Chicago Sun-Times

UPDATED 8:15: Draft Day Blog (continuously updated)

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John Danks won’t be knocking the Bears’ first-round pick off the back page of Sunday’s Sun-Times.

Baltimore outfielder Adam Jones broke up his perfect game bid in the sixth inning down the road from Halas Hall at U.S. Cellular Field.

We’re digging in in the auditorium here for a long day. The Dolphins will go on the clock for an anticlimactic announcement in 45 minutes. Look for the Bears to pick some time around 4.

We’ll check back soon.


UPDATED 1:42
CHRIS WILLIAMS DROPPING?
Mike Mayock of NFL Network reports that Vanderbilt offensive tackle Chris Williams may be off draft boards for some teams because of a ``neck and cervical’’ injury. Williams was a model of durability during his college career.

If he’s off the Bears’ board, that would seemingly limit potential offensive line selections to Boise State’s Ryan Clady, Pittsburgh’s Jeff Otah and Virginia’s Branden Albert.

There’s no guarantee all three will be there when the Bears select at No. 14. It’s certainly interesting. One league source said earlier this week that a prospect everyone has going in round one would drop because of an unknown medical condition. Is it Williams? Or is it a smoke screen that’s been started by a club with the hope that Williams drops?

UPDATED 1:53

T-MED MAKING THE PICKS ... WELL, SUBMITTING THEM

Equipment manager Tony Medlin, approaching his 22nd season with the team, is manning the phone line for the Bears at Radio City Music Hall in New York.

He’s the man who hands in the cards with the Bears’ draft picks.


UPDATED 2:19

WHAT QB’S DO THE BEARS THINK ABOUT NOW?

So much for the idea Matt Ryan would make like Brady Quinn and be a candidate for a remake of a video to Tom Petty’s “Freefalling.”

Chad Henne. Joe Flacco. Brian Brohm.

The Bears could consider one of those three at some point today. Otherwise, you’re looking at them waiting until Sunday, maybe Round 4 or later for a developmental passer.

UPDATED 2:38

COULD CHIEFS DEAL UP NOW TO GRAB AN O-LINEMAN?

With the Chiefs taking LSU defensive tackle Glenn Dorsey with the No. 5 pick ... look for Kansas City to see if it can swing a trade to get an offensive tackle.

The Chiefs could partner up with Buffalo at No. 11 to put themselves in position to snag a tackle ahead of Denver, Carolina, the Bears, Houston and Philadelphia, other franchise interested in tackles. Kansas City has the 17th pick acquired from Minnesota for defensive end Jared Allen and could package it with some of its other selections to slide up.

UPDATED 2:55

PATS TRADE, SAINTS PICK LEAVES TACKLES OUT THERE

With New England dealing the No. 7 pick to New Orleans where the Saints selected USC DT Sedrick Ellis, there are four top offensive lineman available with six picks before the Bears go on the clock.

Teams that could grab an offensive lineman ahead of the Bears? New England at No. 10, Denver at No. 12 and Carolina at No. 13. The No. 11 pick could be in play for a tackle if Buffalo trades out.



UPDATED 3:02

BEARS WILL HAVE LINEMEN TO CHOOSE FROM

Five picks to go and four linemen are still on the board—Ryan Clady, Branden Albert, Jeff Otah and Chris Williams. I would doubt the Bengals take one at No. 9. Looks like the Bengals have targeted USC linebacker Keith Rivers.

UPDATED 3:10

Look for a run on some cornerbacks here soon. Leodis McKelvin and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie should be off the board soon. The Pats could take one right here.


UPDATED 3:20

Worst-case scenario ... the Bears get to pick between two of Branden Albert, Ryan Clady, Jeff Otah and Chris Williams.

Or do they head a different direction and grab RB Rashard Mendenhall?

Denver is on the board and could take Clady or Williams here. Or maybe a running back.

UPDATED: 3:26


So much for moving up to grab the tackle you want. Ryan Clady from Boise State is gone.

The Bears quite possibly could have found trade partners in New England at No. 10 and Buffalo at No. 11.

Now, they’ll have to choose between what’s left assuming they stay with a tackle at No. 14.

