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Archive for April, 2011

Draft Evaluation, Rounds 1-3…

The first three rounds of the NFL draft are concluded; and if you would have said on Thursday morning that the Bears would end up with 3 players who cold start immediately at OT, DT, and FS, I think I can speak for most Bears fans in saying that we would have been pretty darn excited. The only question I have is this—did we really have to give up that 4th-rounder to get DT Stephen Paea? Was he rated that much higher than Drake Nevis or Terrell McClain, who we could have gotten later? But we drafted good value; all three players were rated higher than where we took them. On to the evaluation of the three picks:

1st Round, Pick #29: GABE CARIMI, OT, WISCONSIN…I had him as the #1-rated OT on my ratings; but I never had him as an option for the Bears because I never expected him to still be there at #29. The only question is whether you put Carimi at LT, or at RT and slide Webb over to LT. Wherever you put Carimi, plug him in from Day 1 and forget about that position for the next 10 years. Nate Solder and Tyron Smith may have the most upside, but Carimi is the most ready to step in this season, and shows that the Bears are trying to WIN NOW. Jay Cutler is a happy man today. Watch a video on Carimi versus fellow 1st-rounders Adrian Clayborn and Cameron Heyward.
See his full scouting report here.

2nd Round, Pick #53: STEPHEN PAEA, DT, OREGON STATE…I don’t mind this pick. Stephen Paea will be a solid player in the NFL. I did not even have him on my scouting report because most people did not have him projected as a fit in the Bears’ cover-2 scheme. He set the NFL combine record for bench presses with 49 REPS at 22 POUNDS–not bad for a guy who barely scrapes 300 pounds. He is not going to get into the backfield and disrupt plays like a Marvin Austin or Drake Nevis. THe only theory I have is that the Bears are moving Henry Melton to the 3-technique tackle. So you need a guy at the other tackle who can take on double teams and be stout against the run. When Tampa Bay had Warren Sapp at the 3-technique, they always had Anthony McFarland at the other tackle, who was stout against the run and never got pushed back—which allowed Sapp to be the player he was. I think Paea can DEFINITELY be that guy. And he has a non-stop motor and plays tough in the trenches. Not a bad pick; but again, I am not sure I would have traded a 4th-rounder to move up an get him. I think once Marvin Austin was picked at #52, the Bears panicked a little and wanted to make sure they got SOMEONE who could upgrade the DT position.
Here is video of Paea against Oregon. and USC. And here puttin up those 49 reps at the combine.
And here is his scouting report.

Round 3, Pick #93: CHRIS CONTE, FS, CALIFORNIA…I had the Bears taking a CB-turned-FS in this draft; just the wrong one. Chris Conte was a backup CB at Cal until this past season, and needless to say he made the transition pretty smoothly. He already has the best range of any of our safeties, and his CB background means he can guard sot WRs and TEs if we switch to man coverage in blitz packages. I know Bears fans are a little bitter about the white DB thing, wth past experiences of Adam Archuleta and Craig Steltz. But Conte is a more fluid athlete than either of those guys, and Major Wright better take notice, or his time as a starting safety for the Bears might be short-lived. And I think this means Danieal Manning is gone.
Here is some video of Cal’s DBs, which include some of Conte.
And a scouting report here.

Anytime you can get 3 (possible) immediate starters in the first 3 rounds, it has to be considered a successful draft so far. That 4th-rounder would have been nice for a WR or LB; so we will have to be sure to draft depth for those positions with our 5th and 6th rounders.

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What the 1st Round Means For the Bears…(and other random thoughts about the draft)

Gabe Carimi became the 1st-round draft pick for the Bears in the 2011 Draft…
– While I was in the camp that the Bears should try to trade down; it became obvious that was probably NOT going to be an option once the top 3 QBs went in the first 10 picks.
-Carimi does represent good value for the Bears at #29;he was ranked 25th or higher in every pre-draft scouting report, and in most of those he was ranked higher than at least one of the OTs that was drafted ahead of him.
-Obviously, the Bears liked Carimi enough to be in talks with the Ravens about trading up (which would have been a HUGE mistake), for fear of the Chiefs taking Carimi two picks before us. But, overall, you have to be happy when you get a guy who you did not have to reach for, that also fills a huge need.
-There is still good value on the board at the other positions of need for the Bears—DT, WR, CB, and LB.
-This might spell the end of the Frank Omiyale experiment in Chicago. The only question is whether the Bears see Carimi at an LT; or if they are going to put him in at RT, and move Webb over to LT. I think this also means that there are absolutely NO PLANS to ever move Chris Williams back to tackle. He will be a guard.
-This means that the Bears have players besides WR Greg Little and DT Marvin Austin that they like at those positions in the 2nd, 3rd, or 4th rounds; because there is a good possibility both of those guys will be gone by the time the Bears pick in the 2nd round.

