Chicago Sun-Times

Hook 'em? Bears look to Texas for competition for Benson

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Tim Spencer’s trip South to meet with Tulane running back Matt Forte wasn’t the only business he knocked out.

A representative for Texas running back Jamaal Charles said he worked out for Spencer, the running backs coach, Wednesday in Austin. Spencer hooked up with Forte Thursday in New Orleans.

Charles is considered a likely second-round pick and could be someone the Bears target with the 44th overall selection. He replaced Cedric Benson for the Longhorns and after three seasons only Ricky Williams, Benson and Earl Campbell are ahead of him on the career rushing list.

Could general manager Jerry Angelo look to push an ex-Longhorn with another Longhorn?

That leaves Charles, Forte and Arkansas’ Felix Jones as potential second- or third-round picks the team has explored in recent weeks. At least ones we have found out about.

*** The Bears were not present for the workout of Oregon quarterback Dennis Dixon on Thursday. Dixon is 3 1/2 months removed from surgery to repair a torn ACL. The team did recently attend a workout for Ducks wide receiver Cameron Colvin, who is also returning from serious injury, a broken ankle.

Word is the Bears have some interest in DIxon, however, and have also made inquiries about his backup Brady Leaf, the younger brother of former No. 2 overall bust Ryan Leaf. That’s leaving no stone unturned.


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37 Comments

I really like the fact they are looking at these 2nd-3rd rd RB's. They need O-line help and that has got to be the priority in Rd 1. A few years ago teams could pursue OLT in free agency. It really isn't happening anymore, you need to use a pick in the first 3 Rds every year for O-Line or D-Line.

I'm hoping they've learned from past mistakes. It looks like a good draft class for what they need.

This tells me one thing. The Bears are not thinking about taking a running back at 14. Felix Jones and Darren McFadden are projected at the ends of the 1st round (Felix at the tail end, and McFadden at the front end), and every other back they have looked at is a second round prospect or later. They are drafting OL with their first pick, unless they move out of that spot. We may not have any of our targets left at 14, so what do we do there? Trade back in the first to 18-21, picking up an extra second or third rounder, and target Albert? Or do we go plan B, and get out of the first round altogether (Atlanta could offer 34 and 37 for the 14 if they want Brohm, Henne, or Flacco)? It looks to me that this schedule of visits means OL or bust in the first round. I sure hope it isn't bust...

Seems pretty clear that Jerry/Lovie aren't thinking about Mendenhall at 14 and will wait until 2/3 round to take a RB.

We all know we'd like multiple O linement. But as we all think about round 1 and Chris Williams, remember there's almost always a round 1 surprise. Like Greg Olson, Aaron Rogers, Tommie Harris dropping way down. At the 14 pick it would not be at all surprising to see one of Mendenhall, Chris Long, Dorsey, Clady, or even Matt Ryan or McFadden dropping down. If such happened, it would be hard to pass up a stud at 14 or trade the pick with someone drooling to get one of these guys.

I still think if we just get a second tier back like this Texas guy in the draft, a good backup plan would be to sign Kevin Jones to get you by for another year.

Please not another Texas RB. Why is Angelo so in love with Texas players. Texas plays probably 2 games a year that actually mean anything. All there players have padded stats against terrible opponents. See Vince the Stiif Young and Cederic the Entertainer Benson.

Why can't the Bears look at Chris Johnson from East Carolina.? Clearly the best RB in all the Bowl Games.

I hope Charles is a bit more....ummm, how do I put this....professional then Benson has been.

But, if he has a complete emotional breakdown after hearing his name called, I'm going to be a bit nervous.

Jerry Angelo won't be picking a running back at 14. Jesus Christ could be sitting on the board at 14 and if he were a running back Angelo would pass on him. He's already allocated so much money for that position he's not going use a first round pick for another one, especially a pick who's main job is to "motivate" Benson. He'd really prefer to use one of the third round picks. That would be about the right amount of money. It's all about the money! Jerry's made room in the budget for O line help and at QB. That's where he'll be looking with his first round picks.

I'm not a big fan of Jamaal Charles but if the Bears take him I'll support him. With that being said I would advise against takeing him for the simple fact Charles is not an every down back. I've checked out a few scouting reports on Charles when I heard the Bears had some interest. Most scouting reports said that Charles was not physical and is very limited as a pass blocker and this is coming out of college. I do however like Charles speed 4.3. But in the end I think the Bears should get a back that can block and receive much like Matt Forte who also is better between the tackles, this is why I like Forte better than Charles GO BEARS!!

