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The Bears have found another safety for the rookie minicamp.

Texas Tech's Daniel Charbonnet has been invited to compete on a tryout basis and battle for an opportunity to land a free-agent contract, his agent Erik Burkhardt told the Sun-Times. The Bears will have a few dozen players in on a free-agent basis and typically they sign a few to contracts before the weekend is over.

He was the lesser known of the Red Raiders safeties as Darcel McBath was drafted by the Denver Broncos in the second round, but Charbonnet was a first team All-Big 12 Conference selection. The 5-11, 203-pounder had a big interception of Texas' Colt McCoy in the upset of the then No. 1-ranked Longhorns. The Bears were known to like McBath.

In other news, a league source said Stanford linebacker Pat Maynor is likely to join the Bears for the rookie minicamp on a tryout basis. He was a three-year starter for the Cardinal and led the team in tackling for two seasons. Also, Hawaii linebacker Solomon Elimimian has turned down an offer to sign with the Bears as an undrafted free agent.

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Time to get down to projections. Mock drafts are fun and provide plenty of fodder for discussion. When it comes to projecting to No. 49 and then to No. 99, where the Bears are selecting, that's madness. But we're going to give it a shot. First, our wild guess at the top 10.

1. Detroit, Matthew Stafford. Hey, we got one right.

2. St. Louis, Jason Smith. Didn't take long to replace Orlando Pace.

3. Kansas City, Tyson Jackson. This is what you call a selection in no-man's land.

4. Seattle, Aaron Curry. The Seahawks' defense got bad in a hurry.

5. Cleveland, Mark Sanchez. As much buzz as there is with him, he has to be drafted in the top 5, right?

6. Cincinnati, Andre Smith. Bengals get the lineman scouts believe is the most talented.

7. Oakland, Jeremy Maclin. Elite ability as a return man gives him the edge over Michael Crabtree.

8. Jacksonville, Michael Crabtree. Jaguars badly need some help at this position.

9. Green Bay, Malcom Jenkins. Packers need some youth in secondary and get the draft's best defensive back.

10. San Francisco, Brian Orakpo. The Niners get a pass rusher.


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One of the issues the Bears have to be batting around at Halas Hall on the second day of full meetings with the scouting staff is what the difference is going to be in this draft between the seventh or eighth wide receiver vs. say the 13th or 14th wide receiver.

There is considerable depth at the position to go with some top-end talent. At safety, arguably the Bears' second greatest need going into this draft, there is not the elite talent you have seen in recent years and there also isn't a lot in the way of depth.

Bears college scouting director Greg Gabriel likes to talk in terms of combinations of players and that is what you have to do here. What combination of receiver and safety could the Bears get if they go with a receiver at No. 49 overall and a safety later on? What combination of safety and receiver could they get if they pull the trigger on a safety at No. 49 overall? At that point they could probably get a top five safety, maybe even top three depending on how the draft unfolds.

If the Bears opt for a receiver in the second round there is a good chance they will wait until the later rounds for a safety given their history of finding players such as Kevin Payne, Chris Harris and even Todd Johnson in the fourth round on down. If general manager Jerry Angelo makes a play for a safety in the second round, our bet is he goes with a wide receiver with his next selection at No. 99, the second-to-final pick of the third round, the compensatory selection for losing Bernard Berrian via free agency.

That is why we introduced Virginia's Kevin Ogletree as a possibility here. He's gaining some momentum and the Bears might be more comfortable with someone like him and a safety who could compete immediately for a starting job than a receiver like Georgia's Mohamed Massaquoi or Oklahoma's Juaquin Iglesias and a safety later on in the draft.

``It's probably just guys going in and really looking at my film and evaluating me as a player,'' Ogletree said Thursday morning when asked why he was gaining some buzz with the draft nine days off. ``They're probably seeing some of the little things. I played with a bunch of quarterbacks, I think that helps. Given the opportunities I had, I did everything I could.''

Nolan Nawrocki over at Pro Football Weekly, the guy who puts together one of the finest draft guides there is, has a terrific draft value chart that is worth looking at.

It provides a good glimpse at where some of the players the Bears have been scouting the last few weeks are forecasted to go, as well as some other information. Nawrocki updated it today and it reflects some of the sentiment around the league that North Carolina wide receiver Hakeem Nicks could be falling. One source we spoke to Monday said he didn't expect Nicks to be on the board when the Bears select at No. 49 in the second round, but he wouldn't rule it out after concerns about Nicks multiplied when he showed up out of shape on his pro day.

Nawrocki's chart has three levels for each round--A, B and C. A is for players in the top-third of the round, B is for players in the middle of the round and C is for players in the bottom third of the round. He has Nicks at 2B with the arrow pointing down. The Bears' pick is the 17th of the round, so that indicates Nawrocki believes he will be coming off the board right around where the Bears are at.

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The Bears have not left any stone unturned in Chapel Hill, N.C., this spring.

College scouting director Greg Gabriel went in to do some work at North Carolina. Wide receivers coach Darryl Drake went in. The Bears put wide receiver Hakeem Nicks through a private workout. Ditto tight end Richard Quinn.

Now that the Bears are out of the first round and do not have their first selection until No. 49 overall, Nicks seems like a real longshot. Chances are he's off the board between the middle of the first round and beginning of the second round. Could it be the Bears are considering a former Tar Heel--wide receiver Brandon Tate?

Some considered Tate a better prospect than Nicks before he suffered a torn ACL and MCL in his right knee in a victory over Notre Dame in early October. Tate was leading the ACC in all-purpose yardage at the time of the injury. He is considered a good route runner and is skilled in the open field.

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This page is an archive of recent entries in the Kevin Ogletree category.

Kevin Malast is the previous category.

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