Chicago Sun-Times

Casserly: Maybe OT isn't Bears biggest need, after all

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 The NFL Network's Charley Casserly said the Bears may not be as interested in using a first-round pick to better protect quarterback Jay Cutler as many people assume.

"As much as the critics will argue they need an offensive lineman I'm not sure that's something that's at the top of their list," the former executive for the Redskins and Texans said Wednesday. "You might see a good defensive player fall to them, whether it's a guy like [Purdue defensive end Ryan} Kerrigan as an outside pass rusher, maybe somebody along those lines."

The Bears may have to trade up from No. 29 to get one of the top-tier offensive tackles even though Casserly said getting one may be as good as getting another.

"Those offensive tackles are so grouped together I'm not so sure that whoever you get --- if you've got three or four of them there together --- the fourth guy might be as good as the first guy in three or four years," he said. "You can just throw them all in a hat."

Like other draft analysts, Casserly said he wouldn't be surprised if the Bears took a defensive tackle in the first round.

"Corey Liuget from Illinois is a terrific player," Casserly said. "Maybe he's a guy that slips down there. Doubtful, but maybe he would. It would be a heck of a pick for them if he drops that far but I don't think he'll make it."

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Smart guy and I am not saying that because he agrees with me, okay I am saying it because he agrees with me. But I think he is wrong about the Bears not thinking O-Line is their biggest need. I think the Bears no it is their biggest need, but how they view fixing the problem is a different story. The Bears are an older team built to win now, they don't have the luxery of spending 3-4 years building the offense. Because by the time they get that done the defense is going to be in the toilet and need to be rebuilt.

Most offensive linemen do not have good first years, just cause you draft a guy in the first round does not make him an instant impact player, most linemen need 2-3 years to really get going, and it's very rare to get a Joe Thomas, Orlando Pace, Jon Ogden, or Jake Long. The Bears probably view their best chance to win now and fix the line as a FA fix rather than a developmental player out of the draft. It's a decent year for FA offensive linemen and they could grab a couple of guys, and draft a developmental guy in round 3. This would allow them to draft defensive depth for an older but already established defense. It would also allow them to play to the strengths of the draft which is defense rather than a weakness of the draft which is O-Line.

I don't know if they will do that, but at the very least it would allow them to take the best available player rather then locking themselves in to a lineman who would probably be a reach at 29.

If none of the tackles slip, Colorado's Nate Solder being the best case scenario, I'm all for Chicago going with a defensive player, Corey Liuget would be a great pick and fit the mold pretty good for Chicago up front on the d-line. Another defensive player I'd like is Colorado's Jimmy Smith, the 6-2 211lb corner would be another nice addition.

Chicago does need to come out of this draft with some offensive linemen be it early or late. I say use their second rounder on Penn States Stefen Wisniewski, Wisniewski could fill 2 needs, right guard or center, probably center but you gotta like his versatility, and center and right guard are two big holes for Chicago inside where they need youth. Should be interesting either way GO BEARS!!

Couple more things. I think it would be a better move to go with Colorado corner Jimmy Smith, if he slips to #29, vs a DT like Corey Liuget. They would both be great additions, but if it came down to the 2, you gotta go with Smith. Jimmy Smith, at 6-2, plays well vs bigger receivers, he does a good job of neutralizing them like he did vs Georgia's A.J. Green in 2010. And a guy like Smith and his ability to play bigger receivers would be nice to have for Chicago here in the north, especially vs guys like Detroit's Calvin Johnson. Also, Smith is a physical press corner, something Chicago doesn't have right now, this would open a lot of things up for Chicago on defense. Smith is also good in man, he only allowed 11 completions in man over the last 2 seasons. If Jimmy Smith slips, the Bears have got to take him.

A three technique is a need, but Chicago has 3rd year player Henery Melton who I think is gonna take the next step as an NFL player this year. A guy like Corey Liuget fills a need, but he was only a 1 year starter at Illinois who rose up draft boards after having one legit season and some good workouts. I just think a guy like Colorado's Jimmy Smith would be a safer pick. GO BEARS!!

I'll hold him down. Somebody call for help quick!

Creighton has obviously been abducted and they are trying to pass off an imposter who is saying things that make sense.

Let's face it...there are only 2 positions that would be unacceptable for the Bears to draft at 29. Defensive End and Quarterback. And even Defensive End is not a horrible idea, especially if a player starts dropping. Hey, Da'Quan Bowers is in freefall, and with an arthritic knee, Jerry might jump all over that kind of risk and take him if he is still there....

All kidding aside, the Bears are an aging team that needs to keep their QB alive, give him some weapons in the passing game, and revitalize an aging and thin defensive unit. If we did nothing but go with best player available with our 6 picks, we would do ok.