Phil, you need to rub some brain cells together. Why does Jerry love Texas players? Nate Vasher worked out pretty well, didn't he? The guy's rated a 3rd round value. If he didn't scout him, then he's not being diligent. Heck, even to suggest that Jerry's "in love" with Texas guys because he drafted a couple and is scouting one. Jeez. Talk about knee jerk reaction.

Paul P. 3 word on why Lovie likes the Texas program. Big Sandy Texas.

Let's not forget the NFL draft is highly secretive. Although everyone can agree the Bears need help at OT, OG, RB, QB and WR (ouch) and all these visits to watch running backs workout are obvious....I am not surprised there is no buzz about the Bears liking a defensive player. Shhhhh!! They always have and always will win on defense. Due mostly to injury, the defense was weak last year and was ran through all to easily. Hopefully everyone will stay healthy this coming season and we will finally see what Dvorecak can do along side Harris, but the Bears aren't gonna count on that and I see them adding to the rotation at DT on the first day.

Number 1, what kind of work ethic does this guy have, off season is he like C.B. and on the couch ( getting fat and slow )and if he is not...don't wait, there's nothing like game time experience to learn how fast these guys on the other side of the ball are.

mikefive, you have me confused with PaulP. See above.

We're all talking about O line alot and should be since it's basically Garza, Olin and then hoping for Beekman to make a move + the draft. Could they flip their 14 and some change and get in position to take both Gosder and Brandon Albert? That way skip Williams?

But we really need another safety. Our play back there has been horrid. What's the board think of using a later - say 5 pick - on the dude from Notre Dame. I have a hunch he could develop into a John Lynch/Ronnie Lott?

philbeat the Bears could drop down and get Gosder, but not Albert. He's been moving up the board for awhile. He might be the third lineman taken. If the Bears trade down they should look for Gosder and Nicks. Both have long arms mean dispositions and Nicks plays multiple positions. If Albert is there at 14 the Bears should grab him in front of (all finesse, short arms) Williams and Otah.

Windy City I don't disagree on Albert. I think he's a great pick. I just have noticed most mock's have him down in the 25 pick range.

Agree about Williams and Otah. Williams has some blemishes in physique and tempermant. Otah will be great I believe but only at RT.

If we can't get lucky and get Clady at 14 (an admitted longshot) we should either take Albert or trade down for Gosder. Williams is so marginally better he isn't worth it.

I think it was Draft Scouts & NFL draft countdown that both showed Albert moving up into the top 15. They also had Devin Thomas jumping way up.

It was only a matter of time with Albert, big, strong, quick, long arms can play multiple positions.

I think you are right about Otah. A great RT. As soon as I picked up William's short arms I looked at reps of 225, with short arms he should have a lot. He doesn't, which tells me he hasn't been a hard worker. It doesn't mean he won't be, but I much rather see the Bears grab someone who does have a history of working hard.

Gosder is like Otah, tough, strong, little nasty in him and will be a great RT. It's finding that LT that is so hard. I think Nicks is slipping because he got in trouble at school (a ticket for not leaving a party when a cop told him to). If he's there in the 2nd rd I'd grab him no matter who we got in the 1st rd.

Paul P, I don't think I'd make such a bold statement as "Clearly the best RB in all the Bowl Games." Although you may be referring to someone who might still be around after the first round, your statement doesn't state as much. If you really think he was the best in ALL the Bowl Games, explain how his showing was better than Jonathan Stewart's.

Stewart v. a South Florida D which was much better than BSU:
23 for 253 yds and a TD rushing & 2 for 29 yds and a TD receiving

Johnson v. a lesser Boise State D:
28 for 223 yds and a TD rushing & 3 for 32 yds and a TD receiving

Granted, like I said, if you're referring to guys that are likely to be around after the first round, I totally agree that they need to look at Johnson. He could be a real steal. However, say Stewart's surgery on his toe drops him out of the first round, I'd much rather see him playing in a Bears uni than Johnson.

If the Bears take Branden Albert at #14 or nab him by tradeing down a couple spots I think Albert can come on for the Bears and be a pro bowler on the left side.... left guard that is. I know Albert has nice size at 6-7 317lbs but I think it would be wiser for the Bears to keep Albert at his more natural position guard. Back in the 2002-03 season the Bears tried making another guard prospect into a tackle and it did not work out so good. Mike Gandy is the player I am referring to. Gandy like Albert had nice size but did not posse the foot quickness and was more effective moving in a straight line. I really think if the Bears would of left Gandy at guard he would have went on to be a pretty good guard. Don't get me wrong Albert looks to be a little bit more athletic than Gandy, but some scouting reports also say Albert is a little heavy-footed just one example why not to many college guards go on to be NFL tackles, there is a big difference in the speed of the game between college and pro ball. Now a lot of college tackles can go on to be good guards but there is a difference like I said in the speed you will be faceing at tackle vs guard. I say if the Bears select Albert keep him at his more natural position and use a 2nd rd pick on a tackle like Baker or Collins. Albert as the Bears new left guard could be dominant and do for the Bears run game much like Minnesotas Steve Hutchinson did for them and Seattle, Albert and a more natural left tackle like USC's Sam Baker and the Bears o-line could go from being a team weakness to its strength and the Bears could get back to being a running force and getting that defense some time off the field and keep them around a little longer GO BEARS!!