General manager Jerry Angelo has not traded up on the first day of the draft since running Bears drafts starting in 2002.

UPDATED 3:36

BEARS SELECT OT CHRIS WILLIAMS

It's official.

The Bears have chosen OT Chris Williams of Vanderbilt with the 14th pick in the 2008 draft.



UPDATED 3:43

WILLIAMS CAN STEP IN AT LEFT TACKLE IMMEDIATELY

Chris Williams gives the Bears an athletic performer who should be able to come in and play left tackle immediately. He needs to get stronger but the Bears believe they can improve themselves at left tackle and right tackle by moving John Tait back to his more natural position. Williams is a building block for an offense in flux. We’ll be able to ask general manager Jerry Angelo about the NFL Network report regarding Williams’ neck here soon.

UPDATED 4:09

BEARS, WILLIAMS INSIST NECK NOT AN ISSUE

Just completed press conferences with Jerry Angelo, Lovie Smith and Chris Williams. We’ll be going through the tape here.

Smith said the plan is to play Williams at left tackle, so provided he shows he is ready to start as a rookie John Tait will be on the move to the right side.

Angelo said they checked Williams out medically once, twice and a third time. Williams said he hasn’t had a neck injury since a burner in 2005.

We’ll check back after we sort through these questions.

When Smith was asked about Williams being a better pass blocker than a run blocker, he said he thought he did both well. And he said Williams know what the Bears do ... "get off the bus running."

Does that mean a running back comes next at No. 44?



UPDATED 4:33

WILLIAMS ADDRESSES SUPPOSED NECK ISSUE

“I don’t have any neck issues. I don’t know where that rumor came from. I had a typical football player burner in ’05, and that was the last time I had … I wear a cowboy collar so I don’t know if that makes me have neck issues or not, but I haven’t had any neck issues.”



UPDATED 4:40

ANGELO EXPLAINS WHY WILLIAMS WAS THE SELECTION

"He played the position (left tackle), his play history. Jeff Otah came out early, Branden Albert was a guard, maybe he had three or four starts at tackle. Coach Harry Hiestand went out and worked all three of them out so he had a real good handle. We liked all three players very much and it was just a matter of taking the player with the best history at the position and the player we knew the best, and we just felt like when we were going out in the off-season we're looking to shoot holes in all these players. We probably shot fewer holes in him than we did the other two so in the ne3d we felt he was the best player for us."


UPDATED 4:50

BRING 'EM: WHO IS YOUR PICK AT NO. 44?

I'll throw out the possibility of Texas running back Jamaal Charles if he's still on the board. Thinking the chances are iffy.

Otherwise, how about a guard here?

Angelo drafted defensive tackles in the first two rounds in 2004. That worked out well until Tank Johnson got caught with a gun in his car outside a club downtown and then got caught with a whole stash of them in his Gurnee home and then came within about 0.008 of a DUI in Arizona.

Taking two linemen to start the draft could rebuild the group in one day.

Or will a quarterback be around?

UPDATED 5:52

BIG RUN ON RECEIVERS STARTS

Three of the last four picks have been wide receivers -- Donnie Avery, Devin Thomas and Jordy Nelson. Looks like a half-dozen or more could go in this round.

While the Bears have a great need at receiver, I see them going with a running back first.

Listen to them ... they get off the bus running.

But what if Chad Henne and Brian Brohm keep falling?

There are seven more picks until the Bears are up.



UPDATED 6:26

BEARS ON THE CLOCK

Everyone here thought the Vikes were jumping ahead of the Bears at No. 43 to take a quarterback.

They went with Arkansas State safety Tyrell Johnson.

Do the Bears pull the trigger on a triggerman?

We'll know in minutes.


UPDATED 6:29

FORTE IT IS

The Bears passed on quarterbacks Chad Henne and Brian Brohm and brought in competition for Cedric Benson by selecting Tulane running back Matt Forte.

The Bears were all over Forte after the combine and stayed true with their interest.

UPDATED 7:05

FORTE IS A THREE-DOWN BACK

General manager Jerry Angelo came downstairs to discuss the selection of Matt Forte and said one of the things that pushed him to the top in the decision process was his ability to be a three-down back and be productive in the passing game.

