- Bears site has this rather nice summary video of what GM Jerry Angelo and Director of Player Personnel Tim Ruskell had to say at the Bears pre-draft press conference:
- Mike Mulligan at the Chicago Sun-Times says the Bears have targeted four to six players at four positions for their pick:
“‘And that is important,’ Ruskell said, ‘because when you start thinking about the possibility of trading down, you want to at least have half as many guys that you would like as the number of picks that you would go down. That’s kind of a rule of thumb. That’s not in stone, but Jerry and I have talked about that.”’
- Sean Jensen at the Sun-Times thinks those positions are probably offensive and defensive line, linebacker and cornerback. I concur.
- One of the things that Angelo said in the Bears press conference struck me, as it apparently did Neil Hayes of the Chicago Sun-Times:
“[Bill] Parcells made the statement a long time ago when I was with New York,” Angelo said during a pre-draft press conference at Halas Hall on Thursday. “He said, ‘You know what I like about this draft, Jerry? Every guy that we drafted, we like. You guys like him and we like him.'”
“That kind of stuck with me. That’s very important because for the player to be successful, he’s got to have a feel-good from everybody. It can’t just be from the scouts or one coach or the averages are working against you.”
One thing that is very evident about Angelo is that he has stuck with this philosophy from the moment he hired Lovie Smith. Angelo is a consensus builder and this quote explains the root origin of that attitude.
- Brad Biggs at the Chicago Tribune quotes Angelo after he was asked about Derek Sherrod and Marvin Austin, the two players who have probably been connected to the Bears the most often in mock drafts. Angelo certainly didn’t sound like he had ruled Austin out due to character concerns:
“I always say this: ‘We just don’t want any surprises on draft day when we bring a player in here.’ We’re not looking for halo players. We’re in a business to win football games. But we have to know what’s underneath the hood. That’s the challenge of scouting. The easy part is evaluating the tape. The hard part is knowing how the player is wired. He’s a great player, but there were concerns. We’re satisfied we know them.”
- Angelo indicated he’d be looking for a developmental quarterback in the late rounds. Biggs points out some possibilities.
- After months of speculation from draft experts that there’d be nothing left for the Bears at #29 Dan Pompei at the Chicago Tribune thinks the Bears might have a shot at getting a very good player after all:
“With so many quarterbacks moving up, players at other positions — maybe even coveted offensive linemen — could drop to the Bears.
“Angelo said Thursday he expects up to seven offensive linemen to be chosen in the first round. They likely are USC tackle Tyron Smith, Colorado tackle Nate Solder, Boston College tackle Anthony Castonzo, Florida guard/center Mike Pouncey, Wisconsin tackle Gabe Carimi, Mississippi State tackle Derek Sherrod and Baylor guard Danny Watkins.”
- Angelo doesn’t see the Bears picking up a number 1 receiver but he does like the group and didn’t rule out taking one at some point. Via Biggs.
- Richard Dent will join a number of other retired NFL stars to announce the second round picks Friday.
- Pompei reviews the defensive ends in the draft. He thinks the Bears should grab one if he falls. I’d agree with that most year even if I didn’t see a need.
- Both Pompei and Michael C. Wright at ESPNChicago.com go over the safeties in the draft. Pompei didn’t pull any punches as he described the group:
“Front-office men are calling this one of the worst safety classes ever.”
With Danieal Manning on the free agent market, the Bears might be looking for one anyway. Thank heavens it isn’t imperative that it be a free safety. They’re even tougher to find.
- Both Jeff Dickerson and Wright at ESPNChciago.com have the Bears taking Baylor guard Danny Watkins with their pick. I’ve personally been riding high on Watkins and I’m seeing his name associated with the Bears more and more recently in mock drafts. As far as I can tell his only real downside is his age, which is 26.
- I’m not really writing much about the lockout except things that directly affect what happens on the field (once they get there). But I can’t help saying that unless Robbie Gould is prepared to tells us that there’s been compromise and they’re getting ready to play football, I don’t want to hear any more about him or his finger pointing.
- Elliot Harris at NFL.com points out what an incredible indicator winning and losing the Kickoff Game is for the kind of season a team is likely to have.
- Wright goes over the good tight ends in the draft. He had to include a lot of the bad ones, too, because its a pretty miserable year.
- Matt Waldman at the New York Times ranks Adam Froman as the fourth best quarterback in the draft. That’s the first I’ve heard him rated that high. If Waldman’s right, someone is going to take this guy late and get a heck of a good value.
- Pat Kirwan at NFL.com talks about the fact that what you are looking for in a defensive end in the draft varies from team to team:
“However, with half the league in a 3-4 defense and the other half in a 4-3, teams are looking for different types of ends to play in their schemes. The 3-4 teams want a tall, long-armed athlete who is stout enough to hold the line of scrimmage at the off-tackle run lane. The 4-3 teams are looking for more speed to get up field and will sacrifice some size for quickness.”
- Kevin Seifert points to what GM Martin Mayhew had to say at the Lions pre-draft news conference about defensive end Da’Quan Bowers. Bowers is a developing story in the draft:
“[It was a] typical Mayhew answer that tells us the Lions have some concerns about Bowers but haven’t ruled him out as a possible draft pick. I wouldn’t expect him to say anything less, although it is interesting he has acknowledged that a medical issue exists. Bowers and his agent have insisted the knee is fully healed.“
- I found Mayhew’s comments via Chris McCosky at The Detroit News to be consistent with what teams are saying about cornerback Jimmy Smith:
“‘There is a threshold you can fall beyond where we would not consider a player,’ Mayhew said. ‘A failed drug test is a cause for concern, but it doesn’t knock you out of the running to be drafted.’
“Mayhew reiterated he has done exhaustive research into Smith and his character issues and he’s come away impressed.
“‘I had a great talk with Jimmy and I felt much better about him,’ Mayhew said. ‘I spoke with his position coach, Ashley Ambrose who is now coaching at Cal, and Ashley had nothing but great things to say about him. I definitely feel better about Jimmy now than before I met him.”
First of all, it wasn’t “a failed drug test”. It was four.
Second, the line on him is that his trouble is that he’s a follower. I haven’t a single doubt that this is a nice kid who means well when he says that he’s going to leave his bad influences behind after he’s drafted. But is he really going to turn his back upon the first old friend to call him in his new home for help and friendship? From what I’ve heard, I really doubt that he’s the type to do it.
I wouldn’t touch him anywhere higher than the end of the first round and then only if I really needed a defensive back.
- Lori Nickel at the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel quotes Packers GM Ted Thompson with one of the many reasons to try to take the best available player at your slot in the draft rather than decide strictly on need:
“You don’t know what your needs are going to be. You might think you have a need at the end of April or you may think you have a strong position at the end of April, but you don’t know where that’s going to be come Aug. 1, as we found out this season.”
- In the spirit of the season, the boys over at The Sports Pickle have gotten athletes to talk about their favorite Easter candy. Here’s a sample:
One Final Thought
How do athletes pick up the opposite sex in bars? Now we know: