Chicago Sun-Times

Never to early to talk about what Bears will do with first pick

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Has there ever been a time in Bears history where there has been less news to report?

Teams are not allowed to make roster moves during the extended negotiating window between NFL owners and players on a new collective bargaining agreement. When it comes to the talks now taking place in Washington D.C., there is a news embargo, although Yahoo's Mike Silver and Sports Illustrated's Jim Trotter have been filing stories with interesting inside dope.

It's never too early for looking ahead to the draft, however.

When it comes to useless exercises, charting mock drafts has to rank near the top. That said, I've checked out 25 different mock drafts in the past couple days to try to get an idea of what different media members think the Bears will do.

Most experts agree that the Bears will either take an offensive or defensive lineman at No. 29 overall. Most people are picking the Bears to take an offensive lineman, for obvious reasons. The Bears surrendered more sacks than any other team in the NFL last season. They definitely need to shore up the offensive line this offseason.

That said, I would argue that the Bears have more pieces in place on the offensive line than they do at defensive tackle. With Tommie Harris gone, and Anthony Adams an unrestricted free agent, the Bears are pretty desperate at defensive tackle with Henry Melton, Matt Toeaina and Marcus Harrison, who played sparingly last season, the only real candidates on the roster.

Given the depth at defensive tackle in the 2011 draft, however, it might make more sense for the Bears to take an offensive line first, according to Mel Kiper Jr.

"You can get defensive players in the second round area at the defensive tackle spot that can be a factor for you," Kiper Jr. said during a conference call Wednesday. "At offensive tackle, not so much. ... It's just slim pickings. You have a better chance to getting a defensive tackle than an offensive tackle at that point."

Kiper said LSU's Drake Nevis is an ideal three-technique tackle that could be available late in the second round. He also mentioned North Carolina's Marvin Austin and Iowa's Christian Ballard as possibilities for the Bears. As far as offensive tackles who might still be around when the Bears pick in the second round, Kiper said there's a possibility Mississippi's State's Derek Sherrod could slip that low, although he doubts it. He also mentioned Alabama's James Carpenter and Florida's Marcus Gilbert have a chance to made an immediate impact as second rounders.

As for the mock drafts, five of the 25 have predicted that the Bears will take Wisconsin tackle Gabe Carimi. Four prognosticators think they will take Villanova tackle Ben Ijalana, while three think Florida guard/center Mike Pouncey will be pick.

Only two people thought the Bears would pick a player who wasn't an offensive or defensive lineman in the first round, with Miami cornerback Brandon Harris showing up in one mock draft and Pittsburgh receiver Jonathan Baldwin in another.

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22 Comments

"Kiper said LSU's Drake Nevis is an ideal three-technique tackle that could be available late in the second round."

Haha, that's cool I listed Nevis as the 3 tech to watch for the Bears in round two or three a day or two ago at the trib board, I will post a link. Austin has a bad history and is a tough sell at this point.

"s far as offensive tackles who might still be around when the Bears pick in the second round, Kiper said there's a possibility Mississippi's State's Derek Sherrod could slip that low"

Nice feet but short arms, reminds a lot of people of Chris Williams. But he probably won't be there anyway. This is where the problem lies. Yes it is the biggest need but who will be there? Carimi and Sherrod are probably gone at this point, Pouncey as well. Ben Ijalana??

The thing about Ijalana is he is either going to be a RT or a guard. I have heard him compared to Yanda in that he may start out at guard and move to tackle. Tice has his project at RT in Webb and the team has expressed their happiness with Garza. I am not sure how much help he would be as a rookie first year LT which is the biggest need. Which leaves him to compete with Williams at LG. Would Angelo use to first round picks to address the LG position? Or would they move Webb to LT and let him play RT where he belongs eventually.

I got the Bears doing one of two things in round one. Best available player from offensive or defensive line prospects or trading down to the early second round and then taking O-Line and then later in the round D-line. I still have a Corner going to the Bears as a remote chance if someone falls. But my guess is if a guy like Curtis Brown drops to them, they will use him as leverage for a trade down.