The last two running backs from Texas with dreads were complete headcases......why would Jamal Charles not be the same? Ray Rice, Baby!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! He's the Man!

You know maybe you guys are right about taking Albert (unless somehow Clady slipped to 14) and then tackle after. A combo of Albert and Baker in round 2 would be awesome. There's really only two sure bet guards in the draft and Albert/Rachal will be gone quickly.

Challenge on tackles, of the second tier guys I believe only Baker has a chance at making a first year impact at LT. If he's gone in round 2, Brown and Hills have a shot at being solid LT's but will be two year projects. I like Nicks on the right side but again a couple of years away.

Also depending on what Jerry does on skill positions if you go OT late in draft don't count out the Ohio St and Toledo tackles as guys who could be great long term beasts.

We need beasts for our Offensive trench to go with our D line. The Giants proved line play is still key.

But if Flacco somehow falls to the 46 pick, we need to take him.

Kevin makes some good points about Albert and about Baker and Collins in round two. John A. Idon't see Stewart dropping out of the first round even with a toe problem. Has everyone forgot the game Temple had for Missouri when you talk about a overall great performance also proved to be durable with 30+ carries in that game and all those touches in the short passing game he's the sleeper RB in the draft. The Bears already have their safety in house don't be surprised to see Tillman soon become a safety because of his playmaking ability and his size, think about it!!

"The last two running backs from Texas with dreads were complete headcases."

Hair style is not the most effective method for evaluating NFL prospects.

even though some people characterize Benson as "slow" and "fat", he possesses strength as an inside runner, and Bears fans will be unhappy with a RB that is incapable of running between the tackles. I doubt Angelo will take another undersized, openfield rusher (Wolfe) to "compete" with Benson.

The targeted player is Albert at #14. The second round pick will be the best and most versatile offensive lineman (Nicks, Collins, Cherilus, Rachal).

3rd round is where it will get intersting. With two picks, the Bears could grab an additional developmental prospect along the O-line, QB, WR or DL. A pass rushing DT will have the greatest impact. Given our possible question marks at QB in 2009, spending a year developing another prospect would be a very smart decision.

I like the RBs they are looking at. There are about 10 RBs in this draft that would look good in a Bears uniform. Some are change of pace backs like Felix Jones, Jamal Charles, Chris Johnson, Steve Slaton & Ray Rice. Then there are your workhorse type Like Matt Forte, Mendenhall, Stewart, Kevin Smith & Tashard Choice. It all depends what type of back they want, someone to complement Benson or someone to run him out of town. I think they should look at a back in the 2nd or 3rd round. They need an OT in the 1st. If all the big 4 are gone by the 14th pick, the they should try and trade down for the Cherilus or Baker. The sleeper OT in the 1st 2 rounds is Anthony
Collins from Kansas. It should be interesting the way it all plays out so I can't wait!!!!!! GO BEARS!!!!!!!

Honestly we need a OT at the 14th spot. Charles or Forte would be a good 2nd round pick. Third round will get interesting, I'd love to see Colt Brennan or Erik Ainge drafted along with a receiver in the fourth or fifth round. Jason Rivers (Hawaii) or Marcus Monk (Arkansas) could develope into good starters in the coming years.

Now people are starting to talk about Albert?? Albert is really good but won't go in the top 15 because of team needs, the Bears should trade with the Eagles they may be able to squeeze a 3rd round pick out of them. The Eagles are supposed to really like Williams. He may be there at 14 and I would be suprised if the Bears draft him. I have said it before, this is a strong RT draft class not a strong LT class.

What are the Bears need according to Lovie Smith?
RT, RG, compitition for Rex and Orton, Compitition for Benson, DT, WR and Saftie.

Everyone wants a stud LT, thats great, can you find one in this class? I don't mean everyone on this board, I mean everyone in the NFL. If there is one you would think someone would take him before 14. Just Maybe. If the Bears stay at 14 which does not look good, they may take Albert which I would be really happy with he is a stud OG but would probably start on the right side, Garza does not have the strength for the right side. Baker who I like will not be there in the secound round for the bears. To many teams above them need Oline help.

