Chicago Sun-Times

Quick thoughts following Day 2

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Couple quick thoughts here before I cash in after a whirlwind weekend.

*** General manager Jerry Angelo was genuinely thrilled with his draft class and it was interesting to see him buzz about the first guy to the last. Vanderbilt offensive tackle Chris Williams will meet the press at Halas Hall this morning, and Angelo is happy he’s arriving. But he even talked at length about Arkansas wide receiver Marcus Monk, the 248th overall pick. Had a knee injury not derailed him, Monk would have been a top prospect.

*** Angelo talked also spoke at length about the reasons behind drafting LSU safety Craig Steltz at No. 120 after two trades down in the fourth round from 110 to 115 and again to 120. The Bears felt he was a starting-caliber player and Angelo said it was the first time in seven drafts here he can remember scouts and coaches being in agreement on that for a fourth-round pick. The Bears have had some good ones over the years, too, including cornerback Nathan Vasher, defensive end Alex Brown and quarterback Kyle Orton.

That’s why the club passed on USC quarterback John David Booty there. It also had something to do with the fact they probably didn’t project Booty that well.

*** The one that got away? You kept waiting for the team to pull the trigger on a guard and it just didn’t happen. St. Louis jumped ahead of the Bears in the fifth round at No. 157 and it could have been to take Oregon State guard Roy Schuening out from under them. He made 50 college starts and the Bears liked him a good deal. He sure would have made sense at No. 158 where they got Nebraska cornerback Zak Bowman. A guard came along in the seventh round with Chester "The Big Cheese" Adams.

*** Nope, they didn’t draft a quarterback. Not only did it have to do with a lousy crop of quarterbacks this season, I think they’re really locked in with Rex Grossman and Kyle Orton. The team figures its won with both before and there were other big holes to fill. I didn’t say bigger. I said big. What’s another year to wait for the quarterback of the future?

*** We’ll bring some more draft analysis soon, and we’ll troll for some nuggets Monday at Halas Hall as we put a bow on the 2008 draft.

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For the Bears not to take a quarterback from Round 2 and beyond, leads me to believe that Angelo and Smith have their collective heads buried in the sand and are in full blown denial with regard to Grossman and Orton. To allow both the Packers and the Vikings to take quarterbacks, the Bears could have both Brohm and Booty, is totally unprofessional from a management perspective. Both Angelo and Smith should be fired immediately!

Brohm is a system QB and the Bears don't run his system. Booty is not an NFL arm, plain and simple. Orton is better than either of those guys. So is Grossman for that matter. I totally agree with what Angelo did except for taking a CB instead of OG. McGlynn was there twice and he's also a long snapper- this will be a need real soon. Taking risks late on guys with high upside but problems is a good strategy. If Grossman and Orton totally bust this year the Bears will be in prime position at the top of next year's draft and nobody will argue with them taking the best QB there. This year was not a QB year. Nobody is going to be recalling this draft with the '83 one. This was a draft for filling out the roster and grabbing your left tackle-- exactly what the Bears did.

I think the Bears are trying to corner the market on players with major injury issues. The ydraft 3 guys with major injury concers to back up guys with major injury concers, hoping that it will only take them 3 players to fill one position for a season. O hthere goes Dust bring in Harris h there goes Harris who else we got with bad knees to fill in? Bradley is down bring in Monk. The best part is Angelo will start a lot of these guys no matter how bad they are because he drafted them or signed them look how long he stuck with Adam A last year. If he keeps Benson and Benson gets hurt again he can bring in Forte a guy who also has knee issues. They took a CB they had no use for who has major injury concers and fans are like oh man if he stays healthy and learns to play the position he will be great. What if, What if, What if. The fans in Chicago are all about the what if. Every player taken on day two is a boom or bust prospect except for Bennett and Steltz who are possibly decent players. Boom and bust players is what Angelo lives on in day two, boom and bust players are why this team was 7-9 last year. The man drafts and hopes he gets lucky wwith his picks. If they can just clean up there act(Johnson)(Briggs), or if they just work hard(Benson), or maybe they will suddenly become smarter(Rex)(Hester), or maybe they will sudenly develop talent(Orton) or maybe they will stay healthy(Brown, Bradley, Dusty, Harris, Rex, Tait, Booker, Benson) I know these guys are hurt all the time but what if they all stay healthy then we have a chance to be good. Great lets hope for a leopard to change it's spots, and guys with a consistant injury history to stay healthy just this once. Thats all I hear if the team stays healthy, it's football no team stays healthy. Good teams are the ones that are consistant with there draft picks and can fill holes as needed. Good teams are prepared, good teams don't run around hoping to get lucky with injury prone players.