"We have to be a running football team,'' Angelo said. "We haven't changed our philosophy."



UPDATED 7:51

ANGELO DISAPPOINTED BRIGGS BEING HAULED BACK TO COURT

General manager Jerry Angelo said at the combine in February he was comfortable with character issues surrounding Pro Bowl linebacker Lance Briggs.

He's got cause for concern now after the Sun-Times reported this week that Briggs is headed back to court to answer for why he left Illinois without permission and how he's managed to complete just two of 120 hours of community service following his guilty plea on leaving the scene of an accident following his Lamborghini smashup on the Edens Expy.

"Disappointed, obviously, that he’s behind. We got a hold of him the last few days, and he says he’s on it. We’ve talked to his legal counsel and we’re going to get more involved in the process to make sure that all the follow-up is done. And Lance assurred us that he’s going to take care of it. He’s a little bit behind, but he’ll get it done and we’re on it, too."

"We’re involved in this. He’s got to do some catch-up and he’s got time to do it, but obviously he’s got to get on it right now. He understands that, so I’m confident that he’ll take care of his business."

Sounds like the Bears might have fallen asleep on the situation as well.

Briggs is skipping the voluntary offseason program while in Arizona and has forfeited a $250,000 workout bonus in his new $36 million, six-year contract.


UPDATED 8:15

DEADLINE IS FAST APPROACHING

Have to hit some goals for Sunday's print edition.

I'll have a wrap-up on thoughts, Day 1 nuggets and a look ahead to Day 2.

But that's not going to come until later.

Check back and thanks for joining in.

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60 Comments

Any chance that the Bears are considering getting to 7 or 8 to get Alberts or Clady?

The top 7 on my value board are off the board already. So far so good. Still hoping Mendenhall drops to us at #14.

Rick,

Albert should still be available at #14. Clady on the other hand may be gone. I'd hate to see them move up when I want Mendenhall.

Who will they take out of the top OL? Clady, Williams, Alberts?

New England on the clock and I'll be shocked if Cromartie or McKelvin isn't picked here. Ten guys off the board and still Clady, Mendenhall, and Williams still on the board. I like the way this is shaping up.

Hopefully Williams's "cervix" (Biggsy, you're making "Who You Crappin" this week even though you changed it :-P) will hold up next season!

Tony,

If Clady is there, he grades out ahead of either Williams or Alberts. He also grades out ahead of my favorite RB. If Clady is taken off the board, it could get interesting.

Jerod Mayo??? Biggest reach I have seen considering Dan Connor and Quentin Groves - IMHO - graded out ahead of him and all three were late 1st round picks. How do you grab the #4 LB on the board when you have Cromartie and McKelvin out there?

Denver is on the clock and I cannot see Clady being on the board any longer. They need him.

OK, so now we got Carolina who is also in need of OT. I say they grab Williams but Albert and Otah are still out there.

All I have to say is MENDENHALL Jerry Angelo ... MENDENHALL!!!

Stupid pick. Absolutely stupid pick. I knew it was coming and hate it. You give up on the best RB on the board (had him at #9 overall on my board) for a guy who has injury concerns and whose toughness has been questioned. The good news is we'll all get to see Mendenhall develop when the frickin' Lions pick him next.

Ha ha, Da Mosque of Osama. They picked Williams. Thank goodness they didn't listen to you. Yeah, Mendenhall would have been great behind no line.

Williams it is then, must admit I was gunning for Mendenhall but if we need someone to come straight in at LT then he's the best available.

Good pick. The new "Big Cat" Williams...?

They just re-selected Stan Thomas...great job Jerry...I expected no less

Idiots didn't even take the best available lineman....

I can't believe we grabbed Williams over Albert. Bears must see something in this guy. Albert was projected to go in 10. Chiefs were smart enough to trade up to grab him after we passed on him.

Now the big Q is where is Mendenhall landing? I thought he was a lock to fall to Detroit. I smell a trade coming up to grab Mendenhall

I like this pick. It is a safe pick. Face guys if the Bears would have taken Albert then they would have moved him to Tackle. This is something the Bears are known for but not this time.

