A Busy Schedule for First Round Picks in New York and Other Points of View


  • Wes Bunting keeps us all sane with draft rumors (it all we’ve got right now).  Here’s what he’s got on the Bears:

“The Bears are said to have taken an interest in South Florida defensive tackle Terrell McClain and he could be an option for Chicago on day two of the draft.”

“Purdue’s Ryan Kerrigan appears to be making a move and could be picked somewhere in the 20-to-30 range. What’s the reason for the jump? Kerrigan is perceived as safe. He might not have the top end potential some of the pass rushers have, but he isn’t as risky, either.”

  • How Bart Hubbuch at the New York Post comes up with running back as the Bears second biggest need behind offensive line I don’t know.  Its true that Chester Taylor’s production wasn’t great but the Bears aren’t going to throw the money they paid him away after one year.  The competition behind Taylor will be fierce between Kahlil Bell and last year’s supplemental draft pick Harvey Unga.  Though he wasn’t tendered an offer free agent Garrett Wolfe is an excellent special teamer and he may still be in the mix before the post draft dust has settled.

The Bears don’t need another running back.

“Bears TE Greg Olsen did what was asked of him last season — he improved as a blocker, which had always the weakest part of his game — and team observers say he’s a better all-around player heading into 2011. We hear the Bears have interest in extending Olsen’s deal beyond ’11, and Olsen would be receptive to those talks, but the league has told team employees not to discuss current players with agents during the lockout. Getting a deal done this year with Olsen, who will be looking to maximize his value in his prime years, could be difficult.”

“Instead of keeping it, young Cliff Forrest insisted on returning the ring to its rightful owner, which he did Saturday morning after flying to Chicago with his family.

“‘I Googled Mr. Perry and saw that he had a disease and had to sell it because of rough times,’ young Cliff said. ‘He only played in one Super Bowl. I thought he would want it more than I did.’”


  • Dan Gantt at the Charlotte Observer writes about Auburn quarterback Cam Newton’s upcoming visit to Carolina.  Most of this article was nonsense from former NFL quarterback and mentor Warren Moon and others that you can throw away.  But this quote from Brad Franchione stood out as something that had the ring of truth.  Franchione coached Newton at Blinn Junior College after he was thrown out of Florida:

“He was the kind of leader (who) would challenge the competitive nature of these guys.  I’d say that during his year here, there were 25 or 30 practices that happened without coaches, because Cam was pushing his teammates.”

“Warren Moon isn’t the only person who thinks race may be a factor in the way the NFL world is perceiving Cam Newton. A high ranking NFL executive, who is white, came to the same conclusion before Moon made his comments. ‘If Newton were white, he’d be the first pick in the draft,’ he said.”

  • Newton’s character concerns are magnified because he is a quarterback.  But qualitatively they’re nothing compared to the ones about teammate defensive tackle Nick Fairly.  Intangibles are one thing.  Outright questions about football character are another thing all together.  Hubbuch reports:

“There’s no doubting Fairley’s ability, but teams have been so put off by concerns about dirty play on the field and a questionable work ethic off it that some are privately comparing him with notorious head case Albert Haynesworth.”

He didn’t want his girl friend to know he was taking it so he tore the label off.

“If the UFL coaches (Jim Fassel, Jerry Glanville, Denny Green and Marty Schottenheimer, among others), and the NFL coaches had a coach-off, might the UFL win?”

One Final Thought

Mike Tanier at the New York Times goes over the potential itinerary for first round draft picks in New York for the first day of the draft.  For instance, this seminar sounds useful:

“3:45 P.M.

“Tweet Like the Pros Workshop

“Rookies get a crash course in social networking from the N.F.L.’s blandest players. Sample PowerPoint slide: “Good — ‘Rise ’n’ Grind’ and ‘Off 2 da gym.’ Bad — ‘I demand da ball more!’ and anything with standard grammar and syntax.”

But everyones favorite is, of course, the main event:

“8 TO 11 P.M.

“First Round of the Draft

“Smile. The entire blogosphere just branded you a reach.”

That’s me.

Quarterback Run May Lead to Potential First Round Trade for Bears

Dan Pompei, writing for the National Football Post, had a comment in his weekly NFL Sunday Blitz feature that might make Bear fans sit up and take notice.  He comments upon the fact that there’s no consensus on the top eight quarterbacks.  These are Blaine Gabbert, Cam Newton, Jake Locker, Ryan Mallet, Christian Ponder, Andy Dalton, Colin Kaepernick, and Ricky Stanzi.

The first two will be gone in the first half of round one.  The last six, however, are a different story.

“‘The all have holes in them,’ an NFC director of college scouting said. ‘So it will be beauty in the eye of the beholder.’

“Despite the fact that all of them have holes in them, they aren’t supposed to last long on draft day. It’s starting to look like all eight could be gone by the end of round three. ‘Teams that think they’ll get the quarterback they want in the second round could be in for a rude awaking,’ the director said. ‘Teams could be trading up to late first round for those guys.’”

As anyone who is reading this knows, the “late first round” means “Chicago Bears territory.”

Certainly the Bears have a history of trading out of the first round.  The relevant theory is one that was addressed recently by Omar Kelly at the South Florida Sun-Sentinel as he mulled over the possibility that the Dolphins might trade down:

“The thought process is two top 60 players are better than one, and I support this approach considering there’s little difference between the 15th rated player and selection No. 45.”

I support this approach as well and – more to the point – so, seemingly, does Bears general manager Jerry Angelo.  Unless there’s a guy there that the organization really likes (center/guard Mike Pouncey comes to mind) I believe Angelo will gladly pull the trigger to trade back into the second round to pick up extra draft picks.

The Bears are far from the only team that will be looking to trade down in the draft and ordinarily I would consider the odds low that they would find a partner at 29 to do it.  But as the excerpt from Pompei’s column indicates, this isn’t an ordinary year.

There are a lot of teams looking for quarterbacks and with free agency coming late, they won’t know if they’ll be able to get one there.   They won’t be desperate enough to spend a top 15 pick on one of those latter six guys where they would all be a reach.  But if other general managers start trading into the latter half of round one to gobble up quarterbacks, those teams aren’t going to be willing to wait until the early second round to see if their guy is still there.

That means the Bears pick at 29 might be in demand.