Chicago Sun-Times

Mendenhall to visit Halas Hall Thursday

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It was just a matter of time before the Bears got around to doing their due diligence with running back Rashard Mendenhall.

The Niles West product will visit Halas Hall on Thursday, joining the list of top backs the club has gotten together with in recent weeks.

Most draft observers view Mendenhall, who offensive coordinator Ron Turner recruited to Illinois, as the No. 2 back in the class behind Arkansas’ Darren McFadden. After those two, the rankings become more muddled with some prospects who provide good depth for the end of round one and into the third round.

Mendenhall has a good combination of size, power and quickness and is attractive to teams because he comes out as an underclassman with low mileage. Whether or not he will be available when the Bears select at No. 14 remains to be seen. The Bears also have pressing needs to fill on the offensive line, where John St. Clair and Terrence Metcalf are penciled in as starters right now.

The Bears have are known to have checked out McFadden and Arkansas teammate Felix Jones, Tulane’s Matt Forte and Texas’ Jamaal Charles recently.

The Carolina Panthers put Mendenhall through a private workout on March 27. They have the 13th pick, one ahead of the Bears. He also has met or will meet with the New York Jets (sixth pick), Cincinnati Bengals (ninth pick) and Dallas Cowboys (22nd and 28th picks).

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44 Comments

Let's help Jerry A. out:

What I am trying to say is that dropping 1st round money on an offensive lineman is like kissing your sister - it is just too unsatisfying. Angelo needs to score big (and we want him to too!)

So once again I am asking the true bear fans out there if we are sitting at #14 and Ellis, Merling, McKelvin, Talib, Harvey, Rivers, Mendenhall and Desean Jackson are available... WHO DO YOU PICK???

If Mendenhall wants to play for Cincinnati he'd better get arrested now or they probably wouldn't be interested in him.
I wonder why they haven't yanked that franchise?

im going to make it simple. Draft Mendenhall!!! this guy is the real deal. Ced Benson wasnt that fast before he busted his ankle. remember the footing grossman used to have before he broke his ankle? the line can be updated with later picks. they arnt getting any younger and benson isnt getting any faster. Mendanhall is DA MAN FOR DA BEARS!!!

I don't think they can afford to wait unitl rd 2 or later for a top offensive lineman, this really needs to be addressed in rd 1. What good is it to draft a running back in rd 1 if no one can block for him? This is too risky. Do we really think that St. Clair and Metcalf will be the answer?

Fan55, unless something absolutely unforeseen happens, the Bears should and will draft an offensive lineman at #14. I agree, it's not the sexiest pick, but a stud left tackle could really improve the whole offense. They also need to nab a guard in the top three rounds, but I could get behind picking Felix Jones or Jamaal Charles in rd. 2 if they're available.

The bears should not pass up the big play back that Mendanhall will be in the Nfl,That with what they already have, and the depth they can acquire, and they have shown in the past that they can use late picks to acquire quality players. Is what the bears need to put them right back where they really belong amoung the top teams in the NFL.

The question is whether Mendenhall will be a great back, because if he were to be a great back there would be no choice but to draft him with the 14th pick if he were still available.

Remember the O lines that Walter rushed behind, Payton made them all look good. If Mendenhall is the real deal you have to take him and pick O line in the second and maybe even the third round. There is still talent in the O line in round 2 and 3.

And if you got the fullback Owen Schmitt from West Virginia that would help the running game as well. We need another Suey.

My heart says Mendenhall my common sense says Mendenhall the Bears will trade down and we will have a lineman out of the top 5 and a 2nd round running back along with a extra 3rd or 4th round pick mark my words. They will not shell out 1st round money again to address the absolute need at running back. So Bear fans get ready for a bargain basement draft and a reach onto the scrap heap for some offensive line help. The only hope here is when they pick up off the scrap heap they leave Metcalf there.

Unless they get R. Clady from Boise State or B. Albert from Virginia no other OL has the ability to start right away. I also think that even if they draft C. Williams(Vandy) or J. Otah(Pitt) they will sit behind J. St. Clair I feel that the Lovie has it in his head that St. Claire is the starting RT going into next season. They liked how he played/practiced last year and no matter who they draft there starting takles will be Tait on the left and St. Clair on the right. With that idea I feel that drafting Mendenhall with the 14th pick is the right move and get a tackle in the second. If Mendy, Clady, or B. Albert isn't there then TRADE OUT pick up a late first and second. Then get the Tackle from boston college(1st) Matt Forte(2nd) and Brohm, Henne, or Flacco with the other second. Now I have heard that a team in the later first round might draft a QB but I believe that is nothing but hype to try and get some dumb GM to trade away some extra pick to get thier QB.

My opinion is evolving such that if Rashard is there at 14 we should take him UNLESS one of the following falls way down and is available: Clady, Dorsey, Long, McFadden, or Matt Ryan. If none of these guys are there, take Brandon Albert and try to find a way to trade up to get Gosder or Baker.

One thing I like about Rashard is my gut feel is he will be a healthy back and be able to take a pounding.

But if they take a skill position at 14, they've got to figure out a way to trade into a second round 2 or late round one pick and will absolutely have to find a way to get two quality lineman. Collins of Kansas may be a possiblity too.

Encouraging thing about if they drafted Rashard is it would be a good sign that Jerry has the ability to cut his losses and accept reality.

I will love them to land Mendenhall and take a Sam Baker in the second round. I will also like to take a OT and a RB in the Second RD. I really don't think Mendenhall will be available. If he is available at the 14th you have to take him. But a Long OT is a great choice as well. Tait is not getting any younger either. People fail to realize that!

Hey Kool Aid how do you feel about Mendenhall? OOOHHHHHH YEAHHHHHHH.

I will say this about the Oline, the Denver Broncos have had one of the Best and most consistant Olines in the NFL over the last 20 years and they don't draft Oline in the first round, ever. It's not just about who the top prospects are, it's about knowing what player fits your system the best and when you should take them and when you can get them. You have to be able to actually spot talent at the position and know it will fit with your system and need. The big problem is Angelo couldn't spot offensive talent if he had the number one pick in the 98 draft. With the first selection in the 98 draft the Bears select Ryan Leaf??????

That said thats the problem isn't it?? The best chance to get Oline for him is to take the highest rated player at Oline when he drafts, him guessing in later rounds would probably get ugly. But them again you can say the same about RB, QB, and WR. Mendenhall would be my pick but Angelo will either drop and grab the best Oline player on the board or stay at 14 and do the same. Then again Mendenhall may just blow them away. That does happen now and then. Then again would Angelo actually know if a offensive player was good at what he was doing???

We would be discussing exactly what tackle to pick if Angelo would have signed Michael Turner. I think he really missed out on a quality back. It would have solidified the position and the Bears depth. It's not sexy, but the game is won in the trenches. A good OT does make a difference. And c.mcgee- Walter was a giant among men- his talent has transcended the game.

Why take a RB so early in the draft? Wait until the 3rd round or later. Running backs are a dime a dozen.

Please!! 1 Mendenhall 2 Best WR available (Hardy, Deucet or Manningham, if they are not available take a good OL!
3a OL
3b OL or DT! Even a QB
We need playmaKers, is easier to find good O-Lineman than Playmakers!!

My first thought was to take o-line with the first two picks(left tackle ,right gaurd) and solidify the line for a decade. but mendenhal may be to good to pass up.He could follow the great dick butkis as a illini to bears hall of famer, but he could wind up on detroit who picks 15 and punish us like A. P. on minnisota I'd draft him just to keep that from happening and if he's gone i'd take chris williams. I almost hope he"s gone so we fill biggest need but the "best athlete available" still holds up.

My mind has been over this many times...if Mendenhall is available and one of the studs of the draft like Dorsey, Ryan or Clady doesn't free fall then I think da Bears should take him but won't.