In complete agreement with "Jolietguy". This team had so many needs and they did a good job of filling out the roster to create competition come training camp. I really feel that one of the major reasons the team performed so badly, at times, last year was because Lovie handed starting jobs to players last year w/o true competition. Angelo recognized this, probably told him that is not how you do things, and now they can move forward with a surplus of talent at some positions.

Training camp should be very intense because of all the middle round picks from last year that were hurt and didn't contribute. Guys like Dan Bazuin, Mike Okwo and Kevin Payne all were drafted but really didn't get a chance to compete.

At least for one monday morning, I am a Bears fan who can be a bit satisfied for how the Bears drafted, not something I could say in years previous.

I am pretty happy with what the Bears did on draft day as far as talent in their picks, but I am seriously questioning why the injuries and character did not factor into the discussion. If they are healthy, they can be a solid class. We have to assume at least 2 of them will go on IR before the season starts (Steltz and Barton will be my guess)

But looking at where we moved around, we jumped off of 110, where Shawn Murphy went, a solid guard prospect. We could have taken Scheuning instead of Bowman at 142, and probably would have gotten Bowman at 158, or moved on to another position after firming up the OL.

And I just do not understand the Joey LaRocque pick. We have Okwo, Williams, Wilson, McClover, and Nick Roach already backing up Hillenmeyer, Briggs, and Urlacher. He doesn't run as well as the guys we have, and without speed on special teams, he has no value to us.

I don't like the Forte pick with Brohm and Henne on the board (as well as Ray Rice), but I can't argue with many of the other selections, but I think we fell short of Jerry's 4 starters, and we certainly didn't get enough OL to upgrade across the board. Adams might turn out ok, but Barton was not as good as I would have liked. We should make sure to bring Robert Felton in as a street free agent to compete at Guard, to push Adams, Beekman, Metcalf, and Garza. Chris Williams is the most NFL ready as far as pass blocking at left tackle, but I am concerned about his lack of power in the running game. Maybe we will put Kellen Davis on his side for the game against Indy to help with the way, I love the Davis pick for a 3rd tight end, but he isn't as strong of a blocker as his size and frame might suggest. maybe bringing in a blocking TE like Darrell Strong as a free agent is a smart move.

But we'll see if Jerry is smarter than all of us armchair GMs once we get into the season. I sure hope he is smart enough to jettison Ricky Manning, Adam Archuleta, and possibly Anthony Adams once the picks are signed. I think Harrison will push Dvoracek for playing time, and Toeaina and Idonije are less expensive alternatives to Adams. That gives them a 5 deep DT rotation, which is solid. On the ends, you have Bazuin, Brown, Anderson, and Ogunleye already, and added Baldwin. Someone won't be on the roster, unless they are thinking of converting Baldwin to LB, which someone on the radio was saying yesterday. But then the logjam at LB is even bigger...

Jerry is frustrating at times, but so far has not been wrong very often. It is just that when he is wrong, he is wrong in a big way, and on a high-profile player. If the players who are here are making the improvements they say they will, we should be an exciting team to watch in 2008. If not, we should start scouring the board for the top 2009 QBs...