In the 2nd round please take Chris Johnson !

I could have lived with Otah at RT, I would have been fine with Albert at Guard, but no, Angelo has to continue is horrible streak of drafting LT busts in the first round. Meet the new Stan Thomas a guy who got beat up at the senior Bowl. Great he can't protect himself so now he is gonna protect rex. He is weak with no motor and we are going to give an unmotivated guy millions. He will be about as good as Benson. Goodbye Angelo. What a wasted pick.

Williams: I guess we'll see when the season rolls around. I didn't see your pick amazingly enough. BTW, who's going to run the ball behind our new o-line? Cedric "2 yards and a cloud of bust" or will it be all 170 pounds of Garret Wolfe?

Once again, I don't see why Chicago couldn't take Mendenhall then grab Baker in round 2 (moving up).

One last note, Mendenhall was not a homer pick. I have been a USC fan since I was 5, just love the speed, size, and power.

Any chance the Bears trade up for Mendenhall if he keeps dropping? I thought for sure he would be gone by Detroit...

Tony,

My answer is GOD I HOPE SO, but then again I am from the "Mosque of Osama" so apparently if Chicago picks Mendenhall the terrorists win.

I am shocked the Flacco went before Brohm. With the teams coming up I cannot see Mendenhall making it so far back that Chicago can trade up.

My prediction at 44: Early Doucet from LSU.

Creighton, you and I are on the same page with that pick.

I would melt if they traded up for Mendenhall. That would be a coup for the ages if they could get a top shelf O-lineman AND a extremely solid RB in the first round.

Trade up for Mendenhall!!!!!!!

Tremendous job blogging the draft. It's great reading the updates. Keep 'em comin'!

This would be a good place to move up.

Mendenhall to Steelers? Curveball?

Bears snoozed on not trading up.

It would've been a good place to move up as Mendenhall goes to Pitt. Still some good players on the board, but I am scared Chicago's going to reach on a RB in round 2. There are guys going to be around at 70 and maybe 90.

Biggsy, I've had enough of Texas running backs, thank you. Brohm is still on the board and so is Henne. I am still sticking with Early Doucet but I would love to see James Hardy from Indiana here. The guy is a Randy Moss clone.

You can't reach further than Johnson at #24. So, Angelo may have a chance here at eiter RB or WR.

I got them going Brian Brohm out of Louisville at 44.

No more TExas RBs. I say "reach" for someone else. Forte? Rice? If Rice could share HALF of his heart with Benson, Benson might be able to wakeup and hit a hole that Williams provides next year...

Once Dallas traded down I saw that coming. My top 15 is off the board with Jenkins. Does Houston grab Miami's Phillips or go after Connor from Penn State? I am guessing they go defense and not Brohm and pass up Merling who's still available.

Ha ha, Da Mosque of Osama. Your guy is gone, cry those crocodile tears. Never said that Benson or Wolfe were great, but Mendenhall wouldn't fare better with no bodies in front of him. Now we'll at least have a semblance of a running game.

"We probably shot fewer holes in him than we did the other two so in the ne3d we felt he was the best player for us." - Angelo on the Bears' knoweldge of Williams compared to Albert and Clady

In other words, we don't know about him as well as we should, but since hew was projected high, we took him. This worries me. On the plus side, he only allowed what, 2 sacks in 2 seasons. I hope my thoughts on this guy are wrong and that he helps out this season. I really hope I'm wrong. Go bears.

OK, I was way off. I had Brown at #113 on my value board and had Houston looking for defensive help.

As we get closer to #44 I like the board. It seems a lot of teams are reaching because of runs at RB and OT. Still hoping Chicago doesn't reach for a RB.

Any sense of which way the Bears are going? I hope WR...seems pretty good crop still left. Even though they have dropped we could use ANY of them!

Tony: Brian Brohm is still on the board and he projects out as a solid QB in the NFL if not a potential franchise QB. If he falls to us, I could see him.

I had Doucet as the WR that would fall to us, but there are a number of very good WR on the board. The guys that have been taken didn't even crack my top 10 at the position.