The running back class for this draft reminds me of 1996 WR class, it's deep with lots of Talent. That said not all the players fit the Bears needs, I would be shocked if the Bears took another undersized back in this draft. They run a power running game, if they want compitition for Benson they will not be bringing in a change of pace back, they will bring in another power runner. Unless the Bears are looking at replacing Benson, which I wish they would, then I don't want them to waste a single pick on a running back in this class. Unless they go for one of the top dogs that they can actually build a team around, I don't want them using some guy as a motivational tool on Benson. Also Lovie said Benson was really motivated this year. If thats true the Bears don't need to draft a motivational device and waste a top 3 pick for it. The RB position on the Bears is already full and if Lovie likes it like he says he does we do not need another back unless he plans on replacing Benson.

Why are people still talking about the Bears drafting like 7 to 10 guys who will all be starters next year? Whe nwas the last time anyone drafted than many starters in a single class? The Bears GM cannot even name a single guy on offense to build a team around, he has been here for six years and he cannot name a guy to build around on offense??? And everyone thinks we are going to have the greatest draft ever??? Did I miss something hasn't Angelo been drafting here for 6 years? Hasn't he drafted about the same amount of Offensive guys as he has defensive guys?? Yet he cannot name a single player on his offense that he built, who is an impact player or a player to build around and now all of a sudden he is going to become the best offensive draft picker in the history of the NFL. Did I miss something??? 20 years of drafting and not a single Pro Bowl OT ever drafted by this guy. Yet somehow this year is different. Ok. Can't wait for the draft.

Creighton, that was a great point about Sam Baker not being there in the 2nd round when the Bears select. I also kind of agree about when you pointed out about Lovie Smith saying the Bears were trying to come out of the draft with a right tackle. The reason I only half agree with this is because I've also heard Lovie and Angelo say they could move Tait to the right side, so Angelo and Smith must obviously like a certain left tackle prospect also. I believe they will select Ryan Clady if he falls, he could much like Greg Olsen did last year. But I also strongly believe they will take Chris Williams or Jeff Otah, one of these three players will be there when the Bears pick at #14. Fact is Tait is 33 and may be better suited as a right tackle and both Smith and Angelo also have stated this plus the fact that they have worked Williams out and gave him a strong look at the senior bowl bring me to the conclusion the Bears are going with Williams. Also the Bears have been checking out all 2nd to 3rd round backs, Forte the one I would like to see the Bears take, Charles, and Felix Jones. If Smith said he wants to come out of the draft with a right tackle the Otah pick makes since because like you said Creighton Baker wont be there in the 2nd and I don't think Gosder Cherilus or Anthony Collins will be there either and I don't see Angelo takeing that kind of chance to wait till the second anyways because the fact is tackle is the Bears weakest position right now and they have the best chance to get one in the first be it Clady, Williams, or Otah I'd be happy with any three of these picks GO BEARS!!

Oh I agree Kevin, I think there is a guy at LT they like, and then I remember Angelos history of drafting offense and I lokk at the guys he has gotten to play LT. Columbo arguably his best offensive line pick ever, is a decent RT in Dallas. Angelo of course drafted him even though he had some injury issues and even though everyone said he was a RT A ngelo moved him to LT. He did not play that well got hurt a few times and then it was good bye. Dallas who has a very good recent history of Oline choices picked him up and moved him back where he belongs. My own guess is not Williams but he is thinking about grabing Albert and moving him to LT. Otah is not gonna be there, Clady may drop, and Angelo will grab him. I am not so sure about Clady these days, or he may go after Gosder and move him to LT. I just don't see Williams fitting the Bears system very well. Forte is not bad and fits the bears need, but my big hope is Stewart dropping to the bears in the second(yes I can dream). But I figuree if the bears are just getting a guy to motivate Benson and there still planning on giving him the starting job I would rather not waste a pick on a guy ho wont play much. I do think Clady may drop and Otah and Williams go before the bears pick.

I would like to see the Bears grab the best player available at 14, and that might just be Mendenhal. I know they need line help but they will still have 10 picks to work with after the first one. I think some of you are right on the money when you say Tait is going to the right side. So lets get some more offensive weapons and find some lineman out there that nobody is talkin about. There are always players everyone overlooks. Lets get the offense rolling again. Go Bears!

Kevin almost forgot, of course Tait is a better RT. He was one of the Best RT's in the league but at 33 I don't care where you play on the line, you are not gonna be around much longer. His best days are well behind him. So are Olin's aka "anger managment", and Garza is average at best. Basically the Bears need 5 starters on the Oline over the next 2-3 years just to get it in shape, then they need some decent backups. I know you like Beekman but he has not seen the field much so I am holding off judgment on him until he sees more playing time.

