“Whether the Bears address their offensive line on the first or second day of the draft, or both, the football absolute at work is the need to get the pick right. Very, very right.
“This is beyond the obvious need to acquire talent now. It involves not having to go after the same position again and again if there’s a miss near the top of the draft. Because the cost of a failed pick ripples into subsequent drafts, as the Bears have found too often.”
“Replacing players because of age or free-agency departures is part of the deal. But needing to address the same position year after year is a hidden disaster.”
I’ve often said that the Bears need impact players – and they do. But even more than that the player needs to be a solid hit. It has to be a guy you can plug in to a position that you can now forget about as a need for years to come.
I don’t think the Bears can afford to go with a boom or bust guy here.
- Mike Florio is doing team needs for the NFC North this year for profootballtalk.com. I’ll give Florio credit for going against convention as he thinks wide receiver is their number one need:
“Stubbornly refusing to attempt to upgrade the position last offseason, the Bears probably will take their chances once again with [Johnny] Knox, Devin Hester, Earl Bennett, and whoever else they can muster. They shouldn’t.”
- Bob LeGere at the Daily Herald disagrees with Florio:
“The Bears have do have their share of shortcomings at wide receiver. But QB Jay Cutler is capable of making each and every one of their pass catchers better – as long as he has an offensive line that can protect him. That’s the Bears’ No. 1 priority in the draft.”
Along with virtually everyone else I’m inclined to agree with LeGere. I don’t like the receivers anymore than Florio does (or LeGere for that matter). But I’d put wide receiver third or fourth on the list after upgrading at the line of scrimmage.
- Florio also thinks running back is a need ahead of cornerback. Though I have no problem with the Bears upgrading at the position, Chester Taylor’s contract is such that he’s going to get another year to show he can perform. The Bears took Harvey Unga in the supplemental draft last year and probably still want to give Garrett Wolfe and Kahlil Bell their shot to compete for jobs this sumer. If they see someone they really like, they could take him late but otherwise I think the Bears are full up here.
- Michael C. Wright at ESPNChicago.com talks about the Bears need at center. He lists the top 20 prospects at the position and the round they are projected to go in, giving an overall draft positional grade of “C-“. But Wright doesn’t account for most of the guards that are thought to be center prospects as well, including Florida’s Mike Pouncey. Add them into the mix and the Bears could pick up a good one if they choose to go that route.
- Though its unlikely the Beas will take one very high, it is possible they will go receiver somewhere in the draft. Matt Waldman, writing for the New York Times, profiles his third and fourth best receivers, Randall Cobb and Greg Little, respectively:
- More trouble for South Florida defensive back Mistral Raymond, a potential Bear target. Via Vaughn McClure at the Chicago Tribune.
- Peter King at SI.com thinks Mike Mayock might be headed for the Thursday Night booth on the NFL Network. Sounds like an improvement to me.
- Dave Miller at the National Football Post has a source that says the odds of Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor entering the NFL Supplementary draft are about 40%. Pryor tweets that he’s staying. We’ll see. I’m willing to wait and see how he develops this year at Ohio State if he stays but if he declares and comes out, I’m calling him a bust waiting to happen. I can’t imagine him as anything better than a late second or early third round pick and that’s assuming ESPN hypes him like they have Cam Newton.
- The Bears aren’t the only franchise that has trouble drafting quarterbacks. In speaking of the possibility that the Raiders might draft Nevada quarterback Colin Kaepernick, Jerry McDonald at the Contra Costa Times points to their record of woe:
“Projecting and developing drafted quarterbacks is one of the worst things the Raiders do as a franchise. Al Davis hasn’t nailed one since 1968, when he took quarterbacks in the first two rounds with second-round pick Ken Stabler (No. 58 overall) quickly surpassing first-round pick Eldredge Dickey (No. 25) and leading the franchise to its first Super Bowl title in addition to winning the Most Valuable Player award.”
- Todd McShay and Mel Kiper talk second tier quarterbacks on ESPN. It can’t be said enough that these evaluations are critical for the Bears as teams may look to trade up either with them or in front of them to get into the first round to take one:
- Tom Pelissero at 1500ESPN.com insists that the Vikings like Jake Locker and thinks they may go ahead and take him at #12. That would be a lot higher than most project:
“’His motion was off [last year],’ the NFC executive said. ‘His release point was all over the place. So, guess what? Now, it’s pretty good. He worked on it, fixed it in the offseason.’
One Final Thought
As high as Pelissero thinks Locker may go, it may not be high enough. As McShay talks draft in this video he says he thinks the Titans at eight might take Locker ahead of Minnesota. He also thinks the Bengals might draft Julio Jones over A. J. Green in the #4 slot. Those would be some shocking picks: