If the Bears can find DeSean Jackson in the second round with the 49th pick of the draft, they'll be in a very good spot.
Jackson, who started 15 games as a rookie for the Philadelphia Eagles, was the 49th pick of last year's draft. He represents the upside of where the Bears are with their first pick this year.
As you can expect, the results at No. 49 are mixed. That is where the Bears found offensive tackle Troy Auzenne in 1992. He didn't pan out so well although he made 35 starts in a five-year career, the first four seasons with the Bears. No. 49 is where the Bears selected defensive tackle Chris Zorich in 1991. He made 49 career starts.
General manager Jerry Angelo said at the scouting combine that there would not be a perfect player where the Bears were choosing at No. 18 in the first round. That was before the Jay Cutler trade. There is considerable more guesswork that goes into waiting until No. 49. We went back over the last 20 years to look at the draft picks. Besides Auzenne and Zorich, the 49th pick produced former Bears assistant secondary coach Torrian Gray. He was chosen by the Minnesota Vikings in 1997.
Out of the 20 players, linebacker Randall Godfrey (1996, Dallas) made the most career starts with 151. Oakland center Barret Robbins (1995) had 105 career starts but missed his most important in Super Bowl XXXVII. Defensive end Kenny Mixon (1998, Miami) had 96 career starts. Defensive back Pat Terrell (1990, L.A. Rams) and fullback Roosevelt Potts (1993, Indianapolis) were the only others with more than 50 career starts. Terrell made 69 and Potts had 61. That means five of the last 20 players selected No. 49 overall stuck around long enough to start a little more than three full NFL seasons--48 games. Of course, the book is still open for Jackson, who really flourished and should go on to have a nice career. Some of the other recent picks in the slot, like New York Jets quarterback Kellen Clemens and Oakland guard Marcus Johnson, are still around.
But this can put in perspective what kind of player, or the range of player available, the Bears can expect to find awaiting them. Speaking of waiting. The draft does not begin until 3 p.m. this year. With 10 minutes per pick in the first round and seven minutes per pick in the second round, it could be 10 before the Bears are on the clock. That's not expected to happen. The change in time last year expedited the first round, which went in 3 hours, 30 minutes. Provided the pace is similar, the Bears could go on the clock some time between 7:30 and 8.
Here is a look at the No. 49 overall pick over the last 20 years:
Year Player Position Team Career starts
2008 DeSean Jackson WR Philadelphia 15
2007 Kenny Irons RB Cincinnati 0
2006 Kellen Clemens QB N.Y. Jets 8
2005 Marcus Johnson G Minnesota 18
2004 Keiwan Ratliff CB Cincinnati 12
2003 Eddie Moore LB Miami 3
2002 Levar Fisher LB Arizona 15
2001 LaMont Jordan RB N.Y. Jets 29
2000 Dwayne Goodrich DB Dallas 1
1999 Joe Montgomery RB N.Y. Giants 5
1998 Kenny Mixon DE Miami 96
1997 Torrian Gray FS Minnesota 4
1996 Randall Godfrey LB Dallas 151
1995 Barret Robbins C Oakland 105
1994 Toby Wright S L.A. Rams 44
1993 Roosevelt Potts RB Indianapolis 61
1992 Troy Auzenne OT Bears 35
1991 Chris Zorich DT Bears 49
1990 Pat Terrell DB L.A. Rams 69
1989 Jessie Small LB Philadelphia 8
We'll have Four Down Territory a little later this afternoon. Check back.