Oh and anyone who reads that please do not reply if you are going to say something like the Bears will get 5 Oline starters this draft. If the Bears where even half decent at drafting Oline they would not be in this mess in the first place. Same goes for the entire offence. Also anyone who tells me the Bears win on defence stop yourself, you have three parts to a team and you cannot win anything with just one of them. The Best part of the Bears has been special teams, then D and the offence has been brutal. Yes brutal not a few pieces away. Take away points scored by the Defense and Special teams and take a look at how many points the offence actually put up on average the last 3 years. It's pathetic. 275 points off field goals and TD's only 182 points scored by the offence. PA 348. If not for Hester this would have been a really bad year. Saved the Bears against Denver and New Orleans and Griese saved our bacon in Philly. I cannot imagine anyone kicking to Hester ever again, and Griese is gone. By the way he out performed both Rex and Orton while he was here. He is a bench QB he has a history of being average to below average, yet he out performed two guys who some people in this town still think will be great with an oline. Well I got to tell you if you cannot out perform Griese on the same team, well then you got problems.

I agree about staying away from Chris Williams. He's a finesse guy and his weaknesses are strength and killer instinct. In the NFL you go for meanness, size, and upper body. We can teach technique. Also to those of you who like Nicks from NE in late rounds beward - he's considered a lazy headcase. Many think he'll do a Benson and negotiate hard for his rookie contract and never put forth effort again.

Our Offense will again be weak. But Somehow we've got to find just enough offense improvement to only keep our D on the field only half the game. If so, we avoid injuries and at least give ourselves a chance for the playoffs winning ugly

Creighton, as usual you are on the money (although a tad more cynical than I am). I think we need at least 3 OL out of this draft, and another 3-4 over the next 2 years to even give us a shot at being able to rebuild the line. Tait can get by for another 2 seasons, and moving to the right side would be helpful for the ankle problems he has had the last two seasons (switch the plant foot). But if we get someone like Otah, Cherilus, or Nicks/Mills/Collins, they will need to play on the right side to start, or permanently. Duane Brown is another true LT prospect (coming out of Va Tech, I am skeptical, but more than one so-called expert has tagged him as an excellent pass protector with top shelf mobility) that could be there in the 3rd round. But if we go with Albert instead of a LT prospect in the first round, which is entirely plausible considering how many teams in front of us are looking for OT help, we would be able to lock down one side of the line with Tait, Albert, and Kreutz, so left or right side would be solid depending on where we put them. Ruben Brown was our mauler at guard on the left, but we could use Albert on either side, and put Tait wherever the weaker guard is to help on that side. Not many teams are solid at all 5 positions, and the best group is no longer intact (Kansas City with 2 HOF guards, and Willie Roaf). If we get a guy who can play half decent as a rookie in Brown, we can get by this year, and be even better next year when he has a year of seasoning.

If you take a look at one of our own divisional rivals, when they draft for a position of need, they don't take the chance on one guy, they take a few shots at it, and hope one of them pans out as the starter, and the others either give you solid depth, or can move to another position and contribute. The Packers drafted Brandon Jackon, DeShawn Wynn, and traded for Ryan Grant, after bringing in Morency the prior year, just to get the running back position solidified. They re-worked the entire depth chart to fix one starting spot. The Patriots drafted 3 TEs a few years back, when Daniel Graham was still on the roster. They got Ben Watson, David Thomas, and Garrett Mills in the same draft. Mills has since gone to the Vikes, but it should tell you how often really good front offices are convinced that they hit a home run on a draft pick. If you want to upgrade a position, you need to focus on it, not just take one guy and bank on him.

As far as the QBs go, Griese was able to out-perform the other two because he checked down if option 1 was covered. Grossman is too limited mentally to understand the value of the checkdown. If Ron Turner doesn't call the checkdown pass, Rex doesn't throw it. By the time Orton got in the game, Peterson was our featured back, and we were seeing 8 man fronts on three downs, and Muhammed and Berrian were mailing it in. I don't think any of them are saviors, but I do think with an improved O-line, our running game will at least be respectable enough to work the play action, and we can find out what they can do when they have a little time to set their feet and throw the ball. I don't believe in Rex at all, but I do believe Orton can be a middle of the pack starting QB in this league. That is all we need. He has good size, a strong arm, and a nice touch when he gets a chance to throw the ball. His best routes are deep square-ins, deep post patterns, and intermediate crosses and slants. All of these routes require pass protection (with the exception of the slant, but Turner's offense telegraphs it too much), and can chew up chunks of yardage, which we don't seem to do well. I say give them a chance, and we can look for a new QB either in the draft this year, or next offseason. If your stats are correct, we have averaged less than 12 points a game on offense over the last 3 years. That is sad, and needs to be improved. But team building starts in the trenches, and if we improve that, we can make other improvements look that much better.