I think I will throw the name Marcus Cannon out there for the Bears if they trade down. I think he will be a better guard than Pouncey and I think Pouncey and his brother are both a little over hyped. Cannon is huge but still athletic and Tice likes huge and athletic.

Neil can the Bears can still bring in prospects for private workouts? I would guess yes, but not sure with the whole CBA thinng.

You're right, it's never too early to talk about the draft! I love it.

Offensive line is obviously the most pressing need, but the Bears are in a pretty good position to take the best player available, if they decide to go that route. With the exception of QB and TE, the Bears either desperately need or would benefit from an upgrade. I see their needs in the following order: OL, DT, CB, WR, S, DE, LB, RB, TE, QB. Carimi would be great, as would Nate Solder, but if a stud should fall to them at a different position, especially in the top four categories, they should take him.

The only problem with waiting for the second round to draft a defensive lineman is: If Angelo was able to draft a good d-line prospect in the second or third round, they wouldn't need a defensive lineman now.

Chicago picking a busted lineman in the second or third round is almost a cliche. Gilbert, Bazuin, Harrison, Dvoracek, Johnson. It's really not good.

Neil,

Sorry, but there is no case for the Bears taking DL before O-line. There can not be another 50 plus sack season on Cutler. He has to have more protection and he has to have at least 1 more target. Over the next two seasons, the Bears have to replace the LT, RG, and C. My hope would be that 2 of the pieces are replaced this year. As i said before, there will be guys that slip. Carimi could be one of those guys. And, for Pete's sake, Webb is not the LT answer.

If the Bears can get a T early and then maybe a center in the mid to later rounds, that would be good. I still like Tim Barnes, Zane Taylor {a little short at 6'2 1/2"}, and Kowalski. All three guys come from great passing schools and tested very well. I have also seen where the Bears take Torrey Smith from Maryland in the first round. Some comparisons to Jennings from GB on that kid.

Thanks, Neil, for posting a very interesting topic.

Made a mistake on Sherrod, he doesn't have short Arms just read that someplace and it stuck. He actually has long arms. Good frame too, but they say he does not have a lot of skill(raw) and plays soft.

Well Ms Angelo has not had a lot of success in the first or second round with linemen so does it really matter? The Bears are now part of a 22 team network that shares draft intel, so maybe things will improve.

Sorry Gearhead there are plenty of reasons to take D-Line first. First they are thinner at D-Line than O-Line. And second it depends who is on the board? The first round is all about value for teams even at 29. The Bears are not going to take a guard in round 1 who they can get in round 2. If Curtis Brown was on the board and the Bears grabbed him would really be upset? I wouldn't, he doesn't help either line but at least would not be over reaching for a guy. Hey if Nate Solder is there please grab him, but we both know he is going to be long gone.

I still think it will be a trade, Pats, Cowboys, Raiders, may all be looking to move up, Bears would get more picks and probably the same guy they want anyway in round 2. But who knows.

Gearheadboy I agree, no way should the o-line fall behind the d-line. As far as webb at LT he had way to much trouble on the right side, cutler would get killed. Let webb play 1-2 more years at RT and see how he improves. If Carimi slips bears have to take him, I don't care if he is 3rd or 4th Tackle he is better than what we have now and plays with attitude.

Ravens are intrested in Sherrod, they had meetings with him at the Senior Bowl and Combine and they appear to be ready to cut ties with Gaither.

Falcons have three starters on the O-Line who are all Free Agents. They can't bring all of them back and they needed to upgrade LT before all that.

Dallas Cowboys, Columbo is done and Free is a free agent. Plus they can use help at guard.

Detroit needs to upgrade LT and maybe RT, plus Guard could be a need Bakus is 34.

Eagles had one of the worst lines in football last year and need to upgrade their line at just about every position.

Colts need a LT.

Pats need a LT and RG. Neal just retired and Light is a FA who is ok but not as good as he used to be.

Giants need a LT or LG, they want Diehl to move to LG and upgrade LT.

Redskins Currently don't have a RT and could use an upgrade on the interior.

Chiefs need a LT in a bad way so they can move Albert inside and they need a Center. They could also use a RT.

Vikings need a LT, RG and LG. They could also upgrade at Center.