Thoughts on the Other Picks:

-Carolina will regret the Day they did not take Marcel Dareus or Patrick Peterson with the Number 1 Pick. Cam Newton has all the questions marks that were surrounding Tim Tebow last year—lack of experience under center; inaccurate at times; looks to run too soon—but without the professional attitude. Newton will be out of football before his first contract runs out.
-I know Detroit got good value for Nick Fairley, and I know Minnesota needed a QB, but I am really REALLY glad both of those teams passed on Da’Quan Bowers and Jimmy Smith.
-Pitt WR Jonathan Baldwin = Detroit-era Mike Williams.
-I am scratching my head with the Packers’ pick. Sherrod seems too soft for me; plus the Packers had bigger need on the DL and OLB.


Mock 2011 NFL Draft, Bears-Style…

This will look different than most mock drafts you have seen; as I will attempt to show how the draft might play out from the point of view in the Bears’ Draft Room. The first thing we should do is eliminate players from our “big board” who have little chance of being on the board by the time the Bears pick at #29:

DT Marcell Dareus (Alabama); Nick Fairley (Auburn); Corey Liuget (Auburn)
CBs Patrick Peterson (LSU); Prince Amukamara (Nebraska); Jimmy Smith (Colorado)
WRs Julio Jones (Alabama); AJ Green (Georgia)
OLB Von Miller (Texas A&M)
DE Da’Quan Bowers (Clemson); Cameron Jordan (California); Ryan Kerrigan (Purdue); Aldon Smith (Missouri); JJ Watt (Wisconsin)
OTs Anthony Costanzo (Boston College); Tyron Smith (USC)
OG Mike Pouncey (Florida)
QBs Cameron Newton (Auburn); Blaine Gabbert (Missouri)

No matter the mock draft, the consensus is that those 18 guys will, in some order, be picked in the first 28 picks of the draft. The next group of players are guys that are rated to be gone before the Bears pick in some mock drafts, but still available in other mock drafts:

QBs Ryan Mallett (Arkansas); Andy Dalton (TCU); Jake Locker (Washington)
RB Mark Ingram (Alabama)
OTs Gabe Carimi (Wisconsin); Nate Solder (Colorado); Derek Sherrod (Mississippi State)
OG Danny Watkins (Baylor);
DT Muhammad Wilkerson (Temple); Phil Taylor (Baylor)
DEs Adrian Clayborn; Cameron Heyward (Ohio State)
LB Akeem Ayers (UCLA)
CBs Brandon Harris (Miami); Aaron Williams (Texas)

Should these guys be available at #29, you can eliminate the 3 QBs as possibilities. I think you can also strike Ingram off of the list as a potential draft pick of the Bears; a) his injuries would concern me, and b) there are too many other needs on the board. The 2 DTs I think are not options for the Bears—Taylor is more of a 3-4 NT, and Wilkerson as a prospect reminds me too much of Jarron Gilbert for me to not be scared off. Akeem Ayers can be eliminated too, he is more of a 3-4 OLB and doesn’t possess the mobility the Bears look for in a OLB. Which leaves the 4 offensive line prospects, the 2 defensive ends; and the 2 cornerbacks. Of that group, I think the only one that we cannot find equal talent for in the second round would be Solder. The other OTs are probably better suited for RT in the NFL, and Webb did a good job there last season. Watkins might be a possibility; but again, I think equal value can be found in the 2nd or 3rd rounds. Clayborn and Heyward would be good fits; but only if we make the decision to mover Idonije back inside. And the 2 cornerbacks do not offer much value here—especially with guys like Davin House & Ras-I Dowling available in the second round.

In other words, unless Solder is available at #29; the best-case scenario for the Bears would be for just one or two of the top 6 QBs (Dalton, Ponder, Locker, or Mallett) to still be on the board at pick #29. Then, you can have a team like the 49ers, Vikings, Cardinals, etc. looking to trade back up into the 1st round, and you can drop down to the mid-second round, still get the same value at a position of need, and add an additional 3rd or 4th-round pick—which will give great value in this draft at WR, LB, and DB. Especially if only one or two of those QBs are left by the 29th pick—teams will be extra desperate to come up and land one of those guys.

