Chicago Sun-Times

Wrapping up Day 1

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We’ll tie up the loose ends we can get our hands on here from a busy Day 1 of the draft.

The Bears have nine picks Sunday and the action starts at 9, an hour earlier than in years’ past with the new format. With five minutes per pick, if every team uses the full allotment of time per pick, the draft will last 16 hours on Day 2. No joke. Do the math yourself. But it shouldn’t take quite that long. We hope.

*** Hard to say which way the Bears will go with the 70th pick, the seventh of the third round.

I was thinking about the possibility of USC’s John David Booty at quarterback, but the more I mull it over I keep coming back to the commitment the club has had in Rex Grossman forever. Yes, it’s an open competition with Kyle Orton for the starting job, but don’t bet for a second the higher-ups aren’t pulling for the former first-round pick to blossom. I think they will hold off on drafting a quarterback.

*** So where does that leave us? Well, they’re in need of a playmaking wide receiver and surprisingly there are still some nice ones remaining even after 10 came flying off the board in Round 2.

I think the Bears are high on LSU’s Early Doucet, and a Scouts Inc. mock draft of the third round on ESPN.com has the Bears taking just him. There are durability issues concerning Doucet, who was hampered by a groin injury this past season.

Michigan’s Mario Manningham, whose stock has plummeted since a slow 40 time at the combine and the more worrisome marijuana news, is also available. Would general manager Jerry Angelo roll the dice on a character guy in round three? Florida’s Andre Caldwell is also available.

*** Say you’re not interested in a receiver and you’re looking to shore up he defense in a trouble area from last season? How about Arkansas’ defensive tackle Marcus Harrison. I ran some Razorback names by coach Lovie Smith on Thursday. He spent two days in Fayetteville around the pro day and sources told me he was high on Harrison, running back Felix Jones and cornerback Matterral Richardson. So, I ran the three names by him and the first thing he did was ask me where I got my information. The second thing he did was essentially tell me I was right with two names and wrong with one. He didn’t reveal which however.

*** If you’re thinking safety, it might be a little early but Arizona State’s Josh Barrett is an intriguing prospect and the Bears simply love Notre Dame’s Tommy Zbikowski. With the flock of picks they have, they’ll work to get the Buffalo Grove product.

*** If Chris Williams in the first round was just the first building block for a reshaped offensive line, consider Rutgers guard Jeremy Zuttah, who line coach Harry Hiestand worked out

*** Penn State cornerback Justin King is still on the board and you can never have too many good corners. Ever. He could be too good to pass up.

*** If the Bears go deep into Day 2 to get their third quarterback—ESPN.com’s Mike Sando pointed out they are the only franchise in the league without at least three passers under contract right now—keep an eye on San Diego State’s Kevin O’Connell. I’ll throw another name at you as well. LSU’s Matt Flynn. He’s got intangibles from here to Baton Rouge, La., and might be under consideration.

*** There's a good chance the Lions would have taken running back Matt Forte with the 45th pick if he slipped past the Bears. Detroit brought him in on a pre-draft visit and liked him a lot.

The Lions instead went with Colorado linebacker Jordon Dizon in this spot. He's an overachiever who some consider a reach in that spot, just like they thought the Lions went early for Boston College offensive tackle Gosder Cherilus in Round 1 at No. 17. Aren't we used to Matt Millen drafts being criticized by now?

Get this. Word is the Denver Broncos were also inquiring about Forte. They passed at No. 42 taking Virginia Tech wide receiver Eddie Royal. Mike Shanahan never drafts backs real high. The Broncos wanted Devin Hester two years ago when the Bears nabbed him.

*** Sun-Timesman Mark Potash noted the following:

Of the 33 players in NCAA Division I-A who rushed for 1,200 yards or more, Tulane's Matt Forte is the only one to do it behind an offensive line that did not include a first- or second-team all-conference member. Tulane was fourth in Conference USA in rushing, but 10th in passing, ninth in total offense and 11th in scoring.

*** NFL Network host Rich Eisen asked commissioner Roger Goodell about the through-the-roof rookie contracts players are getting these days with players at the very top of the first round getting astronomical deals before ever playing a down of professional football. Miami offensive tackle Jake Long, for instance, signed a contract with $30 million guaranteed.

EISEN: The compensation these players are going to get, Commissioner Goodell, if you think about it the NFL is the only business set up in America in which a complete newcomer becomes the highest paid player in the history of whatever business he is joining. Do you think there is enough groundswell for a rookie cap to be installed in this league?

GOODELL: I hope so. It’s something we want to raise with the Union. It’s not that we take away from anything that Jake Long has done, and take away from the money he has made. It’s just that he hasn’t played yet on an NFL field and neither have any of the other rookies. I think the veterans who have performed on the NFL level deserve that compensation. As you know, our system is set up where we have a minimum team-wide, so it’s not that we’re saving dollars, we’re still paying it to the players, and we’d just like to pay it to the veteran players who have performed on that level.

*** How many chances could the Bears have had after drafting Williams to deal into the first round to take Illinois running back Rashard Mendenhall before he was selected at No. 23 by Pittsburgh?

Four picks were dealt between No. 15 and No. 23. Detroit moved out at 15, although the Lions would be an unlikely partner as a division rival. Houston dropped out at No. 18. Philly dealt out of No. 19 and Washington moved out of No. 21. The Arizona Cardinals did all they could to move down from No. 16 before selecting Tennessee State cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie.

Whether any of these clubs would have wanted to go all the way to No. 44, or entertained the idea of a first-round pick in 2009, we'll probably never know. That was not working in the Bears' favor.

That’s it for Day 1. We’ll check in Sunday.