Lots of teams not a lot of linemen to fill those needs. Not all these teams wil be looking for round 1 help and FA has yet to play out but several teams will be targeting offensive line help and they all pick before the Bears.

I disagree about O-Line being the most pressing need. The play calling was the most obvious failing last year. The Bears would have given up 20 less sacks if Martzes play calling had been better. They could have saved at least 7 in the Giants game alone. (I am not saying that they dont need to upgrade the talent on o-line)
You have to beleive that the Bears will not look for as much change this year. They will expect Webb to be better at right Tackle. And probabaly already have a deal in place for Krutze, which leaves the left side. If there is a player that grades out higher than Chris Williams, then he will be on there target list. But if the plan is to keep Martze as a Offensive coordinator then they dont need an upgrade, they need a stud left tackle (top 5 type) which is not available this year. Bears could get great value at Guard at bottom of 2nd round. Pushing Williams back out to compete at tackle with Omyale and a likely free agenct pick up as well.
I see them getting a D-Tackle in first round. Trading up is unlikely even for a player they like. Expect a trade down for an extra third and a top of second round where they might get the same player as they would take at bottom of first. In order, Paea, Costanza, Sherrod in 1st, Austin / Carimi in 1st or 2nd following trade, Nevis possible at top or bottom of 2nd. Boling, or Moffat likly available in bottom of 2nd. I dont expect them to take 2 O-line men unless they are 1 & 2, Bears simply dont keep enough O-Line on roster to keep a developmental player. Plus they need Line-backers for speacial teams.

The same situation that is making this a slow news period is going to cause some intriguing problems for the Bears in the draft. I completely agree that they need to work the offensive line roster. But if you look at history, Angelo has not often done that with the draft. He has done it through free agency. Really he has historically built a big part of the roster for the D-line from trades and free agency too.

Usually the Bears don't play a lot in the free agency and trade markets, but when they do play they are very aggressive. They target who they want and get the deal done, or move on.

The difference this year is that free agency is a real unknown. The draft will come and go before the Bears can do much other business with their roster. It will be a scary situation for the personnel management people on all the teams. I think this means they will tend to go defense because defense is like running home to mama for the Bears.

No matter what players are selected in the draft, it's always a potential disaster. As good as scouts are and as good as past performances have been, players still bomb out and end up as wasted picks, not only for the Bears but also for the other teams. I think that's why the Bears tend to stick more with the players they already have--better the devil you know than the one you don't. That being said, I concur with those who think the offensive line is the way to go in this draft. The Bears are going nowhere if Cutler does not get a whole lot better protection than he got last year.

Sorry Crieghton, but I dissagree. Where is the depth on the O-line? Does Edwin Williams or Lance Louis do it for you? You can easily bring back Anthony Adams and Matt Toeaina is a very serviceable DT. You can also find nice DT's in the later rounds as well. And let's not forget Henry Melton's emergence last year. And if you are someone who doesn't think the O-line is the most pressing need, then you just don't get it. If they go defense in the first round {or first pick, if it happens to be in the 2nd round} then it will be 3 years since the Bears traded for a "franchise" QB that you have done virtually nothing to help him out.

The play calling did change during the past year and Cutler still got knocked around. What is it going to take for Bears fans to see? A torn ACL next time? The Bears are very fortunate that Cutler is as big, strong, and tough as he is.

If Pouncey is there, you take him. And I don't know where the dislike for he and his brother comes from. In my opinion, he played much better than even Mangold last year. Mangold has gained too much weight since coming out of school and everyone associated with Maurkice Pouncey says he's incredibly smart, strong as an ox, and really the only "cog" in that OL.

Not that Angelo smart enough to understand PR, but it would be a huge PR hit if the Chicago Bears went another year without a 1st round pick. If trading down means the Bears get another 3rd to waste on another G. Wolfe, or M. Okwo, then I say stay where you're at. If the Pats wanted to move from 33 to 29 and were willing to give up that 3rd they got from the Vikings in the Moss fiasco, you might want to consider that move.