Everyone is trying to trade down in this draft so I think that will be difficult and there is a great tackle and several good guards available in the second round. Don't take a WR because the Bears don't know what to with them once they get them anyways...I feel like that is a waste of a pick. Just take solid Free agents and lament over why they never perform like they did for their previous teams (see QB for that answer).

My prediction is Williams #1, Flacco #2, whoever is left at RB #3. If Angelo doesn't think Benson will produce, he'll take Mendenhall if available.

Name 10 back from that conference that has made a hude impact in the league over the past 10 years no make it 15 years and not just one ore two year mediocore back. They are never as fast as reported and don't do much draft him and be in the same position next year get an oline tackle that can bust a hole open.. come on people WALTER PAYTON WAS A ONCE IN A LIFETIME PLAYER GET OVER IT ..with out a line a franchise does not win any serious game stop being STUPID!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Man I like Mendenhall..but if Ellis is there? They either take him or trade down with a team drooling over him. VALUE

im thinking JA will trade down to aquire an extra pick....YEE-FRIGGIN-HAW!!! big whoopee about another pick...i am pretty sure we have plenty. its not like the bears are gonna keep all the people they draft, so why not stay at 14 and get mendenhall? im tired of the bears picking these players who either are hurt or get hurt before start of season, and then later on during the season you see theyre put on IR. if mendenhall isnt there at 14 then we need to get a quality O-lineman. i would prefer someone who can take over taits spot because he cant move fast enough to block around the corner. if we had a younger, faster o-line we would be just fine. i dont think we could find a WR who can come in and start for us so dont waste a pick. first and for most we need a RB, because benson sux!!!

I'd love for the bears to get him, but he'll be long gone before the bears draft at #14

If Mendenhall is available at #14 there is no reason I could see to pass on him. A solid running back makes the offense better, period. Cedric "2 yards and a cloud of bust" Benson is horrendous and do we really expect him to be better coming off a leg injury? With that said, the Bear's needs are deep and this draft may be the most important since Angelo took over. I am still putting together my "big board" so that when draft day comes around, I can yell at the television, drink beer and scream that Angelo is a genius (like when Olsen fell into our laps last season) or is a moron (like when he drafted Bust-son and Rexy). Hopefully this season he'll be more sage than numb-nuts.

NO!

What part of "we need linemen" don't you guys understand?

Thank God! My prayers have been answered. Someone show C.Benson and A.Peterson the door! and lets get down to some real Bear football. AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

The #14 selection of the 2008 NFL draft the Chicago Bears select "Rashard Mendenhal" from the University of Illinois.

Idc, we all know we need Linmen, WHAT PART OF VALUE DO YOU NOT GET. We also need a running back. At 14 who do the Bears take Oline or RB. Well lets see. The Best OT 's in this class are RT's or project as RT's. The Bears need a LT more than they need a RT, the best Bet is that Williams will be there he is a pure LT, but most scouts feel he will need a year to develop he also is not strong enough to play RT and it is not his natural position, Williams is the 5th best Oline Prospect in this draft, with Long, Clady, Albert and Otah all being placed above him. So what you are saying is even though Williams is only a decent prospect and will spend much of next year on the Bench we should draft him over the second best RB (also a major need for the Bears)in one of the Best RB classes ever.

The Bears can wait till Round two and grab either Collins or Brown to play RT or RG this year, niether will neeed as much development for that position and the fit the the power O man scheme better than Williams. Round 3 you grab Pollak, the second Best inside linmen in this class and can play either Center or guard after that you go DT or WR. The Bears are really bad at drafting Oline, there is no point in hoping they get luck after round 3, let them go defense after that.

Next year after a horrible year, that we will all survive, with what will probably be a top 5 pick you go after Mike Oher, the Best LT i that class and the BEST Oline prospect sence Pace and Ogden. He is better than anyone in this class by a long shot. You then go WR in round two, after that it wont matter. Now entering the 09 season you would have Collins or Brown at RT, Pollak at RG or Center(depending on how Olin holds up) at LG you Have Beekman, and at LT you have Oher(who will be able to step in and start day one). You now have Bookend OT's and a stud Oline, you also have a premier RB named Mendenhall.