Draft Grade

Williams: B(3.0) Ogden or Thomas would be and A, this kid will be a solid player but needs work, will need time to develop before he starts full time. Kind of like Olin did his first year when he only played in 8 games part time. Probably won't start day one. But Ayear from now should be a very good LT if he works hard.
Frote: C(2.0) decent player but not special, better than Benson, has some injury history, fumbles a little to much.
Bennett: B(3.0) Solid pick not a all pro but solid, could be best player taken by the Bears. Should be a starter.
Harrison: F(0.0) Two bad knees and back to back surgeries, major character issues. The type of player Goodell hates. If he is convicted as a felon which he probably will be, he will be suspended. Likes Ecstacy and Weed and just got rewarded for breaking hte Law by being drafted and will get a nice paycheck so he can by more drugs than ever before. This was not his first arrest. As a player when healthy he is a run stuffer, does not get much penetration should be converted to a NT instead of a 3 tech.
Steltz: C(2.0) a decent player, but I believe Angelo said this was the worst saftie class he can remember so how good can he be all that. Special team player, slow for a saftie not a natural athlete, should be better than AA which isn't saying much, is not good in coverage, which is not good for a cover 2 saftie.
Bowman: F(0.0) Not a need, major injury isseues, fast but not a good football player or CB, does not play the run or like to tackle. Wasted pick. He is fast but that is it.
Davis: C(2.0) Strangest pick they made, physically gifted but not a good TE, solid special team player in college, better on defense then offense, character issues, low motor and his own coach said he doesn't work hard. Could be special with a lot of hard work.
Baldwin: F(0.0) Wasted pick not a need in any way shape or form for the Bears, my guess is he is just another special team player for the bears, if he even makes the team.
Adams: D(1.0) Practice squad player needed to take a guard earlier than round 7
LaRocque: D(1.0) Won't make the team
Barton: D(1.0) Cannon fodder for the practice squad
Monk: C(2.0) Shoulder and knee injuries are a regular thing with this kid, some nice tools but can't stay healthy and is not a great football player.

Grade D+(1.4), Ignored the QB position and drafted a lot of players with major injury concerns, did not really address the Guard position another major need. There first 3 picks were impressive but then it fell apart for Angelo. To many character issues and injuries in this group will thin out the team. Needed more help on offensive line and didn't get it. The Bears biggest need this draft where in order: LT, RB, QB, RT, WR, RG, S, NT, BTE, they did not get a QB, RG, RT, BTE or a NT. Thats a lot of holes.

Creighton - Where are you getting your information on Forte? According to ESPN (see link), he didn't fumble during his entire 4 yr. career.

Draft Grade

Williams: B+ Solid pick. Best LT prospect on the board at that pick, fills a huge need, will start from day 1 (we have no choice). Makes us better at LT AND RT by moving Tait back to the right side.

Forte: B+ Solid pick. Fills a huge need. Can play all 3 downs, as he is decent enough both as a receiver and blocking. Appears ready to start from day 1.

Bennett: B+ Solid pick. Tough WR fills another huge need.

Harrison: B- First round talent according to Kiper. Fills a need. Good value in the 3rd round, provided he stays healthy and clean (have to give him a chance before writing him off as another Tank - he hasn't hurt the Bears yet).

Steltz: C+ Fills a need, should push AA and provide additional insurance against another Mike Brown injury.

Bowman: D This pick and the next had me puzzled. However, Kiper loved this pick - he said Bowman would have been a 1st or 2nd round talent if not for the injuries, so there's value here if he's healthy. The problem I had is that this didn't fill a need, especially with Scheuning, the G from Oregon State, still on the board - now that would would have filled a HUGE need with someone that could possibly start for us within a year. I was screaming at my TV after this pick.

Davis: D No problem with picking a TE, but we needed a blocking TE to replace Gilmore. Maybe he can develop as one - we will see. Would have preferred a QB here to develop (even though the QB class stunk).

The 7th rounders are exactly what they are - just looking for diamonds in the rough. Hopefully 1 or 2 pan out as backup linemen or special teams players. You just can't have expectations that there's going to be A/B/C grade talent this late in the draft. I do love the Monk selection - fantastic pick for value in the 7th round if he recovers from the injury and stays healthy. Could be a huge red zone threat for whatever QB we throw out on the field.

Overall, I give it a C+. Would have been a B if had drafted Scheuning instead of Bowman in Round 5.

Ummm Chip Forte does fumble and I got it on Youtube, CBS, and about a dozen other sites. Just type in Matt Forte Fumbles and it pops up. It's also listed at Tulane's own paper. So yes he fumbles.

