville, Ark., Monday. Smith and Southwest area scout Chris Ballard will attend the school’s pro day today.

It’s an interesting trip for Smith to make. The Bears would have to make their way probably into the top six from No. 14 to select McFadden. Jones is considered a possible late first-round pick, although perhaps he could be had with the 44th pick, which the Bears own.

Smith and running backs coach Tim Spencer are headed to New Orleans to visit with Tulane running back Matt Forte April 3 and put him through a private workout the following day.

Not every move leading up to the draft shows a team’s true intentions. Some are designed smokescreens. But it’s intriguing, for sure, because if the Bears use a high pick on a running back, it could signal the end of the road for Cedric Benson, who is working to return from a fractured left ankle. Benson and Jones share the same agent, Eugene Parker.

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14 Comments

THE Bears should be looking at O-Lineman not RB's.well maybe in the third rd.They should pick a Takle in the 1st and a Gaurd in the 2nd!!!!RB OR WR in 3rd rd.!!

Mike in fort wayne is right on the money. Though I wouldn't be opposed to a OG in round 1 and an OT in round 2. A QB would be better than a running back in round 3 because quarterbacks require development. We drafted Wolfe in the 3rd round last year.

My concern about the O-Line is that the Bears could be in the same position next year (depleted along the O-line), forcing the selection of another OT(Tait), OG(Garza), and C(Kreutz) to replace players who may end up breaking down this year like Brown and Miller did last year.

I believe that we should use all of our first day picks on O-linemen (unless we trade down and collect an extra pick), giving the 3rd rounders one year to develop so that they may compete for starting positions in 2009.

Don't get me wrong, McFadden would be a great addition to any team. But, our offensive line doesn't have simple "needs" but "mandatory requirements"...2 new starters in 2008 plus 2-3 additional starters in 2009...good ones.

It`s all smoke and mirrors, and when all is said and done, if the player that the Bears want(Clady?) isn`t there, then Mr. Angelo will pull the trade down card out, and grab more lower round picks. It seems that every year the draft comes along, there is more of a reason to trade down, than there is to trade up, and also that teams seem to treat the first day of the draft as all made for TV hype, but you really build your football team the second day of the draft.

Jerry Jr. well said. I would just tweak it a little first two picks OL 3a RB, 3b WR, 4th safety, 5th DL, 6th back to OL, 7th back to RB it's time to promote real competetion among all the positions. Team needs to get a edge Lovie needs to stop these easy camps, intensity is not something you turn off and on it needs to be a tone set right out of camp right out of the box. Lovie and his coaches have got to do a better job of development or the draft won't matter, we will not know if it was good or not.

I keep reading about what the Bears first pick should be. But one thing I have not heard anyone mention is the possibility of picking up a solid OT and/or OG after the draft. With all the O-linemen that will be taken in this draft, there is going to be a few major post-draft releases. With what we have on the roster and picking up 2 more O-linemen in the draft and another in the second wave of Free Agency, the Bears really are not in that bad of shape. I do want a RB in the first and OT in the second.

We are a running team with no RB! Ced ran uninspired and how is he going to run coming back from an injury?!?! I also believe that Rex/Orton or anyone else for that matter stands a chance in our line....so why waste a first day pick on a QB? RB's for the last 2 years are showing they can come right out of College and make an immediate impact. I am tired of hearing everyone say Angelo can't draft offense. It is common sense...If we are lucky enough to have a solid RB fall into our lap...take him!!! Then focus on the line the remainder of the picks. We cant fool anyone with Ced back there. He reminds me of a bad Ricky Williams.

The only way the Bears take a RB in the 1st rd is if there's been a run on OL and nobody they like is left. They will find a solid RB in rd 2 or 3. The only other reason they don't pick a OL in rd 1 is if Sedrick Ellis falls to them, very unlikely.

Clady won't be there at 14. At least one of these will be Williams, Otah, or Albert. My pick is Albert and go for Baker, Nicks or Collins in the 2nd rd.

While I hope the Bears take a stud O-lineman at # 14, plus another in the 2nd or 3rd round, I have a feeling that's not going to happen.

I believe the trip to Arkansas is just smoke & mirrors. I think Ron Turner is pushing HARD for the running back from the Univ of Illinois, Mendenhall, who he recruited to Illinois.