I wouldn't take Brown at the bottom of the 1st round. What would you base this on? Good ball skills at the combine? if he runs a sub 4.5 forty at his pro day and you made that trade with the Pats, then maybe you take him in the 2nd round. But at 4.51, he's not a first round talent. And his return talents should not factor at all into the Bears grade of him because it brings no value to the Bears. With Hester, Knox, and Manning, you don't need help with returns. With the Bears he should be graded soley on his coverage skills.

And true, there are other teams that need OL help, but the Redskins used 2 high picks on OL last year and desperately need RB and QB help. The Vikings showed their hand last week when they didn't tender T. Jackson an offer. And the Pats need a RB and DE help. It will be interesting.

The guy currently on the roster you never hear about is Herman Johnson? Looking at it from the outside you have to believe they like that dude. They gave up a spot on the active roster just to park him out of sight for a year. They always have had a bigger than life lineman that they are trying to develop, but usually on the practice squad, or IR. Levi Horn is in that spot right now. I don't remember the Bears giving up a spot on the 53-man like they did this year to keep Johnson.

I think Tice likes him. Tice has a history of developing really big linemen who have had weight control issues in the past. Is there any chance that he can light a fire and get big Herman in shape?

Probably a long shot, but if they put Johnson on the right side with Webb, they could nickname them "Solar" and "Eclipse" because they would blot out the sun.

Well lets see Pouncey is totally overrated IMOP. I don't think he did jack last year and didn't even rank out as the teams 2nd best offensive linmen which is not saying much considering how bad the line is. He ranked outside the top 15 center of the league last year and actually caused more problems than he solved. He was all hype last year and the media fed into it. And neither is that strong, in fact both brothers are considered more finesse players who get overwhelmed by big linmen.

I don't have to like any player just cause you like him. I don't like them and I think they are over hyped. That's my opinion and I get to have it. Mangold was hurt last year and graded out as the number two Center in the nfl. He was also named an All Pro again, thanks I would take Mangold in a second over those guys.

"You can easily bring back Anthony Adams and Matt Toeaina is a very serviceable DT." Really? He got replaced as a starter buy Harris late in the season. And maybe Adams comes back and maybe he doesn't Lovie has never been a real fan of the guy and he currently is not on the team. Oh and I love the Melton comment, yes what a stud he made it all the way to the number 4 DT used in situational rushing only and didn't do much of anything.

Just because you want Oline and just because Oline is the biggest need does mean the Dline is suddenly good, it actually isn't all that good and it is thinner by the numbers. They will have to take someone at some point. The Melton comment was really reaching.

"And if you are someone who doesn't think the O-line is the most pressing need, then you just don't get it." Most pressing need has nothing to do with it. You don't reach for playes in round one. And whats with the attitude?

Maybe you forgot but Chris Williams was a first round pick, did that make him a good player? Mark Colombo taken 29th was a reach how did he turn out? If no player is going to help you much or you can get a better player than you get the better player in round one? I am pretty sure good offensive linemen have been found in every round of the nfl draft. If you can't fill your need in the draft then you just have to go into free agency. No offense(

Half the offensive linemen in this class who are listed as first round talents don't belong in the first round, the only reason they are being listed is because of need and lack of talent at the position. You think you got 5 blue chip tackles sitting in round one and nobody will take them before 29? Come on, its not a very good class and they are better served playing it smart rather than playing it needy. If the love guy(Chris Williams) does that make him good? He was need, he was ranked highly, and he was drafted high. Ooops.

You like Pouncey that's great, who says he will be there? You, Walter, Mayock? Maybe he is and maybe he isn't, maybe he has a bad pro day and interviews and drops into round two. If he is not there you can't draft him and nobody knows if he will be there. If Pouncey is not there should they take a guy like Watkins cause Mayock rates him high and he will only be 28 when training camp starts.

While the line is the most pressing need it may not be the easiest to address in the draft. Its that simple for me. Again the first round is about Value. And that's pretty much what every team does if the value is there you go Oline if not you go with the best guy your board and draft for need later. Pretty much what every team does.

You want Oline help real bad, and I get that they need it. But that doesn't mean it is out there or available, or that they take the right guy. If you take a guard in round one will that make Omiyale any better or Webb and will it turn back the clock on Olin who is odds on to be the starting Center?

