Just because the Bears don't have a first-or second-round draft pick doesn't mean they aren't looking to add young talent.
In fact, one source at the NFL Combine said the team had already schedule extensive visits from potential rookie free agents and are doing everything they can to keep the players they are most interested in a secret so other teams don't target them.
This source said the Bears may sign as many as 15 rookie free agents after the draft with the hope of uncovering a gem or two during an offseason where it will be difficult for them to acquire talent because of the restricted free-agent pool and their lack of high draft picks.
Two local players who could be late-round picks or could sign as rookie free agents are Northwestern cornerback Sherrick McManis and Notre Dame safety Kyle McCarthy.
McManis, who grew up in Peoria, was a first-team All-Big Ten selection and was named Northwestern's Most Valuable Player. He said he wouldn't mind continuing his career in Chicago.
"That would be good," he said. "That would be great."
McCarthy, who led the Irish with 110 tackles, took time to plug his teammate, receiver Golden Tate, who is expected to be a first-round pick. Tate ran a 4.44 40-yard dash Saturday, by the way.
"He's got great athleticism and great speed," McCarthy said of Tate. "What people don't understand about him is how strong he is. He's going to have a great career.