Like I said, I'd prefer O-line get top priority, but Mendenhall would not be too bad at # 14. The draft is deep in O-linemen, so maybe they can get some top linemen in rounds 2 & 3.

This draft class is deep at certain positions but it is not a great class. There are maybe 10 really good players and after that most of the guys are 2nd and third round picks. Angelo like many other GM's drafts for value and need. He will have certain players selected fir the 14th pick, if thye are not there then it's bye bye trade down. But that only happens if teams want to trade up. If Baker, Gosder, and Albert are on the board when the Bears pick nobody will trad up with them, they can grab these guys later. And there are a lot of guys like Gosder and Baker.

The latest word is the Bears Hope to see Ellis, Clady or Mendenhall at 14 in that order, if they are not there the Bears will try and trade down even if Williams, Baker and Otah are there, why grab a guy that early if you can get him later. If they can't trade down they will pick the best player available at a need. It could be Brohm, Stewart, Albert, who knows. Or someone special may fall like Ellis who they rank at the top of there list. He is a total Angelo style DT. It will most likely be a trade down.

OG is not huge on the Bears list as they are expected to give that kid from Boston first shot at it. They also value RT over LT at this point. RB is a major need but so is QB, WR, S, DT.

I believe Lovie and Angelo are going to give Rex another shot, and depending on how they value certain players you will see them Grab an OT or a RB with the first pick. If Clady is gone and they have to choose between Otah, Williams, and Mendenhall, my guess is they grab Mendenhall. There are enough OT in this draft that after Clady, Long, who I think are special players the rest of the top 10 OT tend to grad out almost the same. Williams is falling and may be a secound round pick. So is Baker, the Bears will have just as a good a shot in the scond round of landing a good OT as they would at 14. RB is different, it's not as deep and beleive me Benson is done. The Bears may get lucky and see Stewart in the second round but I cannot imagine him falling that far. Outside of Stew and Mend none of the other backs really meet there need for a between the tackle runner.

I am not saying it would be the best move to grab a running back first but I really would not have a problem with Mendenhall on this team.

There will be an OT in the Second round just as good as Williams or Baker when the Bears pick. So they may go in that direction.

I am actually enjoying the speculation with the Bears this year, they have so many needs that they can go any direction, they are a true wild card team and should make the draft interesting to watch.

One last word on the Oline. Yes I believe this is there biggest need, problem is the Bears really need 4 new starters on Oline and you are just not gonna get that in 1 draft. They will probably grab a OT in the first or 2nd. But I do not see them going 1 2 oline in the draft. Angelo will probably wait until teams start cutting players after the draft to help them there as well. Which is something he does a lot. Brown, Garza, Tait, Miller.

If the Bears go RB then OT or OT then RB i nthe draft does not matter to me, as long as the players are good I will be happy.

I mean really if you get a good starting LT in the second round are you going to be mad. Or you get a stud RB who runs for 1400 yards in the first round that will upset you? I can't imagine that. It really doesn't matter who is 1 or 2 as long as they are good players. Same for the rest of the picks.

I do not understand how any Bears Fan or GM or Owner or Coach could possibly pick anything other than OL in 1st AND 2nd. Look at the numbers: We lost 2 OL and the rest are getting way old and the young ones aren't any good. We just drafted a RB at NUMBER 4! Thats a high first pick your basically throwing away, we have 2 young QBs that need a solid OL for pass protection. Ced probably could have had lots better numbers with a solid OL. Even Olin (do you respect his opinion people?)said the Oline stunk. Did anyone look at the holes A. Peterson was running through?? or do you think he did it all himself? Look at the good RB's in the league they have holes you could drive a truck through. Da had holes for VW's last year.
OL or get outa the way!!

It's draft season in Chicago, and fans are already crying "Trade Down"! Granted, the draft is a real crap shoot. First round players (like Cedric Benson) can turn out to be complete busts, and there are gems that do come out of the later rounds. However, Left Tackle is one position where Pro Bowl-caliber players almost always are drafted early in the first round. The Bears haven't had a Pro-Bowl tackle since Jimbo Covert. I'm tired of being content with offensive players who are only journeymen. I want to see a dominant Bears offense; an offense that produces Pro Bowl players; and I'm not including an aging center who nearly got Rex Grossman killed last season. We don't need more back-ups. We need STARTERS!

