With the Bears headed East to work out Virginia guard Branden Albert next week, that just about completes a run through the top available linemen.
Albert has reportedly been climbing draft boards the last few weeks with many now projecting him as a left tackle. He has long arms and is agile on his feet with a background as a basketball player. The Bears will head in for a final look at him in the days leading up to the draft, a source said Wednesday.
So Albert will join Boise State’s Ryan Clady and Boston College’s Gosder Cherilus as prospects the team is known to have had private workouts with. The Bears were one of a handful of teams at a workout by Pittsburgh’s Jeff Otah last week, and the team is known to have gone into Nashville, Tenn., to check out Chris Williams of Vanderbilt. The Bears also attended the pro day at USC where Sam Baker worked out.
With only two offensive tackles on the roster—John Tait and John St. Clair—something has to be done and chances are Jerry Angelo commits the 14th overall pick to a tackle. With just two tackles on the roster, unless the team plans on signing someone like Barry Sims, a nine-year starter in Oakland who was released by the Raiders, it really cannot afford to roll the dice and hope to hit on a tackle in Round 2. And if the Bears were going to bring in a veteran following the draft, what differentiates Sims from the one they let go in Fred Miller?
*** Biggest thing I got out of a chat with defensive tackle Dusty Dvoracek the other day was the confidence he has going into his third season having only played three quarters last year at San Diego:
"Absolutely, this is critical,’’ he said. ``Everybody told me they’re expecting a huge year out of me, and myself personally I had never missed any football due to injury before except for maybe one game in high school when I rolled an ankle. Missing because of injuries has been tough. The way I played throughout the preseason and in camp, I think I kind of earned the respect of teammates and showed them what I can do. I showed my best against the Chargers and got an idea that I can not just play at this level, that I can play at a high level. So it was bittersweet.
"I know I can play in this league and be very good. Now, it’s just a matter of staying healthy.’’
*** Wide receiver Rashied Davis has been working out at Halas Hall, teammates say, a good indication the restricted free agent will return. He has until 11 p.m. Friday night to sign an offer sheet with another club. If he did so, the Bears would have seven days to match it. Davis was tendered at the low level of $927,000. He could sign that tender as soon as Saturday or perhaps Monday.
*** Interesting read on profootballtalk.com in regards to Devin Hester and the bid by the returner/wide receiver to get a new contract. Mike Florio points out that if the potential for labor unrest becomes reality and 2010 is an uncapped season, players would have to wait for six years to become an unrestricted free agent instead of four.
*** This nugget from the the Sporting News: the Bears are the only team in the league to play their first two games on the road. They’re also the only team in the league to play three consecutive on the road—Nov. 16 at Green Bay, Nov. 23 at St. Louis and Nov. 30 at Minnesota.
*** The Bears recently attended some private workouts for Hawaii receiver Davone Bess and Arizona defensive tackle Lionel Dotson. They players were not in for visits to Halas Hall. Bess holds school records for receptions (293) and touchdowns (41). He’s known for great hands but ran a pedestrian 40 time of 4.64 seconds at the combine. He’s a potential late-round selection. Dotson is a solid one-gap player who could also be a second-day selection.
*** Went through a mock by Mel Kiper Jr. on Wednesday with his selections for the Bears in the first four rounds. Today, we’ll look at what Ourlads Scouting Services projects:
1.14—Jeff Otah, OT, Pittsburgh
2.44—Andre Caldwell, WR, Florida
3.70—Chad Henne, QB, Michigan
3.90—Josh Barrett, SS, Arizona State
4.110—Geno Hayes, OLB, Florida State