So, in my perfect dream world, here is how the Bears Draft would play out (I will be realistic as to which guys might still be available at those picks)—

Round 1, Pick #29: Trade with 49ers…49ers receive Bears 1st Round Pick (#29 Overall); Bears receive 49ers 2nd Round Pick (#45 Overall) and 49ers 3rd Round Pick (#76) Overall.

Round 2, Pick #45 (From 49ers): Benjamin Ijalana, OG/OT, Villanova – not a big fan of small-school prospects, but he wowed scouts at the Senior Bowl and had a tremendous Pro Day. He can also play 3 spots along the offensive line, something our management covets in a O-line prospect. Received a first-round grade in some scouting websites.
2nd Choice: Orlando Franklin, OG/OT, Miami – He is big; he is nasty, and he can also play any spot across the line.
3rd Choice: Rodney Hudson, OG/C, Florida State – He is a little smaller than the Bears would like; but he is a guy that can step in right away in guard, and take over for Kreutz at center for the next decade.

Round 2, Pick #62: Ras-I Dowling, CB, Virginia – He is a big (6’2″, 200), physical corner who is a perfect fit for a cover-2 scheme. Would have been a first-rounder had he come out last season; but had a down year in 2010. DT and WR might be a more pressing need than CB, but this would be BY FAR the best payer available on the board at this point.
2nd Choice: Davon House, CB, New Mexico State – Built much like Dowling; maybe not as physical, but faster. He has been rising on draft boards since all post-season long. On tape, looks like Charles Tillman’s clone.
3rd Choice: James Carpenter, OT, Alabama. It would not be my preference to go o-line with both of the first 2 picks; but Carpenter has been rising up draft boards and looks like he could be a future star at OT.

Round 3, Pick #76 (from 49ers): Greg Little, WR, North Carolina – a converted RB who plays WR, he is at his best when playing underneath and running after the catch. Alot like Anquan Boldin or an old Cutler ex-teammate, Brandon Marshall. He does have some reported attitude issues. But if his head is on right, he could be a steal.
2nd Choice: Terrell McClain, DT, USF – The Bears have shown alot of interest in this guy; haven’t seen too much of him, and I personally like Drake Nevis better; but you know if the Bears like him, they will have no problem taking him here.
3rd Choice: DeMarco Murray, RB, Oklahoma – definitely not a need pick, but he is big, catches out of the backfield well, ran a 4.3 40 at his Pro Day, and would be a good change-of-pace back for Forte, and insurance if Forte cannot be re-signed.

Round 3, Pick #93: Drake Nevis, DT, LSU – His size does not make him an immediate candidate to be an every-down player, but has great in-the-trench instincts, great motor, and always stepped up his play against the big-time teams and players. The closest thing to 2006 Tommie Harris in this draft.
2nd Choice: Tandon Doss, WR, Indiana – He should be a really good underneath, possession-type WR for Cutler.
3rd Choice: Taiwan Jones, RB, Eastern Washington- 4.29, That is all.

Round 4, Pick #127: Chris Conte, S, California – A true FS with range; also adds depth and talent for special teams with the possibility of Danieal Manning, Bullocks, and Steltz not being back.
2nd Choice: Mario Harvey, LB, Marshall – Here is a guy with size (), speed (), and hits like a truck. Maybe an option at SLB until Urlacher retires.
3rd Choice: Jah Reid, OT/OG, UCF – Here is another of those offensive linemen who can play multiple positions. Maybe worth a look here at the end of the 4th round.

5th Round, Pick #160: Joseph Barksdale, OT, LSU – Big as a house; battle tested. Plus, you know how Angelo loves to draft a) players from the SEC; and b) Multiple players from the same school (Nevis).
2nd Choice: DeMarcus Love, OG/OT, Arkansas – See Above. A Big guy from the SEC, plus he plays multiple positions.
3rd Choice: Chris L Rucker, CB/FS, Michigan State – A guy who had trouble staying healthy and out of trouble in Lansing; but has first-round size and talent.

6th Round: Adrian Moten, OLB, Maryland – Could contribute on special teams and add LB depth.
2nd Choice: Doug Hogue, OLB, Syracuse Same as above.
3rd Choice: Alex Linnenkohl, C, Oregon State – Good late-round value and possible heir-apparent to Olin Kreutz.

