Chicago Sun-Times

Stacking up the competition for a tackle

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I spent some time this weekend working to catch up on all of the mock drafts going on out there and the mocking of mock drafts when I came across an interesting tidbit in the Tennessean.

Jeff Lockridge reported from the Vanderbilt pro day on Friday where offensive tackle Chris Williams was on display for a host of about 50 NFL scouts, including the Bears’ Rex Hogan. He chatted with agent Bill Johnson, who represents Williams (and Brian Urlacher), and Johnson listed the Bears, Carolina, Houston and Baltimore as potential destinations for Williams.

``We've seen quite a bit of interest,’’ Johnson told the Tennessean. ``We feel like 13 teams in the top 20 … could take a tackle.’’

Now, it’s a loaded class with talent at offensive tackle, but there isn’t that much depth if that many teams are in pursuit of tackles. Johnson’s remarks made me chuckle a little. Sure, an agent is going to say anything he can to boost the standing of his client. That’s his job. But 13?

Worth considering is exactly what kind of competition the Bears will have to draft an offensive tackle with the 14th pick in the first round. It’s one of the team’s greatest needs and there is considerable speculation general manager Jerry Angelo will go that way with the first pick. So, Johnson’s remarks led me to review some of the mock drafts and other information out there.

First, I turned to the Sporting News’ Draft ’08 guide. Each team has its needs ranked so I found the clubs with an offensive tackle as one of its top three needs:

(First-round draft position in parentheses)

1st need—Bears (14), Kansas City (5), Miami (1)

2nd need—Atlanta (3), Baltimore (8), Philadelphia (19), San Diego (27), Washington (21)

3rd need—Arizona (16), Cincinnati (9), Green Bay (30), Houston (18), New York Jets (6), St. Louis (2)

Using that list, 11 teams selecting in the top 20 are in need of an offensive tackle. Maybe Johnson isn’t far off.

Then, I looked at some of the mock drafts going on to see how many tackles are projected to be selected in the first round and where.

First, the dean of mock drafts, ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr., has five going in the first round with the Bears grabbing Williams at 14.

Kiper projects:

5. Kansas City—Jake Long, Michigan
12. Denver—Ryan Clady, Boise State
14. Bears—Williams, Vanderbilt
19. Philadelphia—Jeff Otah, Pittsburgh
29. San Francisco—Gosder Cherilus, Boston College

ESPN’s Todd McShay also has five tackles coming off the board in Round 1:

5. Kansas City—Long
8. Baltimore—Clady
12. Denver—Williams
13. Carolina—Otah
29. San Francisco—Cherilus

Finally, NFL.com’s Vic Carucci continues the trend. He forecasts five tackles going in the first round also:

2. St. Louis—Long
5. Kansas City—Clady
12. Denver—Williams
13. Carolina—Otah
29. San Francisco—Cherilus

At least it’s a good year to be in the market for a tackle.

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22 Comments

I think the Bears need to draft couple of OL. Chris Williams would be a good fit. But if Clady fell to 14, I would jump all over him! There is Brandon Albert from Virginia who can play G or T position. Angelo may trade down if he feels he can get the same value. I would like to see the Bears take OL in the 1st, RB or WR in the 2nd, OL and QB in the 3rd. They need depth. This will be a very interesting draft for Angelo because he has never just drafted offense in the 1st 3 rounds. Hopefully, he won't screw up this one!!!!!

I don't think Angelo is capable of drafting 2 or 3 offensive players in a row. I predict he'll "waste" one of his first 3 or 4 picks on a safety or DT that will not start and stock up on a WR, G, RB & QB in the late rounds in hopes of one of them busting out. If you look at the offensive side of the roster, with few exceptions, (TE on one hand, Rex & Benson on the other) the Bears just don't spend high draft picks there.

Kiper is so over hyped it's not even funny, his mock drafts have not been close for years, he still does a good job with the big board though.

The Rams and Miami are 2 wild cards in this draft. There is a good chance Miami grabs Long if they have to pick at 1, if not the I cannot see the Rams passing on him, Pace is on his last leg. Also KC, and the Raiders need major Oline help and the Big question is John Ogden the big O. He is talking about retiring which would make Oline the Ravens number one need. I tend to agree with McShay and Carucci that the Bears won't get a OT in the first round. We all know they need it but there draft position does not match up well with what they need. Angelo should offer the top 4 teams there first and a third, trade up and Grab Long or Clady. If your going to fix a problem go out and fix the problem, don't hope it falls into your lap and fixes itself. Bill would love to get out of the Number one spot and 14th overall and a 3rd would do it for him no problem. Long would anchor the Bears line for 12-15 years. Who would people rather have Williams, Gosder, or Long. Me I'll take long in a heart beat over those two guys. The Bears can look to control there future or hope Karma works out in there favor. Grab a running Back in the Second round and a guard in the third. Next year grab your QB and RT. Use the later rounds to draft D, thats where Angelo is strong and it would play to his strengths. If the Bears are smart after three years they are regular Super Bowl contenders.

