Ahh…. It’s that time of year again – NFL draft. Now, we Bear fans can watch this weekend to see who will be joining the Bears in their ’07 Super Bowl march. This year however – THE BEARS will win! The BEARS BEARDS will be be back in Peoria before we know it! RAAAAAR!
Thanks to ESPN, (SEE BELOW PICKS) we’ll look at some of the top picks along with the picks the experts are picking for the Bears.
**UPDATE** The Trib wrote this morning that a Briggs deal to either the Redskins or Denver is now unlikely. I really thought the Bears were going to make a move. Maybe they can get a marriage counselor for the two side now…..
QB- The Bears will again have issues at the QB position in ’07, but, are not in a position to draft a high-profile college player. Sexy Rexy showed what he was made of in the Superbowl. I realize Grossman wasn’t helped a lot by the Bears defense in XLI, but he made some key mistakes toward the end of the Game. Special teams and the defense carried the team this year. The Bears need a fourth quarter QB. Not a guy who is distracted by his New Years plans, and worries about next years contract. Rumor had it that Grossman was going to demand TOP-10 pay based on the fact the Bears won the Super Bowl. Demand away dude and see what you get. No early QB pick for the Bears. They need to focus on O-Line and D-Line.
D-Line Needs- Most experts believe the Bears are going with a LB. This is probably insurance for Briggs. Briggs could still be traded before the draft. The top teams out there for Briggs appears to be either Washington or Denver. We’ll see how this works out, but don’t be surprised if the Bears trade Briggs for the 21 Denver pick. Jarvis Moss is one option as is Jon Beason – if they can move up far enough to get him. Its a bit of a strech to think Moss or Beason will be around for the 31st pick though.
What the Bears don’t need –I’m praying that the Bears DO NOT take a wide-out. Look what great receivers have done for Detroit the past few seasons – ZIP! Why? Because they have dumpster QB’s and a terrible O-line. Why the heck is Denver so good at running? O-Line. That is the key to a strong running game. A QB is vital to even go after good receiving candidates. Watch – Detroit will get Calvin Johnson and will again ruin a good receiver. The Bears may be faced with having to take Robert Meacham. He might be the only option they have if the middle rounds go on a Defensive run.
BEARDED BEAR PREDICTION– Brady Quinn will be a better NFL quarterback than JaMarcus Russell. The Bears (due to there awesomeness) pick very low this year in the first, but, I wish they could move up to get Quinn. The guy is a ton. Don’t be surprised if you see CLEVELAND make a run at Quinn also. Too bad that most analysts have an ‘underrated’ Brady Quinn going to the Vikings. I don’t like that he’ll be in the NFC North, and the Bears will have to face him twice a year. This mock draft has the Bears taking Jarvis Moss with their 1st round pick. If he’s still there – A GREAT PICK.
ESPN PICKS – I could try to make my own – but why bother…. This is one of the better mock drafts I’ve been able to find. Some are just crazy-bad.
|JaMarcus Russell, QB, LSU
John Clayton, ESPN.com senior NFL writer:With no other quarterback solution available through a trade or free agency, Al Davis has no choice but to take Russell, the strong armed quarterback from LSU.
Davis would love to take Georgia Tech wide receiver Calvin Johnson, but he has admitted that he made a mistake by skipping on a quarterback last year. Barring a last minute Daunte Culpepper trade, Russell is their guy.
|Calvin Johnson, WR, Georgia Tech
John Clayton, ESPN.com senior NFL writer: The Lions want to trade down to take defensive end Gaines Adams or linebacker Patrick Willis, but they have to get the right value. If they can’t get what they want from the Bucs, who want to move up for Johnson, they can take Johnson and still spend time trying to trade him or just decide to keep him. It makes sense. What’s wrong with keeping the best player in the draft if you can’t get the right value? He may be a Lion for 30 minutes until the Bucs make the right trade offer or he might be a Lion at the end of the day.
|Adrian Peterson, RB,
John Clayton, ESPN.com senior NFL writer: With no mandate by owner Randy Lerner to take quarterback Brady Quinn, general manager Phil Savage has his choice of either Peterson or left tackle Joe Thomas. Peterson is a rare running back who could help Romeo Crennel through a September in which the Browns have three AFC North home games.
|Joe Thomas, OT,
John Clayton, ESPN.com senior NFL writer:The Bucs might work out a deal with the Lions to move up to No. 2, but they would be happy if Thomas falls to them at No. 4. He would be their most talented left tackle since Paul Gruber. If the Browns take Thomas, expect the Bucs to get on the phone and intensify trade discussions with the Lions to get Calvin Johnson. The cost is a swap of firsts and maybe a second- and a third-rounder. Offering cornerback Brian Kelly could replace one of the draft choices.
|Jamaal Anderson, DE, Arkansas
Len Pasquarelli, ESPN.com senior NFL writer:Wouldn’t mind trading back a bit and takingPenn
State tackle Levi Brown, although the position isn’t as big a need as it was at the start of the offseason. Gaines Adams is a possibility, but the Cards want to mix in some 3-4 and
Anderson is a little bigger end.
|Amobi Okoye, DT, Louisville
Len Pasquarelli, ESPN.com senior NFL writer: Could move up or down, and
Adams will be tempting here, as will safety LaRon Landry. But Okoye will give them an inside presence they haven’t had in a long time. Also hearing that LaRon Landry could be the pick here.