Maybe Pouncey will develop into a very good player, both of them. But year one will be struggle for most guys. You take pouncey, fine does that fix the line? Probably not it didn't fix Pitts line, they actually got worse. I guess you will have to take another guy outside of round one, but that is useless cause according to you it won't help if it happens outside of round one. ". If they go defense in the first round {or first pick, if it happens to be in the 2nd round} then it will be 3 years since the Bears traded for a "franchise" QB that you have done virtually nothing to help him out."

Someone tell Carl Nicks that he was not the best guard in football last year cause was taken in round 5, or how about Evans taken in round 4 I believe, he is pretty darn good. Or Ryan Kalil round 2 who was the number 1 rated center in the NFL. How about McNeil round 2? Chris Snee 2nd round? You need to let go of the round one thing and just hope they pick good players. I don't care if they have a low end first round pick or a high end second round pick as long as they get good players. They find a blue chip Corner, DT, OT and sign a guy like Yanda and I will be thrilled and not really care about what round they where taken in. Good is good and rounds mean nothing. Note chances of that happening are really small.

"The play calling did change during the past year and Cutler still got knocked around." I already know this and was the guy that posted the sacks, hit's and pressures per drop back after the bye. And did the comparison for the blog of games 1-8 and 9-16.

Your basing first round talents buy 40 times? How very Al Davis of you. Lets all bow to the greatness of Knox one of the best players in the nfl just check his 40 time. You do know that Brown's Low was a 4.4 don't you? 4.51 is the split.

No matter what you say it all comes down to draft day and nobody knows how that will break down. Maybe all the tackles are their and you have your pick, maybe none of them are. My whole point is nobody knows and you may just have to take someone else.

By the way you will take Brown 4 picks after 29 if he runs .01 seconds faster but not if he doesn't? That's a little strange if you don't mind me saying. Joe Haden ran a 4.56 last year, Nnamdi Asomugha ran a 4.45 as his best time not as fast as Browns best time and was taken 31'st in the 2003 draft. You know the Raiders could have reached for Jon Stinchcomb who went a few pick later, or the highly rated interior linmen who everybody loved Eric Steinbach.

You never know until they get to the nfl. When you draft matters little compared to who you draft and that is all that really matters.

Wow this is really long.

Nah, Creighton is right. #29 is all about value.

DT is the most pressing need because of two reasons

1) As it stands now, we've only got Melton and Toenia under contract. Melton is a situational guy and Toenia is kinda meh.

2) The Bears are as only as good as their defense. The lack of inside pressure has killed us in the past couple of seasons. Assuming Izzy performs at the level he did this past season..imagine how scary the DL would be with even a little bit of an inside pass rush with Peppers on the outside?

The problem is that the Bears might have to reach for someone at 29. I'd rather not have to reach with our first first rounder in a couple of seasons.

I really like what Pat Kirwan said about draft strategy, especially when you have a lot of needs. When you have two similarly rated needs, you look at the depth of the position group in the draft, and what you could get next time through for your pick.

So as an example, say we are considering a DL and an OL at 29. Castanzo, Solder, Smith, and Carimi are gone, but Sherrod is there. for DL, Liuget, Dareus, Fairley, and the 5 tech guys (Watt, Jordan) are gone. Kerrigan, Houston, Smith, Miller, and Ayers are gone. Pouncey, Wisniewski, and Watkins are there for interior linemen

So our choices are Sherrod and Pouncey, who are both guys who may or may not be 1st round grade guys, or we look at guys like Wilkerson, Nevis, or Jabaal Sheard for the DL. Maybe we look at a Brooks Reed who might work as a pass rush specialist. Which way do you go? It depends on who will be there at 62. I think, confronted with that choice, Angelo would go with Sherrod, since the dropoff in OTs is significant from Sherrod to the next group. There is a lot of DL depth in the draft we can work from, and there are guys who have talent that would be there in 2 or 3 to help with the pass rush and/or run defense.