Now lets do it your way, we draft Williams 14 in round 2 we Grab Ray Rice(a Scat Back) lets see now we have a LT who is not ready to start and an undersized scat back who most scouts fell is a special team player, but we will use him as a primary back in a power running attack behind an offensive line made up of LT Tait, LG Garza, C Olin, RG Metcalf Mayber Pollak, RT St. Claire oh and Williams sitting on the bench learning. Then next year after a horrible season we draft Oher to play LT cause we know Williams is not in his league and put Williams at LG where he plays just like Garza cause he still can't run block.

I like my way better. Gives us a really solid offensive core. Or your way we can still be the Bears who live in the land of Mediocrity. You do not build great teams with mediocre talent like Williams and Rice. You do it with guys Like Mendenhall and Oher. Lets see the last time the Bears won a super bowl they had the best RB to ever lace em up and a stud Oline made up of Covert(drafted sixth overall) and Kieth Van Horn (drafted 11th overall), Wow look at that Bookend OT's and a 1st round 4 th overall drafted RB. I think we can get the RT this year in round 2 sense the class is so deep. But LT's should be really really good, not guys who are going to be decent after they develop. You want to field a great team you have to draft a great team.

Has Jerry "The Scarecrow" Angelo finally made it to OZ and found his brain?? Has he realized that starting O-lineman come from each round of the draft, and this is the deepest draft arguably ever for the position? Has he realzied that Ced "The wish I was an Entertainer" is nothing more than a mediocre fat back? Or is this just due dilligence? The question has yet to be seen, but as I've reiterated on every blog I've posted the Bears need to draft MENDENHALL! When we are looking back on a solid 10 year career, that compares to Barry Sanders, we will all feel stupid we went O-line instead on Barry Sanders Jr.....

McFadden gores from pick 1 thru pick 6, then Mendenhall goes from pick 7 thru pick 13, so he won`t be available for the Bears to select. I really believe that Angelo`s scouts have done all the footwork possible, and they will get their running back, and 2 O-lineman, and wide reciever after the first round, but the one position that won`t be as easy to fill, is QB, so with that being said, IF, Angelo can`t trade down, and after all the pre-draft smoke and mirrors is over, at 14, he just may select Joe Flacco. I know everyone will read this and immediately want to have my fingers cut off, but there is alot of depth for the O-Line, and with good coaching, the rookies can be developed rather quickly, case in point, Marcus McNeil of the Chargers was a 6th, or 7th round draft choice, and he made the pro bowl his rookie season. I just think that Mendenhall will be gone, and now with Mr. Urlacher crying about his contract, the Bears will be looking to get as far from the top of the draft as possible.

Just what we need, another dominant running back in our division that is not on our team. If we dont pick Rashard the Lions will. Then we can give up 600 yds rushing in 2 games to Mendenhall and Peterson. We NEED this pick.

If JA is not sold on Mendenhall at 14, and the prospect he wants is someone he thinks will be available at 16,18,20, or 22, then he should trade out of the spot for someone who wants Mendenhall, and hose the Lions in the process. I still think Millen will be looking at Derrick Harvey, Quentin Groves, or a top CB. But he could still go for a RB, so we should take the steps to make sure he doesn't get the one he wants.