The only top 4 OT falling to the Bears I could see happening is Williams who does not fit the Bears man scheme at all. Williams is more of a zone blocker in the Denver mold, not to mention he is not very strong, and a low motor guy who is known to take plays off. He also has zero nasty in him, he is like the Benson of Offensive Tackles. I hope the Bears stay away from him,

i couldn't agree with you more westcoasto.

i only hope jerry angelo reads your post so he gets a clue!

go bears

Jerry seems to always think he is smarter than anyone this draft if he doesn't get it this time he should be fired it will be several drafts he has not gotten help for the offense and the team cannot compete without a reasonable offense. I have been a fan all my life and I would be so disappointed I would take a Bears vacation and not watch, I would still be a fan but a very unhappy one.

The last three or four years I've been following the offensive tackles of each class, kind of hopeing that our beloved Bears would take one, they havent but that is another story. The thing that I've noticed is before the combine and these pro days the scouts and fans feel different about the different tackles. When all you have is game tape and not 40 times and how many reps a player can lift you get a different perceptive on the players. I say don't look to much into the measuables pay more attention to how these tackles played on the field, which I think is the only measureing stick to judge a player not how he looks in a pair of shorts and how many times he can lift 225 lbs I mean come on. Take the 2006 draft before the combine everyone was big on Marcus McNeill but after the scouts went over him with a fine tooth comb he fell a little and the Chargers nabbed him up and got a pretty good tackle. Also Tony Ugoh was projected to go first round and the predraft measureables scared him into the laps of the Super Bowl champs and now they get an easy replacement for Tarik Glenn. I say don't read to much into these predraft workouts and all the nit picking on these different o-linemen. The fact of the matter is Jeff Otah and Chris Williams are good o-tackles and would be good additions to the Bears line, when all you had is game tape on these guys they were good to go and that is all that really counts so I say take Otah or Williams if they are there at #14. If none of the big four tackles Long, Clady, Williams, or Otah are there I say take Rashard Mendenhall then in the second take Anthony Collins of Kansas who might have to start out at right tackle but could develope into a good left tackle in a year. I think Chris Williams should be there at #14 althought. I think Denver will go wide recevier which will allow Williams to fall to the Bears so GO BEARS!!

djssr did you basically just say you might boycott the Bears? Did you? Cause that would make you a WINDSOCK if I am not mistaken. Are you saying your a Windsock, cause last time I checked a boycott according to you made a person a Windsock. Just letting you know that you should probably change your name to Windsock.

Kevin I have never been a fan of Williams, I like Otah but I don't trust the Bears to develop him, he is very raw but talented and motivated. Williams is talented and I feel unmotivated, and big pay checks tend to make unmotivated people real lazy. He is 330 pounds with short arms and a big chest he has a short range of motion for lifting which is really good, for him to put up 225 only 21 times tells me a lot about his work ethic. He should have been in the top two in the bench press. He does have great feet though, but so does Baker. Also Williams has never been much of a run blocker and the bears are a running team. Still I will be surprised if he is there at 14 anyway. Then again Clady may be there who knows, even Long could be there, it's a draft, crazy stuff happens with a draft.

"If the Bears are smart after three years they are regular Super Bowl contenders."

Ha ha! You really had me there, Creighton. Visions of Angelo trading up for a stud like Long who could actually help us are just too tempting not to entertain. But...this is Jerry Pennypinchtard we're dealing with. I'm thinking he'll trade out of the first four rounds and attempt to pick up, oh, about 6 safeties and corners in round 5, all of course from small colleges in Texas no one has heard of.

First off, I don't think the Bears should trade up, especially for Long. Granted he looks like he's going to be a stud, but last I checked we need a tackle, a QB, a receiver, a RB, and could use a guard and depth at DT. To move up to get Long would cost us a lot of picks that we NEED to shore up the areas I just mentioned.

Secondly, all the bench press does is show muscle endurance, not how strong a person necessarily is. To say a guys work ethic is poor because of bench press numbers is off base to me. Maybe the guy squats out of his mind...which is a better over all strength indicator than the bench press is.

