Chicago Sun-Times

Thursday tidbits: Bears complete circuit with OT's

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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 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

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So the Bears have checked out Williams and Otah but no private workouts. That is interesting, but they have had private work outs with Gosder(who I like), Clady(who we all like, but will not be there), Albert who I also like but word is so do the Chiefs and the Pats, oh and Mendenhall got a private work out. Although I feel he is there emergency fall back plan if the top 5 Oline guys are gone. Which would be real bad because it would be hard to trade down and grab Gosder with a run on Oline going on, the Eagles, Lions, Texans, Pitt. One think I don't like is that no matter who the Bears pick at Oline he will be considered the 4th or 5th best prospect at that position by pick 14. You usually don't see for or 5 guys at one position go that high and all of them turn out to be good. There has got to be at least on bust in that group. I could see 2-3 guys being real good, but 5, I just can't see it. I hope it works out.

Poor Dusty 3/4 of a game in two years, but at least he is optimistic, I hope it works out for him. I don't think he is as good as a lot of fans think but I do not think he is bad either.

Anthony Collins in the second round...and don't pass up on Mendenhall....I mean really

I feel like Johny Knoxville in 'The Ringer'...thanks for playing, guys

This is as critical a draft as any G.M for the Bears has ever had. I remember playing the Cowboys last year, and getting smacked in the mouth, and afterwords, hearing Peanut Tillman say that it was the most physical game he had ever played in, period. I was glad to hear him say that, except it was because of the beating that the Cowboys gave us, not the one that we gave them. The Bears need to get back to being a "big, physical", footbal team, not just relying on little people who can run around all over the field, sometimes making plays, and sometimes getting their butts kicked by bigger and more physical players. I look back to the Steelers game in 05`, when we had a better record than they did, and everyone was talking about us, that is until after the game when the Steelers pounded the ball down our throats, and proceeded to catapult themselves to a Super Bowl victory. The Bears really aren`t that far from being a real good team again, but this draft will go down as "the one", that helped the team, and the players like Urlacher, Harris, Tillman, Vasher realize the dream of being Super Bowl champs, and more importantly, being members of the Chicago Bears for their entire careers.

I hope his stock doesn't rise too much so we can have a chance of getting him, but it's really no secret that Albert is a great player. From the tape, I'd even say he's the top O-lineman in the draft.

Mike don't believe all the Hype. I like Albert too but the Best Oline prospect??? Long and Clady are better in every way than Albert. Now out of the guys the Bears might Pick Maybe he is the Best. But he is still an LG. 2 games at LT in college don't mean much in the NFL. He is very athletic but his combine numbers are almost identical to Gosder, in fact I think Gosder's where a little better. Williams was about the same as them except his strength. Gosder was about half a secong faster in the three cone drill which measures lateral movment. Personally I think Otah and Williams look good on film because of who they are playing. Albert looks good because he is a great guard but to jump to LT, cmon he will get burnt in the nfl he will need to develop into the position. Pats like him but they want to trade down or up, Kansas also wants out, those are the two teams that really like Albert but I also heard the Panthers like him too. He is smart and Athletic so he will probably make the switch but it will take some time. Williams will be a bust and Otah will sit until he is ready too start at RT or RG. There is a lot of athletic talent on Oline this year but most guys are projects who need to develop more strength and tech not to mention footwork. I liked last years top 3 guys better than this years top 3. I would rather have Brown than Otah or Gosder, and I would take Staley over any of them and Thomas over Staley.

But who think's we should try to trade for Chad Johnson. Not saying it's a good or bad idea just wondering what ya'll think.
If you discount the fact that he would prob bring a crazy amount of drama, picking him up would almost make our off season a postive rather then a negative with one move. He's def better then berrian and you could say booker is an upgrade from moose.

Personally I wouldn't take chad johnson, but it's irrelevant. I guarentee Jerry and Lovie won't give up the $$ or trade bait it would take to get him.

Ourlads scouting service is dreaming if they think Henne will be there still at the 70 pick.