Radon you are out of your mind Colt Brennan is a arena League QB who was a system QB only if you were a true fan you would not wish that scrub on anyone Ainge has potential and size but I think Booty and Dixon have greater upside. Jerry Jr. you are as stupid as your Dad has been, when in the last 6 yrs have the Bears developed ANYONE at any position?? philbeart most pass rushers on the left side are quick finesse guys what are you talking about, Williams is one of the few true LT's in the draft. You can work on strength better than you can work on natural skills HE'S A NATURAL LEFT TACKLE!!! And when did you get so close to know about his instinct? Some of fans just go way out there to show their football genius. I seems you want to use Benson as the poster boy for headcases but Jerry drafted him and the Bears staff developed him, see a pattern here!! Let's hope Jerry breaks pattern and gets two starters out of this draft. Most tems only get one or two first year starters out of the draft so all this and unless some guys step up and one is found in the summer it could be a long season.

Joe yeah I agree they would be better with an improved Oline, I just don't think they will improve much this year no matter who they draft at Oline or RB, QB, WR. Take Williams one of the few true LT's in this draft, well he still will need to be developed and probably would not start at LT or even RT. Scary thought, but he has to get the Timming, Plays, Calls, and improve his Technique. He has never seen anything close to what the NFL has in terms of compitition and they guys playing next to him are bad so that will drag his game down. Als does he fit the Bears Power O man line system, which features a power running game. You really need a Ogden type at LT for the system to be really effective. Then lets look at the Broncos there Oline has been among the best in football for 20 years and they never go Oline in the first round. Then again they can identify offensive talent at that position.

Personally I would Like to see the Bears go RB, RT(easily can get a good guy in the second round in this draft who would start), QB, Guard. I don't expect the Bears to be very good this year so I guess they may be picking higher next year, where they could get a better LT than this class has to offer in the first round like Mike Oher. I would so take him over any OT in this class without even blinking. Duane Brown in round 2 or 3, Collins in round 2 or 3 heck I would even go after Pollak in round 2 or 3(STUD). Imagine Brown at RT and Pollak at RG this year with Mendenhall as your RB. Then next year after a bad season Mike Oher round 1 high pick. How you like that line? Get a QB in round two like Cantwell, or Harper, and start grabbing d after that. Year 3 of the rebuild, WR first pick mix up D and Oline after that. Year four Superbowl. Angelo of course was fired after year one and I was hired.

As for Peterson vs. Benson last year I believe Peterson did out performed him and the offense played better with Peterson. Peterson is not very good. So what does that say about Benson and that was before the Surgery.

djssr, I agree 100% Chris Williams is a pure left tackle, and thank you for explaining that on the left side Williams would be faceing more quick undersized ends who are finesse themselves and Williams does not have to be a mauler to play on the left side of the Bears o-line, or any other teams no matter what style of offense they run. I say take Chris Williams put him on the left side put Tait on the right side we got Olin at center then Garza and Beekman at guards, I think we will be fine. A Peterson was better than Benson for the simple fact that he can block and receive out of the backfield, so with Peterson in the lineup the Bears O was not as predictable as with Benson. This is why I am so big an Matt Forte because like Peterson he has an all around skill set, I say bring him in with the second round. I would like Mendenhall in the first also, I just hope the Bears could land Anthony Collins in the second this would also be a good first day for the Bears. Creighton by the way, I think the Bears will go 10-6 just as long as the defense stays healthy, which I think they will GO BEARS!!

