- Dan Pompei at the Chicago Tribune thinks the Bears’ best option will be trading down. Most who read this blog regularly know that I agree whole heartedly.
- With that in mind, Larry Mayer at Chicagobears.com answers a fan question about what the Bears could realistically get in such a trade:
“It obviously depends on how far they trade down and how motivated their trading partner is to move up. But in speculating about what type of compensation the Bears would get in exchange for the 29th pick, we can look back at what occurred in last year’s draft when two picks in the same vicinity were dealt. The Ravens traded the 25th pick to the Broncos in exchange for selections in the second (43rd overall), third (70) and fourth (114) rounds. The Vikings traded the 30th pick along with a fourth-rounder (128) to the Lions in exchange for choices in the second (34), fourth (100) and seventh (214) rounds.”
- Both Michael C. Wright and Jeff Dickerson at ESPNChicago.com has done a mock drafts. Both the Bears taking offensive tackle Derek Sherrod.
- Wes Bunting at the National Football Post talks draft rumors:
UCLA safety Rahim Moore is getting a lot of attention from a number of NFC teams. I’m hearing both the Cowboys and Bears have a lot of interest in the center field standout and he could be an option for both in round two.
- Pompei, writing for the National Football Post in his excellent Sunday Blitz feature, points out that there will be a premium placed upon draft picks who are considered “NFL ready” because of the lockout. He lists some prospects who considered to fall into this category. Amongst the prospects likely to be relevant to Bear fans:
Ryan Kerrigan, Purdue DE— I’ve seen him taken by the Bears in at least one mock draft
Christian Ponder, Florida State QB – my gut feeling is that someone is going to trade up to take Ponder. The Bears are a possible trading partner but will also benefit if someone in front of them trades down, leaving another good non-quarterback to fall.
Mike Pouncey, Florida C/G – there’s almost no way Pouncey falls to the Bears as he continues to rise up boards.
Matt Waldman, writing for the New York Times, is reviewing the top five players by position. It highly iunlikely the Bears will go wide receiver in the first round but the second is not out of the question. Here is the profile for Torrey Smith, his fifth ranked receiver.
- Greg Gabriel at the National Football Post breaks down Iowa quarterback Ricki Stanzi. The Bears will probably draft a developmental quarterback and if Stanzi falls far enough, he’s a distinct possibility.
- Rafael Vela at CowboysNation.com thinks Pompei might be on to something when he says league personnel men are looking more inside out this year than in the past.
“It’s a different way of thinking about line play. How much has Dallas embraced it? If you match this philosophy up with players visiting Valley Ranch this past week, it seems the Cowboys are rather warm to the approach.”
I also have agreed with this assessment.
- Because of the success of Ndamukong Suh and to a lesser extent Gerald McCoy from last year’s draft, many assume defensive line is a good direction to go in at the top of the draft. Not necessarily so says Joe Reedy at the Cincinnati Enquirer:
“Of the [last] 15 defensive linemen who have gone in the top six overall, only five have made at least one Pro Bowl. Of the seven defensive ends, the last four are disappointments headlined by Vernon Gholston, who can be called a bust after three underwhelming seasons with the Jets.”
- Omar Kelly at the South Florida Sun-Sentinel talks about the effects of the lockout upon the later rounds of the draft:
“Complicating matters this year is the fact that without a CBA agreement teams won’t be allowed to sign undrafted free agents right away.”
“I’ve been told that means if a team needs to fill a position – like fullback, safety or nose tackle with a youngster to develop – they will have to draft him in the later rounds, using one of their sixth or seventh-round picks.
“I’ve been warned this could alter the approach of the late round selection, preventing teams from drafting the best available player (no matter what’s already on their roster) because they are addressing needs in this new, unchartered era of the NFL.”
- Pompei is also thinking about the uniqueness of this draft and he tells us about the things he didn’t used to know:
“A mini-trend this year, according to several front office men, is that teams are not giving prospects a particular grade just because those players are ‘supposed to’ have that grade, as per the rest of the league. It seems that teams are more inclined to go out on a limb with players, even if their thinking is unconventional. The result could be more surprise picks, especially towards the end of the first round.”
- Matthew Cammarata at the Detroit Free Press thinks the three most likely picks for the Lions at 13 will be cornerback Prince Amukamara and offensive tackles Anthony Castonzo and Tyron Smith. As I said yesterday, there’s a wide disparity of opinion on whether the Lions actually need a tackle of not and one of the more interesting questions in this draft will be what the Lions will do if Amukamara isn’t there.
You can count Tim Twentyman at the Detroit News as one who thinks offensive tackle in the first round probably shouldn’t be an option:
“By most accounts, this year’s crop of tackles is deep with first-round talent but short on a sure thing.
“Read most of the scouting reports on these tackles and you’ll see the words ‘potential”’ and ‘project.”’ There aren’t any guys that knock my socks off.”
“Some fans don’t want to hear it, but left tackle Jeff Backus is coming off two of the best seasons in his career. Coach Jim Schwartz called last season’s performance Pro-Bowl worthy.”
- Former NFL safety Matt Bowen breaks down LSU cornerback Patrick Peterson in press coverage.
- Jon Gruden talks NFL with ESPN favorite and likely future bust Cam Newton:
- Bunting talks more draft rumors:
“Southern Cal OT Tyron Smith is getting a lot of interest from the Cowboys at nine, but I am also hearing they like Missouri DE Aldon Smith a lot and would love to pair him opposite DeMarcus Ware off the edge.
If Smith is there for the Cowboys I’ve got a feeling he is a virtual lock here. They needs a tackle as Marc Colombo is on his last legs and Smith is the consensus as the best tackle in the draft.
- Andy Benoit at CBSSports.com isn’t buying the Mark Ingram to Miami Dolphins line. Many mock drafts have them drafting the Alabama running back. One reason the Dolphins might not be anxious to draft Ingram is because, as Kelly reports, DeAngelo Williams appears to be interested in signing there. Williams told WMAQ (via Darin Gantt at the Charlotte Observer) that one of the factors that will influence his decision will be what happens at quarterback.:
“I know they’ve had a lot of talk about the quarterback situation here in Miami, we’ve had a lot of talk about it in Charlotte too. It’s all going to boil down to quarterbacks. in this league, the running game is predicated on whether you have a quarterback or not. If you don’t have a quarterback, teams will stack the box and they force you to do what you do best. …
“It’s basically going to boil down to who has the better quarterback, or who’s making the conscious effort to go out and find a quarterback or mold a quarterback they already have into a championship caliber quarterback.”
- Many mock drafts have the Bengals taking a defensive end a#4 but former NFL defensive tackle John Thorton at allproblogger.com doesn’t see the need for it. He prefers wide receiver A. J. Green.
- The Tennessee Titans are on the clock at ESPN:
One Final Thought
Apparently Illinois governor Pat Quinn is on the border of welshing on his bet with Wisconsin governor Scott Walker. From Jim Singl at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel via Brad Biggs at the National Football Post:
“So, that means Quinn has yet to show up decked out in his best green and gold gear at a Wisconsin food pantry. What gives? Is he weaseling out, Singl asked?
“’No, no, no, absolutely not,’ Quinn’s spokesman Grant Klinzman said. ‘He fully intends to live up to the terms of the bet.’
“That’s nice. Was Quinn planning on settling up anytime soon or does the NFL lockout have him really down in the dumps?
“’He’s a very, very busy guy,’ Klinzman said. ‘I think you guys have been pretty busy, as well.’”