I do think he will either go to Denver, Carolina, or possibly Cincinnati (Rudi Johnson has been hurt, and both of their backups are coming off serious injuries in Perry and Irons), so we may not have that option, but if we do, and Jerry decides to not draft the runner early because of the talent and value in rounds 2 and 3, then let's make sure the Lions do not get him, by letting Arizona, Houston, Tampa, or Dallas trade into that spot and draft Mendenhall. That would net us at least an extra third round pick, and we could use 2 of our 3rd rounders to get back into the second round, or our 44 and 90 to get to 32 with Miami, and still have 2 3rd rounders. We will have lots of options, especially if Mendenhall is on the board. If they think he is the best guy on their board, they will take him. I would disagree with the selection as far as where we would take him, but can't disagree with the player. I still think our biggest need, and the best crop of talent lies at offensive line, and we should address that first. The drop off from Mendenhall to Matt Forte, Kevin Smith, or others in the second or third round is less than the dropoff from Chris Williams, Jeff Otah, or Ryan Clady to Carl Nicks, Anthony Collins, and Duane Brown. If none of the OL are there at 14, then by all means take Mendenhall, and roll the dice in the second or third rounds on OL, unless an offer they can't resist comes along. We could possibly get Felix Jones later in the round, or Johnathan Stewart, or even Cherilus later in the first round, and use the extra picks to move back up into the second round to get two guys in round 2, and end up with 4 or 5 players out of the first three rounds that can come in and contribute right away.

No way Flacco is worth using a 14 pick on.

I like Rashard and also lean that way at 14 if available as I see him as another Marshawn Lynch but would caution us all that picking RB's (like QB's) is russian roulette and toughest thing in the draft. Many "sure bets" dont' make it as advertised. Reggie Bush, Deangelo williams, ronnie brown, cadillac williams, are recent 1st round RB's that arguably haven't been worth a 14 pick. Yes, all better than what we have but not what you want out of a 14.

I still think someone surprising will drop to 14 and we'll either get an unexpected plumb or trade down with someone wanting one.

You want a "cheap" round 1 pick? Sign Kevin Jones (round 1 in '04) and then use your picks for other slots.

We need O line but caution as after Long, Albert, and Clady there isn't an immediate starter out there.

Finally on trading Brian or others. The future is always now in the nfl. To think you're building something for '11 isn't practical. Sure we should look for LB's in late rounds and elevate the need as years go by. But trading? No way.

Every year you try to win and are a few injuries or free agent losses away from success (playoffs) and failure (having a great draft pick the next year).

Creighton I agree on some of your points but I believe a real running back with all the tools is hard to find and Mendenhall appears to be special But you know Jerry is not going to admit his 1st round back was a flop and now will be slower than ever and it's time to cut bait. Mendenhall regardless of the O-Line will be good and would make a mediocre line look better. There are some F/A' 2nd tier still out there i.e Nat Dorsey, Stokar McDougle, Kyle Turley, Mike Rosenthal, Todd Stuessie, Floyd Womack are tackles, and others will be released in June that could hold down the fort until the young ones they draft are ready to play so he could justify Mendenhall but he can't let Detroit get him or we will have the running game shoved up our collective. He needs to make this pick just to keep him away from the division and improve our offense. That crap about backs are a dime a dozen how many Walter Payton's, Barry Sanders, Marshall Faulk, Adrian Peterson, L.T's are there Ben.

I trust Angelo drafting offense about as much as trust Osama Bin laden on a passenger air liner with a gun. If he likes a guy there is an 80 percent chance he sucks. Williams the only pure LT in the draft is rated below an offensive guard at LT. Thats right he is rated below Albert at LT. How could can a guy be if he can't even beat out a guy who doesn't play his position. Williams will not start for the Bears if he does he will be a sack monster and he plays offense. Orlando Pace and John Ogden didn't even start there first games, Pace a much better player than Williams and a much higher rated player didn't start till game 4. Williams will not start this year, he is not ready and will help the Bears zero. Bears will have to trade up to get Forte, I agree Mendenhall will be gone, Stewart will either be in Texas or Detroit. But my god Williams is nothing special at all if you can't get Albert at 14 then trade down after Gosder. Man the way people talk about Williams on this board you would think it was Ogden. He can't play RT where most rookies start and then move to left cause he lacks the strength and is wewak in Run Blocking, and he is not developed enough to start at LT. Most scouts project he will be decent once he develops. Decent. Not great not all world, decent after he develops. Otah can play right but won't see the left side for a couple years, Long and Clady will be gone, Albert may be there but so will Williams, even the Panthers and Denver would rather have Otah than Williams, in fact most teams seem to like other Oline guys. But not the Bears, bring on Williams he's our saviour, if we have a rookie OT who dosn't start we will win the Super Bowl will get at least 4 other starters out of this class on offense. Oh man I cannot wait for this draft and this season. Ask a scout about Williams and what do they say? He's ok, needs work, may even be a decent LT one day.