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13 Comments

I dont know how anyone else feels, but by not going after Brian Brohm or Chad Henne, had to be the biggest mistake of the draft. If the Bears are so into seeing Rex Grossman come around, then why did they only give him a 1 year extension?? Shouldnt that be proof he is no good and the Bears dont have faith? Unless they have some mystical plan to get Brady Quinn (who is unhappy over in Cleveland), we are NEVER going to get the QB problem fixed. John David Booty? Andre Woodson? Come on, lets be real here. The Bears are in major trouble ever since last year when they didnt address the OL issue. Bauzin? What a great 2nd round pick last year, they should have used that pick for a left tackle LAST YEAR!

Jerry never moves up in the draft!!! so we are doomed once again. QB is a issue to fans but not to gm. idio*

I know one thing about Brohm and Henne, if Brohm is good we are gonna know about it for 10 years. As for Henne, Parcells knows a good QB when he sees one. Collins is still on the Board so is Zuttah but I am not sure they will be there seven picks from know, if they are grab one. Everyone is talking about left tackle but last I checked the Bears problem on offense was there bad run game ranked 30th. They needed a RT but have not gotten one to help the run game Tait is 33 with bad ankles him moving over will not help. Also more sacks came from the right side then the left last year. Forte will not be the answer against good compitition he struggled all his good games came against teams like Army. He had 72 yards against LSU, and that was with an injured Dorsey. But he is better than Benson who is going to be gone. I think they should have jumped up for Mendenhall. They had a chance and they blew it. I hope they stay away from Booty, he is a great athlete but he is a little slow upstairs.

ANDRE WOODSON

I don't see any teams above us wanting to grab a QB in the third. We can pick him up and still adress out safety, DB, or WR issue with the 2nd pick. We had nothing but time to trade down to aquire Mendenhall, we obviously had no intent to do so. Angelo knew who he wanted before the draft started. We should've grabbed Albert but he went with a better pass blocker in Williams.

Jeremy Zuttah and/or Anthony Collins would be really good additions in the 3rd rd.

The Bears should also take QB Ryan O'Hara from Central Oklahoma, (6-5, 239, 4.65, can make all the throws, a dark horse in this draft), or Kevin O'Connell from San Diego State with their picks on later rounds.

Good point about drafting a tackle high last year. Or what about a wide reciever high in the draft LAST YEAR! The Bears were so full of themselves after being in the Super Bowl they thought they could take fliers on guys in the 2nd and 3rd rounds. I feel that what ever position you draft on the first day they should be guys who have the ability and posibily the opportunity to start. But the bears took Bauzin and Wolfe a 4th DE and a third string niche RB. The draft is about stengthening areas of weakness, especially on the first day. In my opinion the Bears blew it and it's affecting this years draft.

dont know how anyone else feels, but by not going after Brian Brohm or Chad Henne, had to be the biggest mistake of the draft. If the Bears are so into seeing Rex Grossman come around, then why did they only give him a 1 year extension?? Shouldnt that be proof he is no good and the Bears dont have faith? Unless they have some mystical plan to get Brady Quinn (who is unhappy over in Cleveland), we are NEVER going to get the QB problem fixed. John David Booty? Andre Woodson? Come on, lets be real here. The Bears are in major trouble ever since last year when they didnt address the OL issue. Bauzin? What a great 2nd round pick last year, they should have used that pick for a left tackle LAST YEAR!

YOU HAVE NO IDEA WHAT YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT

I do think they really blew it not picking Brohm. I'm not really a Henne fan, so passing on him didn't bother me too much. Forte felt like a bit of a reach at 44. I have always liked QB Josh Johnson, but since he isn't a leadfooted dropback pocket passer, we don't have to worry about the Bears picking him...

All you whiners stop it Forte is going to be a very good back he is sound, read Potash he ran behind a line that had no first or second team all conf. players and looked good in the All Star games behind good lines he can play all downs and is a threat to catch the ball. I believe the Bears will sign a free agent RB be for the mini-camp and camp starts also more offensive linemen will be out there, it ain't over!!

Geeeez... Everyone is so upset about not taking Brohm, or Henne. I can't think of any other position that has more busts than QB. The Bears need a ton of things. They need OLT (got one). They need RB (got one). They need a ORT. They need a WR. They need a DT. They need a backup QB. The QB will probably get picked in the 3rd, 4th, or 5th rds. The QB is going to sit for a year or two and then we will see if he has talent.

I would really like to see a ORT at the top of the 3rd. Anybody have any ideas why Nicks has fallen so far? How about McGlynn, Grecco, Zuttah? They all have some flaws but sound like solid players with tough personalities.

Bears picked a left tackle, fine. But why Jerry Angelo sat on his hands while Rashard Mendenhall was there for the taking with alittle trading I can't understand. Another example of the ineptitude that permeates through Halas Hall.Look at what the Vikings accomplished Jerry, and perhaps you'll get a clue on how teams make themselves better.

And with the 44th pick in the 2008 NFL Draft the Chicago Bears pick...
Matt Forte????
For the record, I had him slated 12th on my RB wish list for this years draft. In drafting Forte, the bears made three horrible desisions. 1) Passed on Brian Brohm and Chad Henne who will both pan out as solid NFL QB's for the next 10 years. 2)Failed to trade up just 8 spots sooner to snag the 2nd best RB in the draft Reshard Mendenhall, & finally 3)Admitted that the 4th pick of the '06 NFL Draft Cedric Benson was nothing but a giant cloud of bust. The fact of the matter is that this draft class is so deep at RB that the Bears could've selected Brohm at 44 and Jamal Charles (slated 5th on my list) at 70 in the early 3rd.
Someone please explain to me why does the all important QB position always seems to be on the back burner for the Bears??

WHAT NEXT JERRY?

Please, just NOT Booty...

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This page contains a single entry by Brad Biggs published on April 26, 2008 11:49 PM.

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