You still have Limas Sweed from Texas, Harding from Indiana, Doucet from LSU, and Maclolm Kelly from Oklahoma.

Sorry meant save for Devin Thomas they didn't crack my top 10.

Go for Kelly, Hardy or Manningham.

With Hardy off the board and Chicago close to choosing, I like Brohm. If he goes off the board I like Doucet. The only wild cards I see are Chad Henne from Michigan or Kelly from Oklahoma.

Anyone else?

C'mon Brohm. If not, let's grab Doucet.

Forte is a reach. Exactly what I feared they would do. I'll be keeping my fingers crossed but Chicago screwed the pooch with these two draft picks. We get the 4h best OL in the draft instead of the 1A running back. We get the 8th best RB instead of a top 3 WR.

Hopefully I'll have to eat my words this season but I am ready for draft day to be over. Chicago gets a D- as far as I'm concerned.

not to man surprises so far. i suppose if we're not gonna take any glamour picks we should look forward to drafting another lineman in round 3. at this point, we may as well try and completely fulfill the need of o-lineman

OK, Chicago has two 3rd rounders to play with. I would like to see them move up now and grab Brohm. We need a QB and he could be the long-term answer. I had him at #16 on my board and it would be worth the small cost to move up into the 2nd round and grab him. Also, Manningham is on the board as well. The guy is a play maker when on the field despite what his measurable say. Doucet is still out there as well, but he's a #2 ... Manningham could be a #1.

church, i'd have loved the mendenhall pick too but are you saying you'd rather have gone rb then wr and hoped to have found a starting tackle on the second day? even in the second round there wasnt a good enough tackle left on the board. i think they're solid if unspectacular picks and lets hope that angelo pulls out a few rabbits out of the hat tomorrow where he's a better history of drafting.

Alec: No, what I was saying was that I don't like eiter pick for who was on the board. If we took Mendenhall over Williams, would there be OT's on the board at our 2nd pick? Probably considering Nick Collins is still on the board as I write this. Forte' is a reach so I would have been happier with an Early Doucet, Mario Manningham, or Malcom Kelly.

Forte?????? Brohm is still on the board and we choose Forte. Did we trade up for Mendenhall? No why would we, when we can have an upright runner who fumbles and is slow and we grab him in the second round, with Brohm, Henne, Rice, Sweed and Kelly on the board. I thought Angelo said Benson was good to go? Guess not. We haven't had a franchise QB in 20 years, why start now? We got Forte, I am finding it real hard to get excited about this draft. I would have passed on the wasted pick at RB, Angelo is proving yet again why he has always been bad at drafting offense.

Jerry Angelo said, "We haven't changed our philosophy." He must mean the philosophy of not having a quality quarterback.

MelgBuddy: Great line :-)

Wow, and now we get to see if we were right or wrong about Brohm when Aaron Rodgers falls on his face.

I do not like the Forte pick. Can we say Brock Forsey. I would have been happy with Kevin Smith or James Hardy.

Come on Angelo. You better be ready for tommorrow. You must redeem yourself. Williams ok but Forte was a reach for the sky.

Please Bears fans stop the QB crap! This team has so many other needs say another lineman or wide receiver before a QB.

what a panic by our great draft team we get afraid that all the runningback will be gone an reach to get forte when we could have got brohm an than got forte in 3RD

I love these two picks! Filled some needs and have more needs to fill. I am hoping for two more o-lineman tommorrow. A guard and another tackle. Then hopefully, Kellen Davis, TE from Michigan State. A good day for us and better tommorrow.

I hope Forte is not that slow because lord knows Chicago has attracted more than its fair share of slow running backs in the past couple of years. He surely cannot be slower than Benson!

With Day 1 at an end, I have two guys in my top 40 left: Dan Connor and Early Doucet. We have two picks in the 3rd round and I am hoping we pickup a WR (see Doucet) and a QB (love John David Booty as my homer pick).

Thanks to Brad Biggs for giving us a forum to share our thoughts. Had a great time despite hating Angelo's picks. See you all tomorrow when I sober up :-)

Will someone call my father's house and tell him that Benson isn't very fast and he isn't a complete back!!

