Chicago Sun-Times

Bears bringing in Rutgers DE for a closer look

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The Bears will host defensive end Jamaal Westerman at Halas Hall today on a pre-draft visit.

The Rutgers product is one of the 30 pre-draft visits the team can have. He's an interesting late-round prospect who could also be a priority free-agent type.

Westerman was knocked out of the bowl season with a torn biceps tendon but was healthy enough to go through his pro day last week. He put up 20 reps on the bench press at 225 pounds and was clocked in the 40-yard dash at 4.78 seconds. He's a smaller guy at 6-2, 257 pounds, but he's explosive off the ball and he's a high motor guy who finished third in school history in sacks.

The Bears will be able to get a medical evaluation of Westerman and go from there. Keep an eye on him. The team has been looking closely at linebackers for possible selection in the later rounds of the draft.

Don't be surprised if the team goes after a pass rusher early in the draft (top three rounds) and then again later on. Adewale Ogunleye and Mark Anderson are both going into the finals years of their contracts.

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11 Comments

Rutgers defensive end Jamaal Westerman does fit the mold for the type of defensive end the Bears like. At 6-2 257lbs, and being explosive off the ball make him a good fit for Chicago. Maybe he would be brought in as kind of an insurance policy for Mark Anderson. If Mark Anderson continues to be a non-factor in the pass rush he'll be gone after 2009. Chicago could then develop a player like Westerman for a season, and maybe by 2010 he'll be ready to come in as a pass rushing specialist, much like Mark Anderson is being counted on to be for Chicago this season.

If Chicago goes defensive end early in the first three rounds, I look for the player to be someone who could come in and be a left end for the Bears. Maybe someone like Paul Kruger of Utah, who at 6-5 265lbs, is relentless in pursuit to attack the passer, and is also a high motor type. Kruger would be a nice fit at left end for Chicago.

Speaking of possible late round selections at linebacker for Chicago, here's a name to remember on the second day, Russell Allen of San Diego State. Jerry Angelo personally attended his workout. Allen has nice size at 6-3 235lbs, and runs a 4.6 40. In 07 he had 119 tackles, and had 107 tackles this season to go along with 9.5 tackles for loss. Allen is projected to go somewhere in the 6th-7th round.

In the first I still look for Chicago to take either Missouri receiver Jeremy Maclin or Mississippi defensive tackle Peria Jerry. One thing to keep in mind, with Ken Lucas being brought in shows for whatever reason, Angelo wants an upgrade at corner. I also wouldn't be surprised if Chicago drafts someone like cornerback Alphonso Smith of Wake Forest in the first, we'll see. My first bet would still be Maclin, it should be interesting whoever it is GO BEARS!!

Another player, another injury. Good Lord can we bring in players that do not have lingering injuries, DUI's, problems in college???

I guess GO BEARS.

Tomk...

The college players who are visiting now are players that likely will be late round picks or post draft non-drafted priority free agents. It's as simple as that. Most of these guy's are unknowns or longshots who could be brought in just to compete or get a shot at being a diamond in the rough.

The Bears have to bring in a bunch of bodies for training camp so they might as well use the remaining invites on players they like so they can get their medical info. before draft day....

All the major prospects the Bears are interested already were scouted at the combine/pro-days and scheduled visits.

Go Bears !!

The Bears have brought in or plan to bring in 20 players currently. This list outlines how many players are known currently based on various reports I've gathered from around the web.

Bears Private workout list

I'm glad they are looking at defensive end because they certainly need to do something to jump-start pressure on the quarterback. An offensive line that can help the running game keep the opposing offense off the field still seems to me the major need, but a defense pressuring the quarterback is certainly a close second.

Brettsky51: nice list on prospects.

BensonSucks: I know they need to bring in bodies, but why bring in bodies with prior injuries and riddled pasts??? Thats all I was talking about. I hope some of these players pan out.

Kevin: I also agree with you on Maclin being the first pick if he is still there. He is above the other players and looks like he could get the job done as a rookie and give 1 more weopon Orton clearly needs. Maybe Maclin falls like Olsen did to us 2 years ago. Heres to hoping.

GO BEARS.

You know the Bears are spending a lot of there private workouts on late round draft picks, Westerman probably won't even get drafted.

Kevin my guess is Paul Kruger is off the board before the Bears pick in round 2. Kruger is a red shirt Sophomore so he would need more than a year to develop.