I like Forte too Kevin, I don't think he will be there in the second round when the Bears pick and I know why the Bears offense was better when Peterson was in cause I have said it a dozen times over. But I am right in saying Peterson out performed Benson. You do agree, now did he run better? No he didn't, but he didn't run worse than Benson. They had identical % stats in running and Peterson is not considered a good runner. He was as good as Benson at running and that was before an injury. As for Williams you want the Bears to take the fifth best Olineman in this class with the 14th pick and you think he will be a stud. Long, Clady, Albert, Otah, are all projected higher than him. You also realize that these guys all have a better chance of playing than Williams because they all project as RT's there first couple of years. Williams is a pure LT, I agree and he is decent, but make no mistake and think that he is great. Because he is not, most scouts say he will sit his first year and learn that he needs to develop his strength timing and Tech. He cannot play RT in the NFL as he is a Finesse guy. Williams is a decent player but last I checked you did not build winning teams with decent players who are on the bench. You don't have to like it but those are the facts. This class has a bunch of good RT's in it but the LT position is weak. If you had a good LT in this class he would be the first guy taken or top 5 not 14 and not rated the 15th to 20th best player in the class. He is rated below a Guard. Now you think he is great and that is fine but last I checked you and me are not scouts. When it comes to Williams I am not giving you my opinion of how I think he will be cause I do not know. But I do put up what the scouts say, and you seem to have a different opinion then them. Kevin do not take it as an insult but I would rather go with what the scouts say than you. Not that there always right or anything or that you are wrong. I know they need a LT but the left tackles in this class are Mediocre and you do not build a winning team with a mediocre player. Kevin a OG (Albert) is considered a better LT prospect than williams. Think about that. What does that say about Williams. Otah played OT for 2 years and is considered a Better Prospect than Williams. Do you really think Williams is that good considering the compitition he played against wasn't very good. Why cause at the Senior Bowl he got in a fight? He is not that good of a LT prospect, he is nothing special. Not a single scout has said he is. They all say he is decent and will be a decent player once he develops. I don't see wasting a pick on him. As for Tait who is 33 and Olin, how long do you think they will play for? Kevin the Bears need 5 players for that line not 1. Beekman is still considered to be behind Metcalf in terms of talent. Metcalf is bad. Your Oline next year will be Tait, Garza, Olin, Metcalf and St Claire. Your QB will be Rex and you will have the worst WR group in football, not to mention Benson as your running back and a defense that you think will not have an injury. I have never heared of that ever happening in the NFL. You have a big list of question marks on D, no Number 2 tackle, your 3 tech guy has had injury issues every year he has been here. You best saftie has barley been on the field the last 4 years because of injury, Lach is starting to break down, you don't even know who your starting Free Safties are and your defensive ends are and corners are good. I think the defense next year will be healthier than last year and be a top 15. The reason I say top 15 is because the offense will hang them out to dry. No running game no passing game just like last year actually worse. No body will kick to Hester who gave you all by himself 2 wins last year against Denver and New Orleans. Which means this team could have easily been a 5 win team. I give the Bears a 4-12 record. I do believe the Bears D will be solid but just like the last 3 years will be exausted in the 4th quarter, also this has gotten worse every year for the Bears the last three years and I believe it will continue. Look at it this way Kevin if I am wrong I will be in for a long year of you Busting my chops and me being somewhat hummble on these boards. But if I am right I am sure you can tell I am not a good winner. Lol, we shall agree to disagree until the season. I still look forward to the draft, not because I think the Bears will take Mendenhall, but just because I love the draft 2 1/2 weeks. Wouldn't it be funny if we where all watching the draft and all the Mendenhall guys are like draft him and all the Williams guys are like draft him and with the first pick they trade down and draft Brohm or Flacco.

Creighton, the scouts must not think to low on Chris Williams to give him a first round grade. Williams has had a first round grade since the end of the college season. I'm not saying Williams will be a pro bowler but I do think Williams would be a good tackle for the Bears. I agree Branden Albert is rated #1.... at guard. I refuse to believe or have read any where that Albert is higher rated than Williams at tackle. I also disagree about level of competition that Williams faced, last time I checked Florida,South Carolina, and Mississippi to name a few, weren't pushovers. Also on almost every draft site I go on Williams is in the top three behind Long and Clady. I would be happy with Clady, Williams,Otah, or Mendenhall I'm not gonna let the Bears not drafting Williams or any tackle for that matter ruin my draft day. I just think tackle is the Bears #1 need and the Bears are in a great position to get one. Keep one thing in mind, I have been following the tackles in the last 2 or 3 drafts and I have noticed that as the draft gets closer the scouts nit pick them to death. Example, Tony Ugoh of Arkansas was a first round prospect going into the draft last season but after all the workouts and the combine the scouts nit picked Ugoh out of the first round and the Colts got a steal. Another example, San Diego tackle Marcus McNeill was a high first round prospect who got nit picked down to the Chargers in the lower first. Fact is any one the Bears take is a hit or miss, because you never know what you are getting. I say take Williams because like Ugoh and McNeill when all the scouts had was there play on the field these players were good to go. Actually Williams is different because he is still just as if not even higher projected pick, so I don't think it will hurt to draft Williams GO BEARS!!