Anonymous, I gave Williams a B which is what he is. He does not have the upside or talent of an elite player but will be very good with work.

Bennett is not a huge need, he is a slot reciever. We have slot recievers, we don't have a number one reciever, a guy who will stretch the field. He doesnt do that. Thats why I only gave him a B and he is not a great need in the slot. But he is an upgrade. So a B.

Harrison is an F because he has major injury concerns and the Bears already have two DT's that have major injury issues. What was wrong with the Bears D last year? It had lots of injury. What is the sign of a great football team? They tend to be consistant. What do injury riddled players do? There consistantly injured. Our defense ranked 27th last year. So you bring in a guy who blew out both his knees and you give him a B. This DT class stank after the top two guys. He didn't drop because of his character like the Bears want you to think. He dropped because he was always hurt.

Steltz I would go as high as c+ for him.

I would have graded the Bears higher but they needed a RG in a big way and they ignored the position. This will cost them. They also needed a young solid RT prospect which they ignored and the CB pick just has me going "what the heck was that". Bowman and Harrison really ruin it for me, we could have gone RG or another DT or QB or WR or OT, all these guys where on the board, Rinehart, Cousins, O'Connell, Manningham, Cladwell, McGlynn, Collins, Red Bryant. Bryant would actually fill a need as a back up 2 tech DT who is a run stuffer. Harrison is just a back up for Harris. As for Bowman, there was Schuening, Josh Johnson, Carl Nicks, Dixon, Powell, I would have taken any of them over a guy who has a long list of injuries dating back to HS. The seventh round guys are a wing and a prayer.

Rex Grossman is our Quarterback.
Rex Grossman is our Quarterback.
Rex Grossman is our Quarterback.
Rex Grossman is our Quarterback.
Rex Grossman is our Quarterback.
Rex Grossman is our Quarterback.

Get used to it. With a decent line he'll be in the Probowl!

I'm not sure what to think. Angelo played it real safe on the first two picks and did a great job. He got the two players I wanted. The rest of the picks he took some real chances on some of these guys. There's some bad personal history and some injuries. What does that say about the Bears taking these chances? Is this despiration or confidence? Have the Bear's talent level degraded to the point where he felt he needed to roll the dice on some questionable guys, or did he feel that the talent level on the team was so high he could afford to gamble on some "boom or bust" guys? I don't have an answer. I fear it is the former rather than the latter.

I have some major reservations with the Bears selections this year.
Fact is, there were some players that slipped well past projections and the Bears failed to capitalize in a major way.

In my opinion, here's who the Bears should have taken in each round.
Round 1: Branden Albert/Jeff Otah were ranked higher at pick 14
Round 2: Brian Brohm/Chad Henne clearly slipped into the 2nd round. Again, way beyond projection (what a thrifty gift that would've been exceptional value here).
Round 3: Jamal Charles/Matt Forte (if he were there and he would be)/Kevin Smith/Ray Rice/Steve Slaton. All would be there for us come pick 70 in the 3rd (what a deep draft for RB's).
Round 4: Mario Manningham another gamer here with great value.
Round 6: Any SS here, heck even Andre Woodson as insurance for Brohm.
Round 7: 5 picks...DT/ORG/OL/WR/CB

Besides admitting that Benson was at RB at pick 4 in '06 here's what we learned moving forward...

Bear fans were so excited to put the QB debacle to bed and move on, however this management team blindly chose to duplicate strengths and ignoring needs. Don't get me wrong Bear fans, I'm one of the biggest out there, however even if we draft a top QB next year, he'll need time to develop and grow, and there is no excuse for waiting another year to draft a developmental QB and 1 more prior to his first start if he works out. Did we address needs, SURE, but so did 31 other NFL teams this past weekend.

All in all I'm okay with day two of the draft but we should have made a play for Andre Woodson late. He ended up going to the Giants late in the sixth round, which is a steal considering he was once thought of as a first round talent. I know he struggled later in the season and at the Senior Bowl, but the guy flat out produced in some big games this year and has the arm to play in this league. Especially when you consider that we have the third QB spot available and an adequate back-up, (Grossman and Orton are both adequate backups, not starters) we could have taken the time to develop Woodson and get him ready for the pro game. I'm not saying that he's a sure thing, far from it, but you've gotta believe that he has a lot more potential than most of the guys taken after round 3, and definitely more than the two undrafted guys we brought in. I just can't phathom why we take a 3rd tight end with character concerns that can't block and let a guy like Woodson go.

I don't understand how a second round running back from Tulane and a ”finesse", pass protecting left tackle prospect are supposed to upgrade our running attack.

Benson is an official scapegoat.

Even with the addition of Williams, our offensive line is still old, slow, stiff and far from adequate. We continue to miss a LG, Olin Kreutz is on his last leg, and Garza is a journeyman at RG. The interior is the worst in the division, and possibly the entire league. It is unfortunate and unfair that Forte will have to endure criticism for failing to elevate the running game after Angelo neglected to add quality talent the offensive front for the 3rd consecutive year.

John Tait at LT was the strongest position on the line in 2007. And while he may prevent the right side from collapsing, there is no guarantee that he will last beyond 2008. This means that Chicago will be in the market for a new starting RT in next years draft. Why not develop one in 2008 in anticipation of a Tait breakdown.

ESPN points out that Benson (3.4), Peterson (3.4) and Wolfe (2.7) all average less than 4 yards per carry. Considering that both Benson and Peterson average over 4 ypc in 2005 and 2006, it would appear that the problem with the running game was systemic and related to fundamental inadequacies in the scheme (coaching) or execution (blocking).
Offensively, we are in the exact same position as last year with the exception of better depth at running back.

The selection of Williams, and failure to add significant interior line talent, signals a transition from a team that "gets of the bus running" to a pass-oriented offense.

Williams' shortcoming is only in his strength, and that is probably only a case of where they actually have to study at Vanderbilt, taking time out of the weight room. And as far as Otah and Albert being rated higher, I would agree about Albert, but Otah was slipping and obviously was not rated higher. He was taken after Clady, Albert, Williams, and Cherilus. He was the most raw of all the prospects, and the biggest gamble because of his lack of agility and quickness. We all read these ratings by "scouts" that work for ESPN, Sporting News, and other outlets, and the thing we need to remember is that if they were really good at their job, they would be working for an NFL team. We all pretend to know what is on the minds of NFL GMs and scouts, but did any one of them predict that Mendenhall would fall to the Steelers? Not a one. Did any of them think Otah would go after Cherilus, or that Duane Brown would make it into the first round? Lawrence Jackson to Seattle? Nobody called that one either. So what we think we know about all this, we don't. We may think we can do it better, but we have the benefit of revisionist history to say what we should have done. We do this in our spare time, and they have been doing nothing but this for the last 12 months to get here as far as the scouting staff. So let's keep some perspective here.

I think Williams will be decent as a rookie in pass protection, but will struggle to move his opponent in the run game until he gets stronger. All these scouts talk about OL needing a mean streak. I don't buy that at all. It certainly doesn't hurt, but the only guy with a real mean streak that we have is Olin Kreutz, and he manages to get 3 or 4 personal fouls per season for not controlling that mean streak. Orlando Pace was a lock for the Pro Bowl for most of his career, and never had that nasty demeanor. Walter Jones doesn't play mean, nor does Johnathan Ogden. Anthony Munoz and Jackie Slater, two of the best I have ever seen at the position, were not mean. The best OTs are the sound technicians, who get the job done while remaining under control. So him not being nasty is fine by me. I would rather have a guy who can react because he is controlled, and doesn't whiff in anger when Dwight Freeney abuses him like he will on opening night.

I still hate the duality of preaching character, and then taking Harrison, Davis, and Barton, all underacheiving or risky players. Either you care about character, or you don't. And it's not like you can take a few with great character, and a few with questionable character, and they balance out. If Harrison cleans up his act, then great, but I am not sure he will. Marcus Thomas seems to have cleaned up in Denver after a rocky career at Florida, so there is a precedent for this kind of thing working. But the kid has to understand what is required of him, and needs to be taken under the wing of the veterans like Tommie Harris.

This was a terrible draft to have lots of picks, as there was just not a lot of top shelf talent in it. We would have been better served stockpiling for next year. But we could have taken more OL, and avoided the DT, CB, and LB picks we made. Mel Kiper said that Steltz reminded him of Doug that supposed to be a good thing? Doug Plank from my recollection was an in the box safety who couldn't cover, and even though he could hit, he was always hitting a guy who had caught the ball, not knocking the ball away or knocking it loose.

If we bring in a few more street free agents, like Andrew Crummey and Robert Felton at G, and a couple more OL, we might have a chance to re-make this line, but as it stands now, Adams and Williams are not enough to complete the overhaul. Beekman had better be ready to play.


The only hole they didn't fill according to your list is QB.

Just because you don't like the picks doesn't mean they didn't attempt to adddress them.

And frankly, if you look at value charts, they got solid value for most of thier picks, especially Davis and Harrison.

I agree about the guard issue. But a lot of linemen out of the sixth and seventh rounds end up starting for teams. The fact they picked two long-time starters who could project to either RT or guard in a deep line draft is solid

And I'm waiting for someone to tell me why or how Henne or Brohm improves the QB position. They both have serious question marks, themselves. RB, however, is a safer pick.

Right now, I give them a B. They filled holes with solid players -- albeit a few picks -- and brought in a ton of people to look at in camp.

No QB, but it was a weak QB class, one in which a free-agent could become one of the best of the bunch.

And I called Williams a week ago. (and Forte weeks before that).

Idc I will bet you that niether one of those guys taken in the 7th round start. One is coming off recontructive knee surgery. Heck I'll bet they don't make it past the practice squad. We have taken Oline guys the last 3 years in the later rounds. All of them are still on the practice squad.


Your grade of the 1st round pick states that it would have been an A if it would have been Ogden or Thomas. A grade of a draft pick is based on who is available at that pick, and the team's need, not who is the best in the league at that position.

I assume that your second round grade would have been an A if it were LaDanian Tomlinson, but operating in reality, if Williams was the best LT on the board, and there was a real need, then I see it as a good fit and at worst an A-. Or do you still think Sam Baker is the better player? We'll see, as both will get thrown into the fire early.

brian s

They may not start. But they are seventh round picks.

The fact is, the team had multiple holes, and they filled most of them -- in theory -- with bodies, and in the case of the OL, with three.

But they also needed a RB, a WR and a DT very badly.

And a safety.

I too wanted them to take another offensive linemen early, but I'm not about to complain that they didn't do so in the first four picks, given the talent they aquired.

Fact is, once you hit the fifth round, especially the second half, you are throwing darts.

Hopefully, one of them will stick.

If college football has taught us anything in recent yrs it's that the SEC are a AAA league & everyone else is AA. We saw evidence of this when Appalachian St beat MI.

So congrats to the Bears for looking to the SEC for most of their picks. Criminals like Boras clients in MLB are unavoidable.

The talent level of the QB's drafted is not that much better any more than the undrafted & with an undrafted guy you might find a greater desire & work ethic to succeed.

If none of the Bears QB's pan out this yr, then I would say look to the SEC next yr because when it comes to QB's in the NFL the SEC rules with Eli in the NFC & Peyton in the AFC.

Im kinda confused. How can anybody rate a player before they even step on the field. This has been made famous by the media, and alot of you are fueled by this craze.
Im not going to rate any one player that has been drafted this year. Not for the Bears or anyother team.
What I can rate is the possition need and where they drafted that possition. The most pressing need was LT and they addresed that possition. We all know that Ced Benson isnt going to be the player he was projected to be, AP is good for 15 snaps and Wolfe seems to be a situational back. I would say a running back in the second round was a smart pick. WR and DT in the 3rd both are needs and Booker has a good 2 years left and who know if Dusty will be healthy and Adams is good for the 3rd or 4th guy in the rotation. Good thinking for the future. Saftie in the 4th I question that pick, but I do like Steltz. From there I do believe that they did fill in the gaps quit nice.
Time will tell if the players they picked are the real deal.

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This page contains a single entry by Brad Biggs published on April 28, 2008 12:28 AM.

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