I would love to see the draft play out this way:
1: OL
2: DL
3: WR
4: OL
5: DB
6: DL

If we trade back into the second round (could happen based on our needs, I would like to see us add in a LB or two (depending on how many picks we get in the trade back).

We have a lot of holes, but we have a better chance of getting LBs after the draft than we do DL or OL.

I can see an argument for taking DL first, especially if a good player slips to our spot. Really, if you take out the crap-shoot of talent scouting, we can't go wrong with either line early.

Joe, Creighton, Gearheadboy you guys are pretty much on all your post's. But the main thing for this draft isn't what positions the bears fill, it's that JA hits on all of them. If he fails once again there is NO way of knowing how far this will set the bears back. With a lockout who knows what JA can get in FA but he has to score big.

Joe I get the strategy but again its all about how it plays out. If a heavy run happens on D-line then the position is no longer rich with talent by the time the Bears pick. You also have to expect a run at O-Line given need even if it is a mediocre class.

Then look at the classes you have 5 offensive linemen who are graded first round and after that it is a big drop off. Bears number 1 line need is LT. Will there be a starting calibur left tackle who can start day one for the Bears at 29? Maybe maybe not.

Smith, Solder, Sherrod, Carimi, and Costanzo are probably gone. After those 5 guys its papper thin at tackle and to be honest only 2-3 of them belong in the first round, Solder is really raw, and Carimi is not as talented as he thinks. A future RT? Probably but a LT maybe a mediocre one.

At guard you basically have Pouncey and at center Wisniewski and that's about it and Wisniewski is not worth a first round pick.

On defense everyone is talking about this great class. But really got to break it down.

4-3 Defensive ends are the deepest and best part of this calss. Well the Bears are not really in the market are they? Won't stop them from taking a guy but it's not a major need.

1 Tech, not of great inmportance to the Bears scheme. But they do use a certain type of Nose tackle. I'll just scratch off Marcell Dareus cause he is a 3-4 guy and he is not going ot be anywhere near the Bears at 29. Nick Fairley and we will just forget that guy too, he is really an end anyway.

Corey Liuget, , Phil Taylor, and Stephen Paea are all 1 techs. Sure they would be nice upgrades but not of major importance right now.

Muhammed Wilkerson is a 5 tech.

Bears need really need a 3 tech that basically leaves Marvin Austin, Drake Nevis, and Jurrell Casey oh wait a USC so forget him cause we know how Jerry feels about USC. Austin was kicked off his team which may make him appealing to Angelo, Jerry does love the bad Boys, and Nevis.

So while I believe it can be argued DT is a major need for the Bears its also not a great class for what the Bears need a 3 tech.

And while I can also argue O-Line is the biggest need on the team its the LT position that is the biggest need and I doubt anyone will hold a 1st round grade at that position in round 1 when the Bears pick. Benjamin Ijalana is probably going to be a RG guard or RT.

So this is what we know, its not a great offensive line class and its not a great three tech class either, and the Bears are picking late which does not help their cause.

If a guy like Solder falls sure draft him, if Pouncey is the best line prospect on the board than grab him(still not a fan of him but he is not a huge gamble at 29), personally I would rather see the Bears grab a tackle in the later round like Nicks was and convert him to guard, they Saints did the same thing with Evans. But whatever. Wonder what would happen if Jimmy Smith fell to the Bears because of character concerns?

I don't think you understood what I said, Creighton and then some parts you took out of context or the wrong way. The play calling comment wasn't directed at you, first off, it was to the other guy complaining about Martz.

T. Harris should never have started at all over Toeiana. There were people on here who were wondering about that move when it happened. Harris was coming on a little bit at the end of the season, but spent too much time on his knees and on his butt.

It isn't me that bases things on 40 times. It is the system. That's why they run the 40, do the cone drills and the shuttles. And the guy you used as an example {Joe Haden} made my argument for me. Hayden's draft stock did take a big hit due to his combine performance. It was only after he ran in the 4.3's at his pro day did the talk start to come back on him being a top 10 pick. Plus the fact that he had the success at Florida to back up anything his workouts might have diminished. As for Brown {who I do like}, he wasn't even regarded as the best CB on the longhorns last year, and let's face it, the team took a beating last year. Now, was that all his fault? No. I am sure the offense put the defense in bad spots, couldn't stay on the field to give the D a rest, etc.

