- Mike Mulligan at the Chicago Sun-Times says that the Bears are lowballing special teams coordinator Dave Toub. Word is that Toub turned down a contract extension. I agree with Mulligan in that this sounds like a pretty stupid move on the team’s part.
- Sam Farmer, writing for the Tribune News Services, talks about the Bears draft:
BEARS: There are several good offensive tackles in this draft, and the Bears should be able to get one with the 29th pick. USC’s Tyron Smith will be long gone, but Mississippi State’s Derek Sherrod or Colorado‘s Nate Solder might be on the board. The Bears also could use a defensive tackle — maybe Baylor’s Phil Taylor or North Carolina‘s Marvin Austin — to fill the Tommie Harris void.
I’m astounded at the number of people who seem to think Phil Taylor is a viable fit for the Bear defense. He’s a nose tackle and though I’ve heard he can play the three-technique, I just don’t see it. Could be wrong.
- Here are the five names Rob Rang at CBSSports.com has on the Bears draft board:
–CB Brandon Harris, Miami (Fla.)
–CB-FS Aaron Williams, Texas
–OT Nate Solder, Colorado
–OT Derek Sherrod, Mississippi State
–OL Danny Watkins, Baylor
- Bob LeGere from the Daily Herald participated in a mock draft for Pro Football Weekly. Solder dropped to the Bears.
- Former NFL safety Matt Bowen writes about what it was like waiting by the phone during the draft for the Chicago Tribune.
- Peter King at SI.com had this nugget for us in his “Monday Morning Quarterback” column:
There’s a team in the draft that has a deal on the table — I’m guessing New England (surprise!) — with a team trying to come back into the first round. The deal will net the team dealing the first-rounder the following: a second-round pick in 2011 and a first-round pick in 2012. The deal, I hear, is contingent on the player the trade-up team wants still being there. Could it be Tennessee trading into the bottom of the first round, at 28, to get Jake Locker or Andy Dalton? Stay tuned.
- Farmer continues with the Vikings needs:
VIKINGS: They need a quarterback and likely have to trade up from No. 12 if they want Auburn’s Cam Newton or Missouri’s Blaine Gabbert. However, there’s a good chance Washington’s Jake Locker, TCU’s Andy Dalton and Arkansas’ Ryan Mallett will be around. Locker is enticing at that spot. Cornerback is a glaring area of need, too, as is defensive tackle, where the Williams Wall once stood.
I think the chances are better than “good” that those quarterbacks will be around when the Vikings pick. Locker would be a reach – which is not to say the Vikings still wouldn’t do it. But I would hardly call him “enticing” that early.
- Speaking of Locker, Greg Gabriel at the National Football Post breaks him down and he’s not pulling any punches:
“At the Senior Bowl practices, it was more of the same. He flashed but overall he was indecisive with his reads. He just didn’t trust what he was seeing and would be late getting the ball out of his hand. This caused accuracy problems and also gave defenders time to make plays. Overall, Locker is going to need a lot of time and good coaching. Because of his football character, I would never want to bet against him but he is a long ways away from being a starting NFL quarterback. He will do whatever it takes to improve, but I’m not sure his lack of natural instincts will ever be able to be overcome. Needless to say I would never draft him in the first round. Because of his intangibles I might want to take a chance in the third if I really had a need at the position.”
- Bill Parcells tells ESPN a little bit about the week of preparation leading to the draft as he previews his draft special tomorrow night:
- ESPN also does one of its “Sports Science” features on Florida’s Mike Pouncey:
- Gerry Fraley at the Dallas Morning News reports that Cowboys team leaders have met with Dez Bryant in an effort to take care of business during the lockout. The Cowboys aren’t allowed to contact Bryant so the players are stepping up to the plate.
- Rick Stroud at the St.Petersburgh Times says that the Buccaneers are planning to release troubled cornerback Aquib Talib. We’ll have a good idea of how true this is if they take a cornerback early in the draft.
- One unidentified Dolphins player summed up the Brandon Marshall situation very well in a text to the Miami Herald:
“And this is supposed to surprise me how?”
Marshall was stabbed by his wife Friday.
One Final Thought
“Finally, this Tweet from our friend Greg Cosell of NFL Films, after examining all the quarterbacks in the draft: ‘Very anxious to see where QBs go. A bad draft but many teams need one. Could be lot of reaches. Not a top 20 QB in draft. It’s about hope.’ That just about says it all.