Creighton read for comprehension I said quote " I have been a Bears fan all my life, I would be so disappointed I would take a vacation and not watch, I would STILL BE A FAN BUT A VERY UN HAPPY ONE". What part didn't you get? When have you ever seen Angelo trade up Creighton? For once this time it doesn't make sense to trade up when they need so much and this is a great year for OL,RB and WR when you have so many holes to fill. Creighton I suggest you read NFL DRAFT BIBLE.com get more points of view more player listings. But I ain't mad at you!!

Pssst!! Hey Jerry there are other players in Texas than running backs checkout Okam at 335lbs running a 5.1 40 and Kelson a converted LB now a safety running a 4.43 40, these are good atheletes. There are some from coast to coast I hope you have been doing your homework Jerry there will be a test in April.

I agree. Chris Williams looks like a Fred Miller clone. I don't think the Bears should be pressured to draft a offensive player thats a project in the making in the first round. We need potential starters, if the prospect isn't there it just isn't there. I trust their instincts in drafting defense and if there is a player that they like they need to go for it. So for that matter if there is no offensive player they truly love then trade the pick and stockpile other draft selections. They seem to find that diamond in the rough in the later rounds. It seems like this draft has a lot of iffy first round picks but a lot of solid later round picks. I just hope they do NOT draft a running back in the first round, we need line help first so our current RB and QB scenario can pan out because management is obviously wanting to give them a chance (Rex,Orton,Cedric are all STILL around)...What are the chances that we can cut Anthony Adams? He looks so out of shape and he chases running backs like they have donuts hanging from their helmets.

Djssr, dude for real it was a joke, lighten up you windsock. See that was a joke too. I will say one thing about the Draft, it's about quality not quantity. No team goes in and comes out with 7 starters, no team has ever done that in the modern draft era. All I suggested was filling needs with the right players, if you have to trade up to do it, then you should. The Bears will not revamp the Oline all the way this year, solve the runnng back problem, WR problem, QB problem and there defensive problems in one draft. It will never happen. How many teams have you ever heared of drafting a True franchise QB, RB, LT, RT, OG, WR, number 2 DT, and a Blue Chip Saftie. This is more than a one year job. If the Bears get 3 top end starters out of this class I will be thrilled. I think any team would be thrilled with that. What is so wrong with using an extra third round pick knowing you get a Long or a Clady, or would you rather they drop down to 22 or 28 and pick up a fourth. You may get the guy you want at 22 or the Bears may get the shaft. Sitting at 14 doesn't guarantee the Bears a Clady or a Mendenhall droping down and getting a 4th rounder doesn't mean the Bears will Draft Tom Brady Jr. with that pick. Plus Angelos history of trading down has only worked for him in terms of Defense, his offensive picks have a history of being bad, so what would be wrong with doing the opposite of what has not worked, if what he has been doing has not worked then maybe he should change it up. Take a look at his 6 drafts with the Bears and see how many players are still on the team or in the NFL. My guess is not a lot of guys he has drafted are still around. Maybe 40 percent, and how many of those guys are starters? Maybe 20 percent. He may get lucky this draft and things fall his way, but that is reling on luck. Even if he keeps all his picks do you believe he is gonna draft 8 quality starters for this team? Cmon ther is no way you believe that. Not to mention even 8 starters are not enough to fill all the holes on this team. It would help a lot if that happened but I mean for real 8 starters in one draft, thats unreal. Also who knows who else is planning a trade, there are other teams who know the Bears like certain players and they may trade up to get them before the bears. This has happened to Angelo before. So lets say the Cowboys want Mendenhall well they may just trade up and grab him. Or there may be a run at a position and the Bears wind up getting short changed. Drafts are insane, who knows what will happen

Also do you mean NFL Draft Bible.com? Cause I am a member. I would also not say this is a great WR class, the 96 class now that was an insane WR class, this one os a little over hyped to me. I don't think it's a bad one but not a great one. OL is solid but has only 2 or 3 real elite players, there is no Ogden or Boselli in this class, and given the style of offense the Bears run there are only 2 backs that really fit there needs there. I know you are not mad and I respect your opinion, I just have some different ones. In Drafts I am more aggressive, I know what I like and I go after it, I feel Angelo needs to change up the way he drafts offense because it has not worked for him in the past and he has a lot to fix. Extra picks don't usually mean better players or solid drafts, and niether does trading up for that matter, i just think the Bears could mix it up for a change, it may help it may not. Like I said before it's a draft and you never know what you will get from a draft. The great thing about a draft is that it can never really hurt your team. If the players you pick are good then they help, if the players you pick are bad well it doesn't really hurt cause you usually pick for positions you are already bad at. They either sit or don't make the team. But if your already bad your not gonna make it worse you just won't improve it.

I still say you are a windsock and are using metaphors to disguise and carry on your secret boycott of the Bears.

With the 14th pick in the NFL draft the Chicago Bears Draft Wide Reciever TJ. Whosyourmomma.

Long could end up being an expensive bust for someone, but I'm with Creighton in entertaining the potential of a tradeup assuming a cost of just a first and third-round pick (probably unrealistic). And yes, there's likely no way this draft will probably fill even fill half the team's needs given Jerry's record. Not a prediction yet, but I'll be very happy if they finish the season better than 5-11 and Lloyd turns out to be a Randy Moss in the rough (kind of doubt that).

I wonder what kind of drafts Creighton is more aggressive in, But I guess he knows what he likes and he gos after "it".Is he drafting grade school kids to play on his dodge ball team?
Little advice there buddy dont pick the fat kid.
Being on here reading blogs from late Feb. DJSSR seems to have alot more sence than Creighton.Probably knows way more about the game of football then Creighton.I have read negative and positive blogs by DJSSR.All I been reading in Creightons blogs is negativity,always has to have the last word and some off the wall stats.Creighton has the odasity to call DJSSR a Windstock?
I reject Creighton Statement and subsitute my own.
That TJ thing what was the meaning behind that???

Creighton...do yo really think all it will take to move up to the top 5 is #14 and a 3rd rounder??? Please tell I'm not reading your post correctly. It would take this years #1, a #3, but probably a #2 this year, and probably a #2 next year to move up to the top 5. Maybe more...some draft points expert can tell me if I'm right. To me thats a lot to pay.

Creighton got jokes it's all cool you windsock but like you said its a crapshoot if they get 2-3 starters or backups its a great draft we do differ but both do want a winner and some good choices make it interesting but everyone gets a little down when you've been so close but yet so far. You are a Nfl Draft Bible subscriber? I just read. Them you know what I mean about Texas players they have some hidden nuggets. Okam looks interesting if he's around late. Thanks Brando but lighten up a little have some fun with your opinions alls not bleak alls not rosey and the real fans will agree on one thing: we want to watch a winner and if Jerry can't produce let's run his a$$ out of town!!!

Creighton is just shooting in the dark and hoping to hit something! When was the last time the Bears traded up in the first round or any round for that matter. The Bears first(1,100 points) and second rounder(460 points) wouldn't even get them in the top 6(1600+ points)! There first and third(240 points) only gets them the 9th(1350) pick at best. Their entire Bears draft doesn't have the value of even the third(2,200) pick. So unless Parcells hates his job and wants to be fired real soon, he isn't taking anything from the Bears. I don't see Long being outside the top five and the Bears value their picks too much to trade up anyway. Keep hoping but next year is gonna need a near miracle to be great. Maybe in a couple years they will have a better shot and that's reality.

Jake Long may drop out of the top 5, and contribute to a domino effect that causes all of the O-Tackles to slide. Long is considered the better player/prospect, but Clady has better feet and potential as a pass protector. How often do run blocking RTs get selected ahead of pass blocking LTs? Because GMs will be hesitant to defy conventional draft wisdom and select Clady over Long, they will both be on the board after 5 picks. Running backs and defensive linemen will become the premium positions in the 2008 draft.

Here is a simple math word problem for you Bears fans...A professional football team requires a minimum of 5 starting “ineligible offensive linemen” to be set (motionless) on the line of scrimmage on every offensive snap. The Chicago Bears have 3 starting quality offensive linemen. How many starting-quality offensive linemen must the bears add to their roster to meet the minimum standard? …The Bears have to acquire AT LEAST TWO STARTING OFFENSIVE LINEMEN!! This means that they MUST use their 1st and 2nd round picks to select offensive linemen. It is not a need, it is a requirement according to the rules of the game, and there is no guarantee that a 3rd rounder will be able to start (see Metcalf).

If I know my dad as well as I think, he will place a premium on athleticism, run blocking and versatility. Brendan Albert and Gosder Cherilus are the two guys that fit the profile and could be available later in round one, opening the option to trade down and use an additional pick on a quarterback or running back.

Jerry may draft a running back, but it will not be in the first 2 rounds (unless we trade down and get an extra 2nd round pick).

Pretty in Pink Bears Uniform

Brando

What does Pretty in Pink Bears uniforms mean.I didnt write that.
Someone trying to be funny ha ha?

Jerry Jr. Well I see you have finally made a valid arguement for the O line. We are required to have two more. But I still don't see the top tackles sliding all the way down to 14 or lower. Trading down doesn't make sense but your daddy witll probably do it anyway. Although we may be wrong look at how far Olsen slid last year, and Brady Quinn to name a couple.

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This page contains a single entry by Brad Biggs published on March 23, 2008 10:42 AM.

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