So if the draft plays out the way I hope, here would be the Bears’ draft haul:

Benjamin Ijalana, OT/OG, Villanova
Ras-I Dowling, CB, Virginia
Greg Little, WR, North Carolina
Drake Nevis, DT, LSU
Chris Conte, S, California
Joseph Barksdale, OT, LSU
Adrian Moten, LB, Maryland

The only other thing I would have liked to have come out of this draft with would be maybe a change-of-pace back to replace Chester Taylor; and maybe another DE for depth. But I could see 3 immediate starters, and 5 eventual starters out of this group.


Road to the Draft…Part Nine – Cornerbacks

One of the primary appeals for teams running the Cover-2 scheme is that it lessens the need for true, man-to-man, “shutdown” cornerbacks. In Tampa, they got by with Ronde Barber and Brian Kelly—good players, but they were never reminding anyone of Deion Sanders or Champ Bailey. Corners instead have to be able to tackle well, read quarterbacks, and force turnovers.
Virtually unnoticed, Charles Tillman has ably manned one of the corner spots for the Bears for the better part of a decade. He had one of his best seasons in 2010, and stayed healthy for the first time in a few years. However, he is getting older, slower, and more injury prone, and the need is here to find a capable successor. At the other corner, Zack Bowman lasted all of about 5 quarters as a starter in 2010. Maybe it was complacency, maybe an undisclosed injury—but he made enough bad plays for one season in the first game versus the Lions. Tim Jennings, picked up off of the Colts’ scrap heap, started the remainder of the season in Bowman’s spot, and was not terrible—but he is very small and is more suited to being a backup than a true starter in the NFL. DJ Moore had a good season in his first as nickleback; but again, his size may limit him from being anything more than that. Josh Moore was drafted in the fourth round in 2010, and was essentially redshirted while looking to improve on the World Record for Fewest Bench Presses at the NFL Combine. Other than Defensive Tackle and Offensive Line, this is probably the biggest position of need for the Bears in the upcoming draft. Here are the guys available:

1st Round: Patrick Peterson (LSU); Prince Amukamara (Nebraska); Jimmy Smith (Colorado); Brandon Harris (Miami); Aaron Williams (Texas).
2nd Round: Ras-I Dowling (Virginia); Davon House (New Mexico State); Chimdi Chekwa (Ohio State); Curtis Brown (Texas); Brandon Burton (Utah).
3rd Round: Shareece Wright (USC); Marcus Gilchrist (Clemson); Johnny Patrick (Louisville); Jalil Brown (Colorado).
4th Round: Curtis Marsh (Utah State); Brandon Hogan (West Virginia); Buster Skrine (Chattanooga); Rashad Carmichael (Virgina Tech).
5th Round: Cortez Allen (Citadel); Anthony Gaitor (FIU); Chykie Brown (Texas).
6th-7th Rounds: Chris L. Rucker (Michigan State): Ryan Jones (NW Missouri State); DeMarcus Van Dyke (Miami); Kendric Burney (North Carolina).

The good thing about this draft is that it is loaded with bigger, physical, zone-type cornerbacks. It is highly doubtful that Peterson, Amukamara, or Jimmy Smith will still be on the board at #29 for the Bears. However, second-rounders like Dowling and House are big, fast, and physical—and could no doubt step in and play right away. Getting a guy that can step in and play right away could open the door for Charles Tillman to make a move to Free Safety—not only extending Tillman’s career—but teaming him with Chris Harris could give us the most impressive safety combos we have had here in some years. It is more likely that the Bears will address needs on both lines in the early rounds, and try to pick up one or two late-round prospects. Rucker and Burney had off-field issues while in school; but both had 1st-round grades as recently as 2009. Van Dyke was not a star at Miami; but he is taller and ran a sub-4.3 40 at the combine.
Fact is, the presence of Stafford/Megatron/Pettigrew in Detroit; and Rodgers/Jennings/Driver/Nelson/Finley in Green Bay dictates our need for cornerback depth.