I still think we have good odds of landing Albert at 14. But I'm with many of you who feel a 14 is just too much for Otah or Williams - they both have achilles heel's. Especially Williams who I believe will become even lazier after he has a multi million $ contract than he is now. If Albert and Rashard are gone, I like a trade down and take Gosder. I guess by the same token if Rashard is gone, who would be willing to trade up?

It looks like we could land chad johnson for a pick (maybe even third round) and this could make the bears offseason. For too long I've watched other teams make these deals and improve dramaticaly over teams who rely on the draft. Also ,we can use this signing as a bargaining chip with Hester,Harris and Urlacher by asking them to defer cap room to make room for chad and increase our chances of reaching the super bowl.I know i bust Angelo for trading down but i generaly trust his record for choosing D-lineman and D-backs dating back to tampa so I think davorick will be a good one if healthy.

I'm happy to see the Bears are working out all these prospects on the o-line. I agree the Bears cannot afford to wait till the 2nd round to land an offensive tackle, its simply the biggest need for the Bears right now. If the Bears go with Branden Albert of Virginia at #14 I say keep Albert at his natural position guard, but if the Bears scouts think he can man the offensive tackle position, who am I to argue? I myself would go with either Vanderbilts Chris Williams or Pittsburghs Jeff Otah. Williams has the speed and light feet to mirror speed rushers and would be good on the left side for the Bears, as for Otah he would fit right in on the right side and help the Bears run game with his power. Another scenario I wouldn't mind seeing is for the Bears to go with Branden Albert at #14 then in the 2nd go with Kansas Anthony Collins. Then the Bears could place Collins on the right side for a season then move him to the left side in 2009, then at Guards the Bears would have Albert and Beekman this would be a great young combo that could develope into one of the best offensive lines in the league and the Bears would have a nice strong presence inside. The Bears run game would benefit big time so would the passing game.

As for Dusty Dvoracek, I've heard straight from Brian Urlachers mouth that Dvoraceks injury hurt the Bears defense. Urlacher said Dvoracek was a powerful inside presence and was disruptive. Also when I saw this interview with Urlacher he was not asked directly about Dvoracek, just what he thought were some of the reasons the Bears struggled, Urlacher named Dvoraceks name right of the bat. And all I got to say is if Urlacher missed him then I do to GO BEARS!!

I don't agree with most of NFL chanels Mike Maylocks opinions but he says albert is the best lineman to play in space (filling a 3yrd gap) and I was impressed with the film they showed on him. Why was he only one of three lineman they profile when the positions so deep I don't know. I would think a true O-tackle like williams would be chosen first becouse it's harder to find tackles then make gaurds and we can't afford to develope a prospect becouse I don't believe in ST.clair or having no depth.If our defense is to return to a top 5 we will need to sustain some drives.

If John Tait is moved to the right side, we could have two rookies starting on the left side? Or worse, that bum T. Metcalf! I don't think Jerry or Lovie have a clue. If Mendenhall is there at #14, you take him and let him run for his life. Sir Walter Payton started his career with a terrible O-line. There isn't much difference between the 5th best tackle and the 11th best tackle. Detroit will surely take Mendenhall if the Miser of Midway does not. And don't think Mike MacCaskey doesn't have a say in who gets drafted.

I think that Albert should be the Bears target even if they must trade with Buffalo at eleven. He would be a great fit between Kreutz and Tait this year and could kick out to left tackle next year.If they could draft A.Collins or T.Hills on round 3 their starting line could be adequate. I cant believe they would move Tait to the right side and start two rookies on the quarterbacks blindside

Anonymous I myself am not sure why Albert has climbed so high, I like him too but a Guard that can go as high as #5 in the Draft is insane. Then again Kansas and New England really like this kid. They both usually have a good sense of Line talent, Carolina really likes him. Albert, Collins is interesting but I would rather have Brown in the third round I don't think the Bears can afford to go back to back on the oline. They have to many needs. But I could see Albert in 1 and Brown in 3. Besides Brown is young and still filling out. He is better than Collins right now. Give him a year and his weight will be in the 320 range. Then again who knows if Collins or Brown will be there. Brown could play guard day one on either side and become a right or left tackle in a year. I don't think Beekman will play guard. He is being groomed to replace Olin. In fact most of the work he does he does with Olin. So I don't see him playing Guard.