Umm Angelo wants an upgrade at corner Kevin because the Bears had on of the worst secondaries in football. They were real bad last year. Also has it occured to you that he just saw Tommie Harris sit out the third day of a mini camp. So this could be a sign he is worried about the front 4 and there ablitity to generate a Pass rush so he is trying to bolster the secondary as best he can to help offset what he may see as a problem. If the pass rush fails again the secondaries problems will be compounded. Just a thought.

Kevin A. Have you see Pat Kirwan`s latest mock on NFL.com, he has the Bears taking Peria Jerry at #18, and in the second round, he has the Bears taking Brett Robiskie WR, from the Ohio St. I tend to agree with Kirwan on the way the first round will go, but you know that New England has multiple picks, and they will be active in the first 2 rounds, so I hope that Mr. Angelo can anticipate a few of these moves, especially if they include a player, or players that we are targeting. I have watched Belichek in the past, and he moves quickly, targeting quality, not quantity.

Kevin,
I am really starting to like Kruger as an option in the 3rd, but I am wondering if he will drop that far. With the NFL success of guys like Bruce Smith, Jared Allen, and Aaron Kampmann, these type of larger ends with high motors (a la Trace Armstrong and Danimal in Bears lore) are getting big sack numbers by outworking their opponent. Guys just do not hit the ground running with 12-15 sacks all that often. It takes time for them to develop, just like WRs. There are a lot of subtleties to playing the position for 3 downs. Look at Gaines Adams. He is just now starting to turn the corner and become a dynamic pass rusher, while guys like Wimbley in Cleveland and Mark Anderson had a big initial splash, and haven't done crap since.

Either way, I am concerned that we will need at least one new defensive end out of this draft. Idonije, Anderson, Ogunleye, and Brown is not a particularly impressive group. We know we can't count on Tommie to stay healthy, so we need a Simeon Rice on the outside to make the DTs look better. Alex Brown will never be that guy. Ogunleye hasn't been that guy since Jason Taylor was on the other side. Mark Anderson was that guy as a rookie, but has barely sniffed the QB since. And Idonije is not capable of being that guy. We need some help, and Kruger would be a nice step in that direction. If we manage to solidify the O-line enough in free agency prior to the draft, we could focus on the defensive line early, but if we have to wait until round 3, Kruger would be a steal there.

It all depends on how many O-tackles go in the first 15 picks. I heard Gil Brandt on NFL radio this morning say that he would take Britton in the top 10 if he needed a tackle, regardless of which side (left or right). He identified Monroe, J Smith, and Britton as the top 3 tackles that got his first round grades. He only gave 23 first round grades, and when Gil Brandt speaks, a lot of the NFL listens. He trained half the scouts in the league, directly or indirectly. He thinks Britton is ready on the right, and could be ready on the left after a year in the system. I think Jerry is positioning himself to get the best player on his board at 18. God only knows who that will be. Every day you hear more buzz. This is going to be one heck of an interesting draft....

Joe nice comment on Brandt, I am surprised he has figured out how good Britton is, I and Kevin have known this for months. Angelo don't know it and I think Britton will probably land with the Skins anyway but he is very good. I see the Bears starting no less than 3 FA on the Oline this year so my feeling on them taking a OT in round 1 is not good anymore. I wish they would do it but I doubt it.

With Harris sitting out the 3rd day of Mini Camp, and the Bears going after Pace. Jerry is now an option, for Angelo it is the safe pick as he likes DT's and has a decent eye for them, although I guess I am the only one who has Jerry going before 18.

I still think Kruger is a lot more Hype than talent. Not htat he is not talented but he could not have picked a better time to come out. 7.5 sacks is not that special. But he is young. I would Rather have Ayers as Tenn boys tend to get it done on the Dline.

Joe I like Kirwan but I am not so sure about his draft, I cannot imagine Curry not going to KC to play OLB over Orakpo. Plus Smith to the Bengals thats a massive reach. I would not hold my breath on Crab to the Raiders. Davis almost never goes WR in round 1, I look for a crazy pick like Mike Johnson to them. Sanchez to the Jags?? Or Singletary taking a reciever with the first pick?? Jackson to the Skins?? A 5 tech end on a team that needs a pass rush. I think the Bears are going WR with the first pick which is stranger than almost anything Kirwan did so we will see.

I remember that Gil Brandt predicted that Aaron Rodgers would fall to the Packers at pick #24 in the 2005 draft. That was amazing to me because Rodgers was seen as a #1 pick in the draft by some. If you'll recall, 2005 wasn't that great at least in the first round, so he maybe should have been. Time will tell.

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This page contains a single entry by Brad Biggs published on March 31, 2009 3:12 AM.

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