Jerry Angelo met with Chicago-area reporters in his hotel suite in Indianapolis on Friday. The Bears' general manager, along with the coaching and scouting staffs, are in town for the NFL Combine, where they are preparing to draft a player in the first round for the first time in three years.
Angelo wouldn't get into specifics about players on the current roster because many of those in-house discussions and decisions won't happen until next week, but he touched on a variety of subjects during an 18-minute question-and-answer session, including whether he would prefer former first round pick Chris Williams to play guard or tackle in the future.
"I really don't care where we have Chris personally," Angelo said. "I just want to make sure that everything plays itself out as we go through these periods of allocating players, that we get the five best players on the field. Anybody who's in this business and understands personnel, it's every bit about the continuity and the five players playing together. It's as critical as the talent of the five players themselves.
"I'm not underscoring talent; that's very important. What the goal is is get your five talented players playing at the same time. That's what we want to do. Does that mean Chris is a tackle or a guard? We can't determine that yet. Do I have a preference? Not really, only because he's been exposed to the guard position so we've seen some things, just like Frank Omiyale. We've created some versatility on the offensive line."
Angelo agrees with the consensus opinion that the 2011 draft class is chocked full of defensive line prospects. There is also value along the offensive line, although several other positions, he said, are thinner than they have been in the past.
"I made the statement that the defensive line position is very good again this year. It's probably as good or better than last year in part because of the underclassmen at that position," Angelo said.
"The offensive line position is solid. I don't think there are any real bell cows in there. Of course some of the players think they're bell cows. I hope they're right; that remains to be seen.
"It's solid with offensive linemen. Probably not as good at the skill positions. Running back, wide receiver, quarterback - a little iffy. Secondary seems to be OK, not great. Linebacker maybe not so good.
"So maybe four or five positions at this point, a little bit below average but it can change after this weekend and the measurables. We'll know more once we start setting the board."
Angelo shook up the front-office last year. Out went college scouting director Greg Gabriel, who was replaced by former Seahawks general manager Tim Ruskell. Despite the change, Angelo said, for the most part, they will approach the draft as they have in the past.
"What we try to do is just do what we do better," he said. "I feel very confident in the formula that we use. We're in the projection business, it's never easy but I feel good that we have a good base to operate and good continuity with our scouts, and the bulk of a lot of what we go on are based on what they do and say."