Kevin A, You know I don't like Williams or Otah but Albert higher than those guys?? I don't know man. Oh and yes loosing your one of your two starting DT's usually effects your D. I think anyone who plays next to Harris is going to be very effective because Tommy is double teamed on every down. That actually tells you how bad the Back ups where last year.

Interesting Bit on news the Chiefs are trading Jared Allen to either the Vikings or the Jags and the Bucs. But it looks like the Vikings. They are looking for draft picks. Oh man is that gonna suck if he plays in the north, that guy is awsome. If the Lions get Mendenhall this is going to be a tough Division. To beat the Bears you pressure the QB and you run at them. Perfect just what we need to happen.

Personally, I believe the injuries to Mike Brown and Devoracek were more devastating than a season ending injury to Urlacher, and I love #54. I think Devoracek's health is critical to our D, along with Brown.

I like Albert and I'm all for playing him at LG even if that's traditionally too high to draft a Guard. If Albert isn't there, move down and take Gosder. Bottom line is, we don't need to be taking any lineman that is 'raw' or we're gonna move to a different position. This stuff rarely works out and works out even less with our coaching staff. Draft em for who they are and where they play or don't draft em.

Looking forward to this draft despite what the Angelo doubters think.

I agree with embo33 that Albert should be the selection in the first, if he's available, and Collins would be a great selection as the first of their 3rd round picks, if he's still around then. But, there are several solid linemen in the draft and some of them will be available for the #44 overall pick. If Mendenhall is not gone when by #14, it might not be bad to take him and hope for someone like Gosder at #44; Collins would almost definitely still be available at #44.

Then again the offensive line is the best investment. We can't lose with an Albert, Otah, or Williams in the first round.

Man, how can some people be so dumb. embo33, if they pick Mendenhall at 14 he will be running for his life and it wont be north and south. He is fast but he played in an option offense and the NFL is much faster than the Big 10! And I don't want to hear about how great he was against USC. Most of his production in that game came when they were losing by 30+ and playing against 2nd teamers. It will be a long year for him and the rest of the offense if he is the pick.

Sam what do think is going to happen the Bears are gonna draft the 5th best OT in the draft and he is going to be an impact player??? Sears was the fifth last year wow what an impact player, Colledge in 2006 wow another stud, I can't believe how many awsome linemen have come out of being the 5th best in there class. You do know that teams in the NFL actually use forms of the option offense. Teams like the bears. Who run a hybred Coryell, Walsh WCO, both the Walsh and the Coryell are considered to be a spread offense. You know like the Spread option offense. It's probably the reason all these pro scouts say Mendenhall fits the Bears offense perfectly. Or did you miss that while you where to busy calling people dumb. We all know the Bears need Oline, what did you think you where the only person to figure that out?? Do you actually think that if the 5 top linemen are gone the Bears are gonna draft Gosder or Baker at 14 if Mendenhall is there?? Maybe they will trade down, maybe they won't but it's not easy to trade down in deep drafts like this one. Con-grads you figured out the Bears need Oline help more than a RB. Has it occured to you that most teams even when they have needs draft value first. Angelo is very well known for doing it. Guys like Benson, Mcfarland, both guys that his teams did not need, both times when he drafted those guys his number one need was a LT, but the value was not there so he took other players. If Ellis fell to the Bears some way he would pull the trigger on that guy in a sec over Mendenhall or Williams and Otah. It's just the way things usually go. Now none of us know who the Bears have rated at the top of there board and how close they have everyone rated, but if there is a big enough gap between too players who are both need picks they will go with the higher rated player over the guy who is more of a need. Either way they fil a need with a value. I can't imagine the Bears think Otah and Williams are all that, they didn't even bother with private workout's. That says a lot right there. Besides if the Bears can't figure oout how to draft solid Olinemen past the first round like most teams, there up the creek anyway. They had one drafted regular starter play on the line last year, he was drafted 10 years ago. Sense then there have been zero regulars drafted or developed by the Bears on oline.