I thought the Bears did a good job today and filled two of there biggest needs. With the selection of Chris Williams the Bears now have a young and athletic left tackle. Grossman or Orton will benefit from the extra time they will now get in the pocket. Also the selection of Williams will allow the Bears to move John Tait to his more natural position right tackle. Williams and Tait should be bookend tackles for a couple of seasons for the Bears, I would still like to see the Bears take another tackle on day two. Maybe someone like Geoff Schwartz of Oregon in the 6th or 7th round to develope behind Tait to be his eventual replacement on the right side. Contrary to popular opinion I love the Matt Forte pick in the second today. Now the Bears have a three down back that can come in and push Benson. Forte is an excellent inside runner that can block and catch, so unlike Benson Forte is a 3 down back. I think Forte can be special in the Bears run based offense. Can't wait till tomorrow on day two, I'd like to see the Bears get a receiver in the third. Maybe someone like Earl Bennett or Mario Manningham, I just don't know if Angelo will take a chance on super Mario because of some off the field stuff. In the fourth I would still like to see the Bears get Owen Schmitt the full back out of West Virginia. Forte and Schmitt would be a hell of a combination for the Bears in the backfield, oh well we'll see tomorrow GO BEARS!!

I think today's draft went as planned. JA got what he wanted. Williams is a pure left tackle and Matt Forte is a 3 down back. Benson's days are numbered. This kid is going to be great. great size, elusive, 4.46/40 speed, versatile and great character which has Benson has none of the above. If you don't believe, go on youtube and look at some highlight film on him. Now tomorrow they need a WR, OG, QB, DT and then BPA. GO BEARS!!!

Kevin A: How did Forte do against LSU?? There a couple good things about Forte, first he is a power back so he pretty much spells the end of Benson. Second he cannot be any worse than Benson. I think he was a reach here and the Bears should have gone with Henne. I am glad for you that they drafted the guy you like in Williams I know you where real big on him. I hope he is good. But he will not help the run game one bit and the Bears are a running team as they like to say. They still need a RT, to run block and 2 guards in my opinion. Don't be shocked if he does not start this year, it's a big adjustment to the NFL and even Lovie and Angelo have both said lets not rush him and that he will start when he is ready. I won't be surprised if he doesn't start which really does not help the team this year. Me I don't really like the pick, the guy needs the eye of the tiger, Someone call Creed.

I like Brohm but lets face it the guy does not fit our system he is a WCO (Walsh) type QB in fact the Packers system is perfect for him and he will prbably excell in it. Henne however fits are system to a tee and we should have taken him, Parcells took him and the man knows Quarter Backs. Forte would have been there in round three along with Rice. Angelo panicked again and jumped on a guy to early.

Lets hope for Zuttah today and maybe Collins, Grecco or Nicks. We need more help on the line if Forte is gonna have a prayer.

Now that Willimas and Forte are Bears, I can't really bash them anymore, cause they are part of the team and actully haven't done anything wrong yet. Good luck to them both and on to round three.

Today was one crazy first and second round.

If you are mad at Angelo for not chosing Brohm there are a lot of GM's that didn't either. There are still a lot of offensive linemen still in play so the second day should be a blast, Steve there are no WR's better or potentially better than what we already have those will be comp picks 3a&b will offensive line and QB.

Creighton, actually Forte didn't do bad considering LSU had the nations best defense. Forte was 16 for 73yds a 3.8 yd avg not bad.
Also take into consideration this is with Tulanes o-line going against Glenn Dorsey, again not bad. I think with Tait on the right side will help the run game because we all agree Tait is a better right tackle than left. And Beekman should come in and help so I think the Bears will have a nice young o-line finally GO BEARS!!

Has JA ever traded up?? We knew that when he was hired so why get mad now that he is the same guy you hired? I would LOVE RM as well, but I am happy with what we got for the firat time in years!
William: 6-6 316! I see a SMART left tackle which is important for that posiion, He is a hard worker

Forte: saw vid and he looks for real, the next Jones/Benson duo I feel

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This page contains a single entry by Brad Biggs published on April 26, 2008 1:19 PM.

Continuously updated blog for draft was the previous entry in this blog.

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