Road to the Draft…Part Eight – Safeties

This is a position that has been much maligned for the past few seasons; in fact, it seems that we haven’t had a pair of reliable safeties since the days of Mike Brown and Tony Parrish early in the decade. Last season, Danieal Manning was moved to SS, Chris Harris was brought back from the Panthers to play FS, and Major Wright was drafted in the 3rd round of the draft to spell both of those guys and develop into a starter. Manning and Harris played solidly, if not spectacularly. Wright showed flashes in the preseason, but was plagued by injuries. And when he was in there; he was rarely around the ball.
Going into this season, Harris will return to start at one safety spot. Manning turned down a contract extension offered by the Bears; he probably will not be back. reserves Craig Steltz and Josh Bullocks do not appear to be part of the team’s long-term plans. So that leaves Major Wright to start at the other safety spot, if by nothing else than the process of elimination. Veteran Free Agents such as OJ Atogwe and Bob Sanders have been passed over by the Bears, giving the indication that they feel good going into this season with Harris and Wright as the starters; or that the team has a guy targeted in the draft. So here are the prospects, as always, click on the name for a scouting video/report:

1st Round: None.
2nd Round: Rahim Moore (UCLA); Quinton Carter (Oklahoma).
3rd Round: DeAndre McDaniel (Clemson); Tyler Sash (Iowa); Chris Conte (California); Ahmad Black (Florida).
4th Round: Robert Sands (West Virginia); DaNorris Searcy (North Carolina); Chris Culliver (South Carolina);
5th Round: Jaiqwan Jarrett (Temple); Jeron Johnson (Boise State); Deunta Williams (North Carolina); Shiloh Keo (Idaho).
6th-7th Rounds: Jerrard Tarrant (Georgia Tech); Joe Lefeged (Rutgers); Mistral Raymond (South Florida); Jermale Hines (Ohio State); Nate Williams (Washington); Eric Hagg (Nebraska); Dom DiCicco (Pittsburgh).

I am not sure that the Bears spend a first or second day pick on this position; there is enough value at other positions of greater need that should be available then. But they should spend a third day pick on some depth and someone to help on special teams. Culliver, who should be available in the fourth round has a 40-time that really jumps out at you; he also has experience playing CB and FS in college—so you know he can matchup coverage-wise with slot WRs and TEs. Ahmad Black might slip into the third day because of a slow 40-time at his pro day; but he is a guy who could step right in and star on special teams and is a perfect match for a cover-2 safety, as far as his skill-set goes. If they Bears do not draft a safety at all; expect them to try to keep Steltz or Bullocks for depth.


Road to the Draft…Part Seven – Running Backs

Again, from the outside this would not stand out as a position of immediate need for the Bears. But Garrett Wolfe is a free-agent and I expect (HOPE) that he will not be re-signed. Matt Forte is in the final year of his rookie contract, and the Bears may not be in a position to out-bid another team for him in 2012. And Chester Taylor averaged 2 yards per carry after signing the big free-agent deal to come over from the Vikings. Harvey Unga was taken in the supplemental draft last season, and should push for carries this upcoming season—but he looks like a #2 Rb in this league, at best. So the Bears could be looking for a RB in the upcoming draft as a) a replacement for Chester Taylor; and b) insurance should Forte not be re-signable in 2012. Here are the prospects (Click on the name to see a scouting report):

1st Round: Mark Ingram (Alabama); Mikel Leshoure (Illinois).
2nd Round: Ryan Williams (Virginia Tech); DeMarco Murray (Oklahoma); Daniel Thomas (Kansas State).
3rd Round: Kendall Hunter (Oklahoma State); Jordan Todman (Connecticut); Shane Vereen (California).
4th Round: Taiwan Jones (Eastern Washington); Delone Carter (Syracuse); Jacquizz Rodgers (Oregon State); Jamie Harper (Clemson).
5th Round: Roy Helu (Nebraska); Alex Green (Hawaii); Derrick Locke (Kentucky).
6th Round: Bilal Powel (Louisville); Stevan Ridley (LSU); Darel Scott (Maryland).
7th Round: Evan Royster (Penn State); Dion Lewis (Pittsburgh); Noel Devine (West Virginia).

I think alot of what the Bears do in this draft at RB will be dependent upon how optimistic they are about signing Forte to a long-term deal in the near future. If they feel confident they can lock Forte up, with Unga in the fold to handle the big-back duties, I could see the Bears taking a flyer in the later rounds on a smaller, faster back-Like Taiwan Jones, Derrick Locke, or Noel Devine. If they have concerns about re-signing Forte, it may motivate the team to look hard at an all-purpose back like Todman or Vereen in the 3rd or 4th rounds. The problem I see with most of the early-round backs (Ingram, R. Williams, Murray) is that they all have been injured at times through college. Another guy to keep an eye on is Dion Lewis, who was being called the next Emmitt Smith after leading the NCAA in rushing as a true freshman, but has fallen off the map the last two seasons. You do not lead the NCAA in rushing yards at a BCS conference school as a freshman without having some talent, so he maybe worth a flyer in the 7th round, if he still there.