Creighton you are making some good points, but the thing you are missing is when was the last time the Bears drafted O-Line in rds 1 or 2. If I remember it was Columbo. He had a terrible knee injury and after 2 years of rehab he was let go. Most people didn't think he would ever play again. The point being it's hard to develop players that have physical limitations you can't fix. You can be successful drafting C and OG in later rds, but it is very hard to get OT. OT's either have long arms or they don't. They are quick with good lateral movement or they aren't.

If the Bears want a great O-Line they have to commit a 1st or 2nd rd pick every other year to O-Line. I thought it interesting how NE drafts. 5 of their last 8 top picks were linemen.

At 14 if Mendenhall is there and Albert, Otah and Clady are gone, they need to take Mendenhall. Williams has short arms, is not a good run blocker, and is noted for being soft. However, in the 2nd rd. they have to pray Nicks, Brown or even Collins drops to them.

I have to agree with you. I don't think we are going to get Joe Thomas at 14, and we are a lot more likely to get Robert Gallery. So let's look at who will be there at 14. In no particular order (other than when they pop into my head), here are the players who I see as sure bets of being drafted between 1-13:
Chris Long
Jake Long
Glenn Dorsey
Vernon Gholston
Darren McFadden
Matt Ryan
Leodis McKelvin
Ryan Clady
Sedrick Ellis
Mike Jenkins
That's 10 guys. You will probably see at least one other OL, probably 2 in the mix (Albert and Williams are my thoughts), and Mendenhall will go as the 13th guy. Maybe not this exact group, but should be relatively close. So on the board we will have one of the top 3 RB, Otah, and a crop of WRs and DEs that show as the better players on the board. Who do you take there? I am not as big of an Otah fan as some, so I would not have him highly rated. He looks like he is slow footed compared to Williams and even Cherilus and Baker. Given your assessment, which I agree with, you take the running back or you trade out. You don't take Otah if you don't think he can help you this season. You take the impact guy, and hope that for once we actually utilize them from day 1. I would be much happier with Cherilus at 22 than Otah at 14, because that would be better value, and we would pick up another pick in the first three rounds.

Is there a drop between Otah and Williams, and the next group of OL? Probably not as big as they would like to make us believe. There is tremendous depth at OL in this draft, but not a blue ribbon winner in the batch in my opinion. But there are a lot of guys who can start, and who can play, all along the line. We can get a few of them, and maybe 1 or 2 of them will pan out.

Creighton your the kinda guy that has no mind for yourself. You read and listen to all the sports insiders and then repeat what they are saying.
Another thing Creighton why are you making such a big deal about the Bears having the scraps or as you say the 5th best lineman in the draft.Who cares who they get just as long as they can play. I can care less who they pick I care what possition they draft.
I would like to see the first 2 picks dedicated to the O-Line.
3rd round get a RB and a QB. From there its a crap shoot.I would like to see a WR, a true SS and a run stuffing DT.
When the Bears draft there just drafting names. We dont know and wont know if the names they draft will turn into players untill we see consitent play out of them.
8 days left and I can not wait with patients. Lets all hope that in 3 years we can say the 2008 draft was better than the 2006 draft.