I never said that fixing one line makes the other line better. I don't get that argument. You have never seen a post on here from me praising the DL over and over again and especially the interior guys. And I would agree with you more on your pick priorities if the Bears had a pick between 14-21 or so. You and I were in agreement on Williams 3 years ago. I didn't want the 6th best tackle at #14, I wanted the 2nd best RB. But at 29, they're probably going to all be graded about the same. The OL, DT, CB, WR. I think you take your most pressing need. And i am sorry, fellas, but that is OL. Unless, by some miracle a J. Jones falls due to the foot injury and maybe teams are afraid that with a lockout, he's not going to be able to get the rehab he should. Then, of course, you take a guy like him.

Uprooted, I agree with you to a certain extent. But let's say {for argument's sake} the Bears go DT, CB, DT, OG, WR, OT, LB. As the rounds pass by and JA/Lovie come out and meet the press after each pick, and they say "such and such was really high on our board so we had to take him that round." All the while, they're passing up OL help because in their world "such and such" graded higher. Even if your 1st round DT gets 10 sacks this year and your 2nd round corner is the next McCourtey, and your 3rd round DT is in the rotation and making contributions, IF Cutler is still getting knocked around like a pinball, then it means nothing. Someone said above, "This team is only as good as it's defense." That is so archaic it's not even funny. You don't give up two 1st's, and a 3rd rounder for a "franchise" QB, and then don't do anything to help him. The Bears will go as far as Cutler and his supporting cast will take this team.

And Creighton, I don't know what you have against Columbo, but outside of the horrible injury he had almost a decade ago, he has been an above average {probably about a 7-7.5 on a scale to 10} solid player. And it's ironic that JA takes a guard 4 years ago with a pre-existing condition and leaves a roster spot for him for essentially a whole year, but gave up on Columbo when all the medical people said it was an 18-24 month healing process.

And who knows what's going to happen in FA. And you are, right. If you draft Pouncey or Wiesnewski, does it make Omiyale better? Maybe a little, but not significantly. BUT you have to start somewhere. And I also agree with you that, unless the guy is all world, you don't take a guard in round 1. But if that guy is also your C replacement, then I think you do it. I also think it behooves a team to look at a guy's intelligence factor as well, seeing as there might not be any offseason programs. If say, a Wiesnewski tested real well, that might move him up a bit whereas DT's have less to grasp and might need less mental preparation. If they had gotten the labor situation done, and free agency had started I might feel a little bit better about the draft. The Bears might have been able to get an OG in FA and take some of the burden off the draft. But as it stands now, the only weapon we have is a "7-shooter" draft pistol and the guy drawing it out of his holster is none other than the Don Knotts of football

" Russ Lande to declare that Sherrod will be a first-round pick. The Colts, Ravens and Bears have all shown major interest in Sherrod."

Saw this thought I would post it.

Also I am starting to soften on Solder. Saw he lost 12 pounds after two weeks and is having problems keeping weight on. He may be more of a zone scheme guy, nice feet, athletic, but lacks power and bulk on his frame. He also was not very impressive at the Senior bowl. It could be he needs a lot of work and is suffering from nerves.

Joe, Gearhead, check out Kirwans latest mock which was put up today. Its two rounder and he has the Bears taking Aaron Williams at 29, not because he thinks corner is more important but the top 5 tackles and Pouncey are all gone, and my guess is he is starting to notice that the UT class is not that good this year. I would rather have Curtis Brown, I think he will be better in a zone and is actually the better Corner overall. Williams has a little to much hype for what he does. Besides he is a FS in the nfl, then again if I was drafting a FS I would take Williams. That would be a pretty good safety duo of the future with him and Wright or him and Manning. Anyway a few mocks are now posting Corner as the Bears pick because the same reasons I posted. I am glad to see the guys over at nfl.com have a chance to learn from me.

