Any NFL team, including the Bears, wondering if it should risk using a high draft pick on former LSU cornerback Tyrann “Honey Badger” Mathieu, got their answer at the NFL Scouting Combine: “No.”
Mathieu did not play last season after he was kicked off the LSU team, an amazing accomplishment in itself. He has had substance-abuse problems in the past, and his work ethic has frequently been called into question. That was reaffirmed when he managed to bench press 225 pounds just four times.
ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay has some good reasons for the Bears taking Notre Dame’s notorious linebacker Manti Te’o with their first-round draft pick in his latest mock draft.
McShay agrees with most experts that the Bears need offensive line help, but he believes that it’s specifically the left tackle position that cries out for help. The problem is that McShay has the top three blind-side protectors all coming off the board long before the Bears pick 20th.
The uncertainty over the return of unrestricted free agent middle linebacker Brian Urlacher makes Te’o a logical pick, although McShay isn’t convinced that the Notre Dame defender will be an elite player in the NFL.
According to ESPN’s NFL draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr., who conducted a national conference call Wednesday morning, there are three elite offensive left tackles in this year’s rookie crop.
Unfortunately for the Bears, who would love to upgrade their blind-side protection of quarterback Jay Cutler, Kiper believes all three could be off the board before the Bears pick at No. 20.
Kiper currently has Texas A&M’s Luke Joeckel going No. 1 overall to the Chiefs, Central Michigan’s Eric Fisher goings seventh to the Cardinals and Oklahoma’s Lane Johnson being taken by the Rams with the 16th pick.
After his contract was terminated by the Bears Tuesday it appears Johnny Knox’ football-playing career actually ended about a month after his 25th birthday.
That was Dec. 18, 2011, when he suffered the hideous hit that he has been unable to recover from. It’s still out there on YouTube, if you can bear to watch it. Medical professionals have speculated that if the slight, 185-pound Knox weren’t a world-class athlete in peak condition, the clean tackle by 272-pound Anthony Hargrove might have killed him.