Joe I know Angelo will look to trade down, he always does because there is more value to it. However the Bears have been really looking at running backs, my own guess on this is that I have begun to wonder how Benson is really doing. I am starting to believe he may not be a Bear when the season starts and that the Bears are running a smoke screen. My best friend had a plate put in his leg to reconect the bone. To this day he walks with a major limp, I just can't imagine seeing Benson play after that, maybe I'm wrong. If Mendenall is gone you have to look at Stewart at that pick, if Stewart is not rated that high then you gotta trade down maybe with Texas, they need a back and so does Detroit, but you got get lower but no lower than 22 cause Pitt will be all over Gosder. The Problem is with Mendenhall gone who is gonna trade up for Otah? Nobody, you also don't here of teams trading up for Williams. I would take Stewart and go after Collins or Nicks in round 2 and Brown in round 3. If you stick with Otah then you gotta go Rice in round two or maybe Henne and then Brown in round 3. I would even take Brown in round two, but I am probably the only person. I look at it this way most teams rate Otah and Williams between 4.21 and 4.17 out of six, Gosder is rated at about 4.02 and Brown at 3.99, so the drop off is not much. My concern of all the line guys is Williams, I just don't like him and I think he is looking for the big payday, Otah I think will be a very good RT but it will take about a year before he starts, Gosder can start tommorrow but lacks Otah's supposed upside, Brown is going to be a stud, he's that one guy that teams always overlook and comes out of like the third or 4th round to be the surprise. He needs work but can play guard day one on the bears and is better than any guard they have right now, 2 years from now he will be a stud LT.

Brando why do you always try to start with me? Fine here we go.

"I can care less who they pick I care what possition they draft".

Brando which is it you don't care who they pick or you care who they pick because what you just wrote was another one of your contadictions. If you don't care who they draft then you have no Problem with Mendenhall.

Brando are you an expert cause last I checked most pros get there info by watching film, and reading about players, yes they actually read. Do you read the news paper Brando? I actualy enjoy reading you can actually learn from it. We can't all be you the guy who supposedly hangs out with all the teams who come to Southbend, and knows all the college players and how your there buddy but you don't buy them drinks cause thats a no no. What kind of guy says something like that by the way? Thats a "no no"???

Sorry Brando your the best, no one is better than you, you know everything and we are all here to learn from you. How come you are not coaching the Bears? How come your not a GM for an NFL team. Gosh Brando I wish I could be you for a day. Your the King of the world.

Dude I don't know why you always pick fights with me, it never goes your way and you always look bad. Why do you think nobody asks your opinion or tries to talk to you? You make everything personal, you insult people for no reason, everyone else is just stupid, you make up stories about stuff. I tried to be nice too you multiple times. Look at what you wrote man, and you wrote it for no reason, it's just some personal attack on me yet I said and did nothing to you. Did I say word one too you? No, did I say anything about any of your posts? No. Dude if you don't like what I say don't read it. I never read your posts unless my name is in them. Other than that I ignore you.

Brando when it comes to my psots why not just skip them sense they anger you so much, none of them are directed at you so you could just ignore them. Why not actually talk about sports, the bears and the draft instead of picking fights and insulting people. What is it are people ignoring you, do you feel left out? Post something worth reading and maybe someone will say something to you. You know I get in debates with Kevin A all the time but we never fight we just have a difference of opinion, you on the other hand don't seem to know how to debate. You just get in fights. Why don't you try focusing a little time on writing about the Bears instead of picking fights, you might find you actually have something to say.

Go find someone else to bug man cause you are getting real old real fast. I know why don't you adddress all your posts to Biggs. He picked the Bears to go 6-10 and he did that what 2 months after me, I guess he jumped on the bandwagon. Go bug him, then you can get banned.

Brando you bitch too much the reason this blog exist is to exchange ideas (magic word: exchange) you and your ideas are not all there is. Why can't you disagree agreeably you may have firm belief in your ideas but so does Creighton and he does the research(sometimes too much) and backs up his claims. No one has THE answer 04/26/2008 will take care of that. Even the 6-10 will change in July and again in August so until the draft is over, the games are played all this stuff should be kept in it's proper content it's only fans talking to fans so get over youself and Creighton don't be so sensitive.

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This page contains a single entry by Brad Biggs published on April 17, 2008 10:36 AM.

Kiper: Bears "certainly need some offensive juice" was the previous entry in this blog.

Offseason program about who's not there: Urlacher, Briggs absent is the next entry in this blog.

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