He's worth a thought...I mean, Benson wasn't half as good as McFadden coming out of college. It would take a lot to move up to get him. I agree with 'Windy City Guy', it might be smoke and mirrors, possibly to stir the pot a little before the draft. The Bears need an OL, hopefully Clady or Williams. I end with a great sports cliche we've all heard growing up...'Don't be a Hero!'...Angelo.

What is most forgotten in football is that it is much better with the element of surprise. Fact of the matter is that the BEARS did not surprise anyone for a number of reasons. First going from Jones to Benson took everyone by surprise only because when did Benson show that he was going to be an all around back? Who didn't figure that you can not bring back a whole line intact with everyone on the other side of 30. And who did you peg to get too old too fast on that line? Anyone who blames everything on the line and not spread some of that blame isn't being fair. Benson is no where prepared to be a leader and neither was Rex in the beginning of the season. The o-line got killed having to pick up blitzes on EVERY passing down. No line could do that no matter how young or old they were. The whole team took a step back because two of the most important components were not ready to lead this team. Next time you watch a replay of Rex being sacked count how many people came on the blitz. O-linemen aren't meant to go one on one on every play. When a team send more people than you have blockers you will have the disaster of an offense that we had last year. And when you have a whole team of WRs dropping passes and a RB run like he's in quicksand your QB is bound to become such a headcase that the coordinator has to simplify so much that EVERYONE knows what's coming and that's what happened. Pretty much the same team that went to the Superbowl can't get that bad with the subtraction of one player unless that player was more cohesive than he got credit for. Draft an o-limen or a RB and it won't matter if you don't have a leader taking the reins of the most important position on offense. And the very last time that Lovie had a tough camp like you want EVERYONE worth a darn got injured. Please don't tell these guys to their face that they don't work hard. Just because you think they got it easy doesn't make it so. It doesn't matter how hard you tackle or how hard you run if you don't have enough talent on either side of the ball you aren't getting far in the post season. They had enough of both to make it to a Super bowl 2 seasons ago. Think.. If camps were so easy how did they even get to a Super bowl with those easy camps that you see. And don't say that they lost because of pre-season. They had more talent in every facet from owners down to ball boys. No shame in that. Unless you haven't even made the playoffs in 6 or 7 years like we use to.

We need to see what teams are big on Mendenhall that draft after us so we can draft him and use to trade to bolster the oline or reciever corp or get more picks. I like Mendenhall too much to have him for 3 years and then lose him because he wont want Angelo to chizzle him with the hometown discount. If we are going to have a dominant defense we need too sure up on off line and special teams. We cant afford to bank on the defense this year or we will be burnt out by playoffs. We better draft 2 running backs and convert garret wolfe to wide reciever or make him a return man. Either way he will have to help Hester share the load.

If by some miracle Darren McFadden fell to #14 the Bears would have to jump all over him. But that is highly unlikely. As for Felix Jones in the 2nd round, ya I would grab him also, but I don't see Jones falling past Dallas in the first. I personally would like to see the Bears take a tackle in the first round like Williams or Otah. If by chance one of the big four tackles Long, Clady, Williams, or Otah are not there I say maybe go ahead and take Felix Jones. The Bears need a runningback with game-breaking ability and speed. Plus Jones has soft hands and is capable of the acrobatic receptions that would help the Bears offense big time. But if I were the Bears I would take Rashard Mendenhall over Felix Jones for one simple fact, Jones never carried the load in college, where Mendenhall did. I also like Mendenhall better because he runs with a low center of gravity, Jones runs upright and exposes himself to the big hit. Mendenhall is just as good of a receiver and most importantly is a better blocker. In the spread offense Mendenhall had several assignments in this area, making Mendenhall a more polished blocker than Jones. But like I said earlier it is more important to get them big hogs before the skilled guys. I hope the Bears can land Chris Williams then in the 2nd get Tulanes Matt Forte, like Mendenhall is a good all around back that could come in and help the Bears. Forte ran for 2127 yds with 23tds thats good. I know it was at Tulane but Forte showed he could run with the big boys by being the mvp of the senior bowl GO BEARS!!

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This page contains a single entry by Brad Biggs published on March 25, 2008 12:06 AM.

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