The Bears are still looking for another pass-rush threat to complement Julius Peppers, and there’s a good chance that Illinois junior Whitney Mercilus will be available when they pick 19th in the first round.
The 6-foot-3 ½-inch, 254-pound Mercilus led the nation with 16 sacks and 9 forced fumbles last season, and he had a Big Ten-best 22 ½ tackles for loss. But, according to Pro Football Weekly’s draft expert Nolan Nawrocki, the Bears shouldn’t draft the one-year wonder, who had a total of 2 sacks in his first two seasons with the Illini.
“Personally, I think it’s too much of a reach just based on the tape,”
Nawrocki said on a conference call Wednesday. Nawrocki believes the Bears would be better off with an offensive lineman, specifically Georgia’s 6-foot-6, 345-pound Cordy Glenn.
“I fully expect the top two tackles, Riley Reiff and Matt Kalil, to be off the board at that point,” Nawrocki said. “I think next you’re looking at guys like Cordy Glenn who could potentially play tackle or guard. I think he’d be a very good fit for the Bears.”
Glenn was a four-year starter for the Bulldogs, and he moved to left tackle last season after playing mostly guard his first three years. The Bears’ have a greater need for a left tackle, but at any spot on the line, Glenn is the type of massive body that offensive line coach Mike Tice prefers.
“He has some of the power that Mike Tice would like,” Nawrocki said. “Last year they had to go to more of a zone-blocking scheme to accommodate … to maximize the talent they had on that roster. I don’t think they had the size or strength that Tice prefers to move defenders off the ball.
“I think Glenn would be a great fit. The big question with Mercilus is, he would be a bit of a reach at that point.”