I like Felix Jones I also like Forte. If Stewart falls to the second why not trade up to get him. Its a crap schoot. Who knows, Im gonna be glued to the TV on the 27th of April. Big Day, Big Deals, Big Year.

Has anyone givin the thought that the Bears have the best QB situation in the NFC North? Kinda weird how things change when Favre is no longer a Packer.

Crap. After reading my last post I should have mentioned that Im not saying that the Bears have the best QB in the NFC North, I just believe that with Orton and Grossman the Bears are better off then the Pack, Vikings, and the Lions.

Im sure somebody would read my last post and go Jon Kitna is better then any of the Bears QBs. I dont think so , but someone else might.

Mendenhall looks like he will be fantastic, but not behind our current OL. OT must come first, with RB 2nd or 3rd. Don't worry fellow Bear fans, there will be good RBs left in the 2nd and 3rd rounds. Whether or not we pick one of them is another matter altogether.

Hate to rain on everyone parade but mark my words........Unless we draft Mendenhall or lets not forget Jonathan Stewart in the first round, Ced will start in September and Rex will be the QB. Lovie and Angelo are in love with these guys. Drafting a back is all well an good but they have to beat out incumbent Cedric Bumson who should have a chip on his shoulder the size of Illinois. He's not the best but I don't expected some 2nd or 3rd round guy to come in a have the talent and knowledge of the system enough to make Lovies hairs on his neck stand up enough to appoint them the number one guy. They'll just be a guy to give Ced a breather unless he can't produce due to injury. That's the simple fact!! The O-line class is really deep but who ever is left on the board at 14 probably won't be the best overall player on the board making him a "reach". So the answer in a no brainer in Clady and Long are off the board.......Grab Mendenhall. After all JA always claims he wants to take the best player on the board. Lets see if he live up to his talk. If this draft sucks I'm starting that firejerryangelo site up again. I'm thinking about going to the draft since I'm from Jersey. I'll be the guy who attacks JA if he does some stupid sh**!!

The Bears need to get an impact offensive player. They need to either trade up to get McFadden or hope that Mendenhall is still available at 14. There are still talented O linemen available in rounds 2 and 3. Look at the impact the real Adrian Peterson has caused up in Minn....Also, getting a RB will relieve some pressure from Rex or Kyle. Bottom line is it would be nice to see a long term productive running back who can both run and catch. How many times have we seen stonehands Ced drop easy dumpoffs that could've been big gains???

Rashard Mendenhall would be a great pick for the Bears, and I'm sure Ron Turner is pushing for him since he recruited him to Ill and Mendenhall would obviously fit what Turner wants to do on offense. Mendenhall would give the Bears that strong between the tackles runner that we thought Benson could be. Also I've read on different scouting reports that Mendenhall is a good receiver out of the backfield and a physical willing blocker, these skills would also help the Bears big time. I just hope that Anthony Collins or Sam Baker are there in the second. I think either Collins or Baker should be there in the 2nd this would be a great first day for the Bears if they were to land Mendenhall and Collins or Baker. Thing is I don't see Mendenhall going past the Panthers I think they are gonna take him at #13. The Bears will then take Chris Williams or Jeff Otah then could get Matt Forte in the second this would also be a great first day. With either set of picks the Mendenhall and Baker or the Williams and Forte set the Bears would be filling two of there biggest needs RB and OT so it should make for a great draft day for us Bear fans GO BEARS!!

If we hold the 14 pick we do the following:

1. If lucky and a "big guy" like Ryan, Dorsey, or Clady falls we take him.
2. If not and Clady's gone we take Albert or Mendenhall (one of them will be available). He's a can't miss. Williams is too big of a question mark to use at 14
3. I think worst case we end up with either Albert or Rashard (admittedly a tough choice) at 14
4. Then I would take baker, or other in round 2 and take it from there.

Other option if Clady/Albert/and others are gone at 14 - trade down, get gosder with later first rounder and then take Collins, the VA Tech or Texas tackle in round 2.

Creighton,

I understand the logic of value.

That is all the more reason to take go OL.

After the first five guys -- Long, Clady, Albert, Otah, Williams and the guy from Boston College, there is a MAJOR drop-off in terms of talent.

That is not the case with RB.

The fact is, after McFadden, none of these guys are special, including Mendenhall.

A guy like Forte -who was equally productive in a spread formation -- was equally as productive and brings similar intangibles to Mendenhall.

Moreover, there are a host of guys who can become productive if not spectacular running backs like Kevin Smith, Jamal Charles, Ray Rice, and a host of other players who could be available into the third round.

Not the case with the Offensive line. And remember, the team needs TWO linemen.

As far as the LT argument, it's bogus. RT was the problem last year, as well as the guard position. If healthy, Tait is more than serviable at LT.

My preference is Brandan Albert, as he has the ability to be a dominant guard, or even switch outside to tackle. He offers the most versatility combined with talent.

Or they could trade down and get a RT like the guy from Boston College, then use the extra pick for a running back.

Do I like Mendenhall? Yes. But I'm not about to be a homer and say we should get him because people don't like Benson.

Fact is, neither one of them will do a thing if the line isn't right.

This is Angelo only doing his due-dilligence....that's it people!

Why is everyone so high on Mendenhall - obviously, I understand that most Illini fans are also Bears fans, but this is rediculous. In the posts I read, I saw comparisons to Walter Payton and Barry Sanders - if it is clear that he is really that good, I am sure the Dolphins will not hesitate to take him at the top of the draft.

Listen - I want to see the Bears successful as soon as possible, and stay there until they are in position to get back to the Super Bowl. From what I saw on the field last year, our biggest concerns are on the offensive line and defensive backfield.

I know a lot is said on the message board about Adrian Peterson's games against us last season - but it's important to note that he doesn't have the first monster game if Adam Archuleta doesn't give up the 60 yard TD over the top. We clearly didn't respect Tavaris Jackson, we overplayed the run, they took advantage of it, and we brought in Brandon McGowan to stop the deep pass, and he let AP beat him 3 times on runs that could have been stopped 8-10 yards downfield, but turned into long TDs.

If everyone of our picks this year is focused on OL and Safety - I am completely fine with that. Obviously, we can through in a QB/RB/LB prospect at some point, but we need to find a run/pass blocking threat for our line, and a run-stuffing/pass-defending option for our deep safeties. Once those are addressed, I don't care what the Bears do for the rest of the draft.

finally a real fan with some sense and a football IQ above 12 referring to Paul about his post on oline and safety. Mendenhall Mendenhall Mendenhallwhen did this guy become Payton to Bear fans just because he played for the Illini does not mean he's the second coming. get some meet on the line lets see what our guys can do with some decent blocking and adequate saftey play

The biggest problem with the Bears is the they have a notorious habit of not going out and getting THE GUY! If the Bears had the number 5 pick in the draft, they would rather trade down and get two good players instead of one GREAT player. The only time they stay put and draft THE GUY is when its defense (Brian Urlacher & Tommie Harris come to mind.) That being said, the Bears should take Rashad Mendenhall only if Otah, Clady or Long isnt available (which they probably won't be because there are more than three teams ahead of the Bears that want a quality tackle.) My choice is to go with Mendenhall. If he supplants Benson as the starting back, then you can have a win-win situation. You have attractive trade bait to move up in next year's draft and get THE GUY at QB. Or make the long-overdue trade for Donovan McNabb ( Right! Like thats ever gonna happen!!)

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