Road to the Draft…Part Six – Linebackers

From the outside, one might say that the Bears are in a better place at the linebacker spot than any other position on the team. MLB Brian Urlacher and OLB Lance Briggs have played together now for 8 seasons; they are both perennial Pro Bowlers, and both fit exactly what you need from a linebacker in a Cover-2 defense—fast in pursuit, solid tacklers, and always going for the ball.
The problem for the Bears is that when you look at the depth chart, the only other player with NFL game-experience is Brian Iwuh, who played a couple games in relief of Briggs. The other LBs currently on the roster? Chris Johnson from South Dakota State, and Patrick Trahan from Mississippi. Have you ever heard of either of those guys? ME EITHER. In addition, Briggs will be 30 and Urlacher 33 at the start of the season; and while they have been relatively-speaking pretty durable, they will not play forever. While we might re-sign Nick Roach, Pisa Tinoisamoa, or Rod Wilson to fill the void at SLB next season, we desperately need an infusion of depth at LB.
One thing that does worry me about the idea of drafting LBs is that Jerry Angelo and Lovie Smith have not been very good at it. Since stealing Briggs in the third round in 2003, here are the LBs that Angelo and Smith have picked: Joe Odom (Purdue); Leon Joe (Maryland); Jamar Williams (Arizona State); Michael Okwo (Stanford); Joey Larocque (Oregon State); Marcus Freeman (Ohio State). Two problems I see with the philosophy here are that a) the Bears have usually been unwilling to invest anything higher than a 4th round pick on a linebacker; and b) when they do—Okwo and Williams—they seem to pass over the better overall LB prospect to take a guy who might fit the Cover-2 better. Keep in mind that when you look at Urlacher, he is not a guy who would have EVER been drafted to play in thid defense—but he has done okay for himself, right?
MY POINT—A GOOD LINEBACKER CAN PLAY IN ANY SYSTEM.
Anyway, on with the prospects. We will leave out the college DEs who are switching to 3-4 OLBs. Click on the player name to link to his draft scouting report:
OUTSIDE LINEBACKERS
1st Round: Von Miller (Texas A&M); Akeem Ayers (UCLA).
2nd Round: Bruce Carter (North Carolina).
3rd Round: Mason Foster (Washington); Lawrence Wilson (Connecticut);
4th Round: KJ Wright (Mississippi State); Ross Homan (Ohio State).
5th Round: Brian Rolle (Ohio State); Adrian Moten (Maryland); Doug Hogue (Syracuse).
6th-7th Rounds: Mark Herzlich (Boston College); Scott Lutrus (Connecticut); JT Thomas (West Virginia); Jabara Williams (Stephen F Austin); Eric Gordon (Michigan State); Michael Morgan (USC); Malcolm Smith (USC); Jacquain Williams (USF).

INSIDE LINEBACKERS
1st Round: Martez Wilson (Illinois).
2nd Round: Quan Sturdivant (North Carolina).
3rd Round: Greg Jones (Michigan State).
4th Round: Colin McCarthy (Miami); Kelvin Sheppard (LSU); Nate Irving (North Carolina State).
5th Round: Casey Matthews (Oregon); Josh Bynes (Auburn).
6th-7th Round: Mike Mohamed (California); Chris White (Mississippi State); Mario Harvey (Marshall); Jeff Tarpinian (Iowa); Kendall Smith (Florida State); Cobrani MIxon (Kent State).

The Bears typically look for linebackers who can a)fly to the ball; b)tackle well; and c) play on special teams. Unless the unthinkable happens, and Von Miller or Martez Wilson fall to us at the end of the first round, do not expect the Bears to address the strongside linebacker position or depth at linebacker in general until the 4th round or later.
At OLB, guys who intrigue me for the third day of the draft are Adrian Moten & Doug Hogue as 4th or 5th rounders; and Malcolm Smith and Jacquain Williams in the 6th or 7th rounds. At MLB, I do expect the Bears to draft a ‘measurables’ guy to perhaps groom as Urlacher’s replacement on the third day—Colin McCarthy in the 4th round, or Mario Harvey and Cobrani MIxon in the 6th or 7th rounds. All of these guys could be special teams dynamos from day one; and in the case of Martez Wilson, Adrian Moten, and Colin McCarthy, they could even have a chance to win the strongside LB job as a rookie.