My thinking is that they will either take an OL in round 1, or trade out of the first altogether and try and get a couple of mid round picks. In the second in that scenario, they would try and take a corner and Terrell McClain in the second (Jerry's annual DL at least one round earlier than he needed to), and then go after Austin Pettis in the 3rd or 4th. They will take a tackle and a center/guard as part of that, and likely try and take a second DT late. They will trust that Williams, Webb, and Omiyale can get Cutler through this season, and that we need to be able to stop the Packers by putting Rodgers on his back, so they will get Peppers as much help as possible, but not at DE, unless we get a Wootton situation, where a highly-rated player drops. My guess on the G/C is Moffitt from Wisconsin, and I think they will look at Dowling for CB, and Ian Williams later as a nose in our defense.

If Carimi or Solder falls to 29, I think the Bears will pull the trigger, but I don't think they will, and Sherrod is now being linked to Indy because of his polished pass blocking skills. So Jerry once again will not have a 1st round pick. But this time, I might actually agree with getting out of the spot, and getting some additional picks. We won't be able to sign UDFA after the draft, so we won't get the benefit of those guys being in the mix. We also won't get the benefit of knowing whether we will get any of the targeted free agents once that kicks in. I don't think the Bears will allow another season of overspending for free agents, so we will end up with the same group of also-rans that failed to protect Cutler this year.

I see your entering the first stage of Grief MS "Denial", posters often experiece this when they start agreeing with. Personally I enjoy watching people go through Depression and Barganing the most, but denial is fun too.

Sherrod is the polished of the bunch but no more expeiments. Tice is known to like big guards and centers then Cutler could step into some passes. This lightweight crap is getting out of hand time for a chnage of philosophy on both sides of the ball.

News flash - no one cares!

Way to add to the conversation, you must be one of these real Bears fans I hear so mcuh about from Kevin and Brando. Your such a big fan that you don't want anyone talking about the Bears, addressing articles about the Bears and what's more you don't want to say anything about the Bears because you know that the guys who actually follow the team and football will be laughing at the stupidity that you can't help but type down.

Thanks for making this Bears blog so much better for actual fans who want to talk about the team.

Ddawg It's not the tackle position that is light, Webb is huge and Omiyale has decent size, it's the interior, Williams has size but lacks power and Olin and Garza are both small and lack power. Sherrod and Solder are currently the usual suspects falling to the Bears, both have size but both lack power. In the case of Solder a lot of that is do to his height and players getting inside of him.

My comment was a statement Tice does like big guys in the middle Sherrod is the most polished OT. I believe as I said big physical guys inside. Webb seems to be a budding strong guy Omiyale is a swing tackle and Williams is weak at point of attack. When I said time for a change there are some very large interior players in late rounds nfl draft bible gives a good account of availible guards and centers. deputydumb why waste good space with retard comments you don't know me and you obviously have nothing to add of any value. You hold the dumb part for yourself you have already proved it, JERK!!!!!!!!!!

Here are some facts that will be the drivers on the Bears draft selections:

The Super Bowl Champs are in their division and will have several players back who where out last year due to injury.
The Bears lack of depth and quality young players due to poor drafting in the first few rounds wasn't exposed last year because they were very fortunate with having few injuries,

Despite needing iimmediate starters to compete with the Packers, they also have to address that Urlacher, Briggs, Tillman, Garza and Kreutz will have to be replaced in the near term. That being said, the OT position is a glaring need and the 3 technique position, a key element in the cover 2 scheme, must be filled by a big time player. A big WR is needed but given the list above, it becomes a secondary need.

Angelo always talks about "floors" and "ceillings." He has demonstrated that he is an unbelievable bad judge of evaluating "floors." Angelos's hits in the draft have come in the late rounds where you draft without floor consideration. In rounds 4-7 it is a longshot the draftee makes the team so he looks to hit a home run (Knox).

At 29, I don't see an OT that would carry a higher grade then Chris Williams did a few years ago. They should draft the best player available from the positions listed above.

I like Steven Paea in round 1. He is very disruptive and appaers to be a long time starter. His skill set fits well in the cover 2 scheme. Ras I Dowling would be a steal in the second round and may be available. This draft has a wealth of interior Ol men who should have good NFL careers. Picking 2 interior Ol players in rounds 2-4 would be prudent. Mason Foster the OLB from Washington is allover the board, he is slotted any where from round 1 to round 4, he would be a great "scheme" pick.
Collin McCarthy a LB from Mami is a viable possibility as well.

I didn't address OT, if they get a starter at G, I think Williams and Frank O will battle it out at T untill a free agent becomes available and Webb is going to get a chance to sink or swim aon the other side.

Even if the Bears get 3 starters in the draft and free agency,unfortunately, barring injuries to Matthews or Rodgers, the Packers will be the better team on paper next year.

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This page contains a single entry by Neil Hayes published on April 13, 2011 12:55 PM.

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