Let’s assess what the Chicago Bears need in this weekend’s NFL Draft. Everything, pretty much. We can’t rule out anything except kick returner, place-kicker, tight end, and with Lance Briggs retained, linebacker. So, if Jerry Angelo needs one more guy to tell him whom to take first Saturday at No. 14, we’ll volunteer.
Let’s assess what the Chicago Bears need in this weekend’s NFL Draft.
Everything, pretty much.
We can’t rule out anything except kick returner, place-kicker, tight end, and with Lance Briggs retained, linebacker.
So, if Jerry Angelo needs one more guy to tell him whom to take first Saturday at No. 14, we’ll volunteer.
Actually, it doesn’t matter who is chosen. Just so he’s listed as an offensive tackle.
Some observers say this is the best offensive line draft in 25 years. True or not, it means there’s a quantity of quality, so get it while the getting’s good.
Michigan’s Jake Long already is spoken for at No. 1 by Miami, and never was a possibility. Four other standout offensive lineman are, even though Chicago will be fortunate one remains midway through today’s opening round.
Depending on how teams grade massive human beings, Boise State’s Ryan Clady, Vanderbilt’s Chris Williams, Pittsburgh’s Jeff Otah or Virginia’s Branden Albert, a guard with tackle ability, could fall to the Bears.
And Chicago should be there to catch him with open arms and smiles.
The big fella they’ll get? Try Williams. He needs to be meaner, and the Bears can install that virtue in him. At 6-foot-6 1/4, 320 pounds, he could be embarking on a 10-plus year run at left tackle.
That solves one issue, the most important. As offensive coordinator Ron Turner said this week, “it all starts up front.”
Turner inferred that it doesn’t matter who the running back or quarterback is if there aren’t holes opening or blocking protecting.
Pass up this opportunity to land a potential Pro Bowl tackle, you might have to wait an additional quarter-century for a collection this attractive.
If 13 teams before them have the same philosophy, let Turner make the call.
He’d call out “Rashard Mendenhall, running back, University of Illinois.”
At the team’s predraft media day Tuesday, he went into more detail on Mendenhall than any other Bear brass did about any player. Most were afraid to mention any names, although Angelo threw out Darren McFadden, Glenn Dorsey and Matt Ryan as names that came up in the most conversations.
Turner, of course, recruited Mendenhall to Illinois.
“He can make an immediate impact,” Turner said.
Ryan, Boston College’s quarterback, should be passed on even if somehow available. If they’ve done their homework, some other quarterback with as much potential could be unearthed sometime Sunday.
If the Fab Five offensive linemen are gone, go for the top receiver available in Michigan State’s Devin Thomas. Ideally, a top wideout would come in the second round, such as Malcolm Kelly of Oklahoma, Andre Caldwell of Florida or Mario Manningham of Michigan.
Reed Schreck is the NFL writer for the Rockford Register Star. Contact him at 815-987-1381 or firstname.lastname@example.org.