Kevin I think you misunderstand what I am saying. First players are given first round grades based on the talent level of a class. I also think the Bears need a LT more than anything, well actually I think they need a QB more than anything. But I do not see either in this class that are that good. Williams is rated 15-20th of all the players depending on where you go. On the oline he is rated below Long, Clady, Albert every place you go, and in a lot of places is behind Otah and ProFootball weekly has him rated below Gosder. So does CBS. A stud LT is considered the second hardest position to fill in any draft behind QB. It's also considered the second most valuable position. Yet Williams is rated 15-20 in this class with a OG rated higher than him. The OT class is deep but there is not one elite player in the bunch, there are however a bunch of good players. He is rated between 4-6 out of those players. How many drafts have ever seen where the 3rd to 4th rated OT is a LT stud? I said I think he will be decent if he is developed. Do the Bears have a good history of developing Oline talent in the last 10 years? No they have a horrible record. Has Angelo ever drafted a Pro Bowl stud OT? No. Has Angelo shown even the least ability to recognize offensive talent in his 20 years of drafting? Yeah a little at Running Back but thats about it. Do I think the Bears can develop Williams. No, I don't think they have a clue as to how to develop Oline talent. Where is Beekman, he is still behind Metcalf. Beekman was a third round pick OG/C, yet he remains to undeveloped to play. Who would be playing next to Williams? Garza. Does that sound like a good team to you? Williams is a Rookie who would have to start at LT, do have any idea how rare that is? He is not Joe Thomas. If the Bears draft Williams I think it will be a wasted pick. I think they would be safer with a RB like Mendenhall or Stewart because the History of backs tells us back need the least amount of development, I would not even prefer Albert at OG because he is very talented but very raw. I would rather se Baker at RT or Collins or Brown at RT, or Gosder. It is the easier position to develop. Otah also, but if the Bears grab Otah do not expect him to start at RT either. He is very Raw but has the power and explosion to play there. Something Williams lacks.

For me when I look at who the Bears should take it is not just about need. It is about what they can do with that player. Name the last offensive Tackle the Bears developed. Heck name the last QB, RB, WR, they developed. I think there is a reason why Angelo goes after offensive line free agents instead of drafting them. I thinks he knows he sucks at it and I think he knows that the Bears suck at developing it. We need 5 Olinemen, a guy behind Olin to develop(uggg) and a guy behind (Tait) plus 3 starters. You are not going to get an entire oline in one draft, you not gonna get 3 starters you would be lucky to get 2. As for being hit or miss I totally agree all picks are. But if you add in the Fact that the Chargers and Colts have excelled at developing Oline talent and spotting it and the Bears have been the exact opposite. Look at the QB situation we have not developed a QB in 10 years. Why do you think this will change. It's not like the Bears havent tried. They have and they have failed at it. We are always one of the worst offensive teams in the league. Williams won't change that. I told you before I think Williams is a good kid and would do well in another place that knows what there doing. The Bears have no clue on offense, none.

Creighton, I still think the Bears should select Chris Williams or Jeff Otah. Lovie Smith said Metcalf is the starter at right guard this must mean that Garza will be on the left side. I think the reason Metcalf is listed as a starter is because the Bears want to check Beekman out in the pre season, there not going to just hand Beekman a starting job. Also Metcalf has proved time after time he cannot hold on to a starting job, this is why I think Beekman will be starting soon maybe by week one. With Garza on the left side it will allow the Bears to plug in Chris Williams at left tackle. I'm not claiming to be some expert scout but everything I read about Williams I like and the Bears must also because they have looked him over more than any other prospect that I have read about. I just think Williams would be a great left tackle for the Bears I also like the fact that Williams scored high on his wonderlic test this shows that he is intelligent enough to handle the left side. Also Creighton you make it sound like the Bears should not draft a guy if he is not a sure fire prospect, well the fact of the matter is sitting at #14 you are not going to have a lot of prospects who are. Now I love Mendenhall but do you want him running behind Metcalf and St. Clair or some second round tackle, not a good formula for success. This is another reason why I think if the Bears are going to bring in o-line talent bring in the best possible players you can and Williams and Otah are just that. As far as the Bears going 4-12 come on guy are you kidding me? With a Farve less Packers no QB in Minnesota, and Millen drafting for Detroit, are just a few reasons why I think the Bears are gonna be better than you think they are. This is also why it might not be a good idea for the Bears to think they are gonna be 4-12 and be able to bring in a better tackle prospect in 09 than there is in this years draft, not a very good idea either. The Bears should bring in Williams or Otah there by upgradeing the o-line and improving the run game for the Bears, it will make them a better team. Creighton you seem like a cool guy and I like the fact that you are very passionate about the Bears like me but remember one thing, this is just my opinion about what the Bears should do on draft day, I'm not trying to argue or prove you wrong, like I said these are just my opinions. And no I'm not gonna talk smack to you if the Bears are better than 4-12 and be all I told you so acting. Because Creighton I realize one thing that you don't, you are entitled to your own opinions so GO BEARS!!

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This page contains a single entry by Brad Biggs published on April 5, 2008 12:18 AM.

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