He has the Bears taking Titus Young in round 2, I have seen a few mocks posting him too the Bears. Both picks are a bit of a stretch for me. But if you look at how the draft is unfolding on a lot of boards the Bears are in the land of slim pickens. Sure they could reach for an offensive or a defensive linemen but most teams don't like doing that, although Angelo has done that often enough and boy has he paid for it.He may reach for Nevis in round 2 because I don't think he makes it to them at the bottom of round 3. Maybe he does, tough call. Just remember one thing, if a tackle does fall to the Bears there is probably a reason he fell that far. Really good tackle prospects don't last long in the draft.

This also in, Mike Mayock lists Costanzo as the greatest football player he has ever seen and the best to ever play the game. He is so good he should be the first pick in the draft for the next 5 years.

Steve Wyche has the Bears taking Brandon Harris in round 1 on his latest mock.

Non of this means much considering Pro days are not even done yet and teams have not begun private workouts, which will really tells us where the Bears are looking and other teams. Not to mention it will help line up who will go where or at least most likely to go.

Glad to see the little talking to I gave to Kirwan and Wyche paid off. Someone needs to tell me how they get paid for this and I don't.

Creighton,

I saw that. I like Brown better as well. I don't get Young at all. He wasn't that impressive at the combine. He thought he was going to be this years Jacoby Ford. And as you have heard me preach over and over again, I know that Martz's system is predicated on "speed" and being in a certain spot at a certain time. And I know Warner and he made a living with Holt and Bruce, neither of which were over 6' tall. But back 12-15 years ago {and yes, we are in that range with the Rams of 98/99} you didn't have the type of corners you have now. I did a little research and even the NFL network guys were talking about it during the combine. These corners today are huge and they can run. And yes, Joe & Creighton, Sterling Sharpe is right, you do need to be in control when you run, but what he did fail to mention is that most of your NCAA teams and especially NFL teams have "speed and coordination" coaches or at least drills that work on those things. I harken back to the 80's when you had legit 4.2 guys running around the field. Gault, Green, Nehemiah, and their concern wasn't running control, but the ability to catch the ball.

Some of your best 40 times, cone drills, broad jumps, and vertical jumps are coming from guys who are 6'2" and taller. And look at the corners coming out this year. Of the top 7 or 8 corners only one {Brandon Harris} is under 6'. I still would like to see a big wide receiver with decent speed. One that will be at a certain spot at a certain time, but big enough to fight off the more physical corners around the league. I have also seen drafts that have Carimi falling past the Bears. I know you're not as high on him as I am, but I like this kid. You get the pundits breaking down his game and say he's not that "bendable" or he's this and that, but all I know is that he blocked {without help} some of the best DE's in the country this year {I think a potential 4 first rounders} and he's got that "neanderthal" gene as well. Heck if the Bears could somehow get his teammate Moffit in the 4th round or so I would be happy. Anyway, good back and forth.

Creighton, I saw that Kirwan mock, and I would put a lot more stock in what he says than a lot of others, because he actually thinks about the team and what they are trying to do when selecting their pick. The Justin Houston pick in his earlier mock he discussed on the radio, and said the pick was a "nobody that we wanted was left, and I can't mock trades this early" pick, and the Bears needed a pass rusher regardless. Houston was not a great fit, but he was the best pass rusher on the board since the top OL were gone.

If the Bears actually follow a best player available strategy, which they claim to every year, we are bound to hit on a few need areas through the 6 rounds. I am leaning more and more towards thinking Jerry is going to go back from 29 to the top of the second round, and try and pick up a few extra picks in the first 5 rounds. I think he will target either someone like Wisniewski or Boling in early 2, and go after the DL in late 2. If we pick up an extra 3rd, we will take a CB and WR in 3, and then go LB, DL, and OL the rest of the way.

We are handicapped more than most teams in the draft, because of how few players we have under contract. We only have something like 48 guys with contracts for this upcoming season, so our needs are exaggerated beyond what they are. We could basically take the best player on the board every time we are up, and do ok. But Jerry likes to play the need card, and then claim after the fact that they were the highest rated player on their board at the time.

I do like the idea of Williams as a safety pick, but I would be ok with Deunta or Aaron as our free to pair with Wright.

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This page contains a single entry by Neil Hayes published on March 9, 2011 10:09 AM.

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