Feeling the draft

Feeling the draft

Posted by Bob LeGere on Wed, 03/09/2011 - 00:25
With all the mock drafts out there, it’s interesting to see what others project the Bears to do with the 29th overall pick. So far, I’ve seen everything from logical to wishful thinking to highly unlikely to major reach. The logical: Illinois DT Corey Liuget, Oregon State DT Stephen Paea, Wisconsin OT Gabe Carimi. Wishful thinking: Boston College OT Anthony Castonzo, Colorado OT Nate Solder. Highly unlikely: Pitt WR Jonathan Baldwin, Georgia OLB Justin Houston. Major reach: Villanova OT Ben Ijalana, Mississippi State OT Derek Sherrod. Liuget makes sense because he has some of the traits that the Bears loved in Tommie Harris when they drafted him 14th overall in 2004. He’s quick and, with his ability to penetrate, can be disruptive in the opposing backfield. The Bears haven’t had a difference maker inside since Harris went to his last Pro Bowl in 2007, and the Cover 2 works best with a major player at the 3 technique. Paea, the Samoan who cranked out 49 reps of 225 pounds in the bench press at the Combine, is a notch below Liuget. But if the Liuget is gone, which is possible, and the Bears are convinced they need a tackle, Paea could play both the 3 technique and nose tackle in their scheme. Carimi might belong in the “wishful thinking” category, but if he happens to fall that far he could be a starter right away. Castonzo and Solder will most likely be gone by No. 29 and if Carimi is off the board, too, the Bears probably wouldn’t reach for Ijalana or Sherrod, although Sherrod gets late-first-round grades from some draft gurus. Baldwin is the kind of big (6-foot-4), fast (4.40 in the 40) wide receiver that would complement the other Bears receivers, but he’s a raw project who can’t be counted on to contribute much for at least a year. Houston is a nice player, but with the money the Bears have tied up in Pro Bowlers Brian Urlacher and Lance Briggs, it’s doubtful they’d drop another bundle on a linebacker. The Bears would be better off re-signing one of their own free agents, Nick Roach or Pisa Tinoisamoa, both of whom have played well when healthy, and using the high pick on a position that isn’t already supremely talented.
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