|Brady Quinn, QB, Notre Dame
Len Pasquarelli, ESPN.com senior NFL writer: Another team that could take
Adams, because the Vikings definitely need a pass rusher. If Peterson somehow falls this far, they snatch him. But Quinn solves the quarterback problem.
|LaRon Landry, S, LSU
Len Pasquarelli, ESPN.com senior NFL writer:Possibly the best defensive player in the entire draft, and the Falcons need a playmaker in the middle of their secondary. Okoye would be tempting if he was here, as would Levi Brown.
|Levi Brown, OT,Penn
John Clayton, ESPN.com senior NFL writer: The Dolphins might consider a trade to No. 6 with the Redskins in order to get Quinn, but Cam Cameron won’t be able to pass on Brown if he’s there at No. 9. The Dolphins are looking for two starters on their offensive line and locking up a top left tackle is a great start.
|Gaines Adams, DE, Clemson
John Clayton, ESPN.com senior NFL writer: At least Texans fans can’t complain about their team taking this pass rusher over a running back. Getting
Adams here would be a dream scenario for Gary Kubiak and a steal. Despite drafting Mario Williams over Reggie Bush last season, the Texans wanted to add another pass rusher in order to put Anthony Weaver at tackle.
|Patrick Willis, LB,
John Clayton, ESPN.com senior NFL writer:Willis was the team captain for 49ers coach Mike Nolan at the Senior Bowl. Now, he can develop into one of the leaders of the 49ers’ revamped 3-4 defense. While many think the 49ers would take a defensive lineman at this spot, Willis is type of playmaker the 49ers can’t pass up.
|Leon Hall, CB,
John Clayton, ESPN.com senior NFL writer: Where’s Marshawn Lynch? He’ll go a little later. Dick Jauron would prefer Willis here, but he’s gone. Jauron believes enough in Anthony Thomas to pass on Lynch and get a running back in the second round. They lost Nate Clements to free agnecy, so Hall fills a need at cornerback.
|Darrelle Revis, CB,
John Clayton, ESPN.com senior NFL writer:The Rams would like a defensive end but Revis is their top cornerback. They might consider wide receiver Robert Meachem, but Revis will pair with last year’s first-round pick, Tye Hill, to give the Rams a solid secondary for years to come.
|Reggie Nelson, S,
Len Pasquarelli, ESPN.com senior NFL writer: The Panthers would love to get a speed receiver and TE Greg Olsen is a possibility, too. But the team’s safety depth chart is perilously thin and Mike Minter is retiring after this season. Maybe a tad high for Nelson, but a lot of teams really like him.
|Adam Carriker, DE,
Len Pasquarelli, ESPN.com senior NFL writer:A big, run-anchor end who can slide inside on occasion and play some tackle. Can play in the 3-4 or the 4-3, so he allows new coach Mike Tomlin some flexibility. Revis would be tempting if he’s still on the board and an outside linebacker is also possible.
|Marshawn Lynch, RB, Cal
Len Pasquarelli, ESPN.com senior NFL writer: Packers have checked out his character and his alleged back problems and seem satisfied with both.
|Aaron Ross, CB,
John Clayton, ESPN.com senior NFL writer:With Reggie Nelson already taken, the Jaguars will have to go with Plan B and take a cornerback. Ross is the next cornerback and the Jaguars aren’t taking receivers or tight ends for a change.
|Jon Beason, LB,
John Clayton, ESPN.com senior NFL writer: This is clearly going to be a defensive pick, leaning toward linebacker and the secondary. Defensive tackle Alan Branch of
Michigan might be a temptation but Beason is an outside linebacker who fits nicely into Marvin Lewis’ scheme.
|Robert Meachem, WR,
Len Pasquarelli, ESPN.com senior NFL writer:Getting a player like Aaron Ross would have been perfect, because he could replace Pacman Jones as a corner and return man. With him off the board, the Titans turn to offense, and Ted Ginn Jr. could be a possibility, but the Titans can’t gamble on his foot.
|Lawrence Timmons, LB,Florida
Len Pasquarelli, ESPN.com senior NFL writer: The Giants would love to get a top-shelf corner and could roll the dice on a character-risk guy like Eric Wright, who they like a lot, but this is probably too high for him. Defensive tackle Alan Branch is also possible here.
|Alan Branch, DT,
Len Pasquarelli, ESPN.com senior NFL writer: Lots of issues, like motivation and health, but too good to pass at this point. New coordinator Jim Bates like big bodies.
|Ted Ginn Jr., WR,Ohio
John Clayton, ESPN.com senior NFL writer:As much as Jerry Jones would love to take a cornerback or safety, how can he pass up a receiver who entered the college season as a top 10 prospect. The only reason he fell to 22 is because of the foot sprain he suffered during the BSC championship game. It’s not out of the question for the Cowboys to take Dwayne Jarrett. The Cowboys aren’t concerned about his 4.62 time. Emmitt Smith and Michael Irvin made the Hall of Fame with slow 40 times.
|Joe Staley, LT,
John Clayton, ESPN.com senior NFL writer:After losing the left side of their offensive line with the retirements of Willie Roaf and Will Shields over the past 12 months, the Chiefs can start to restock here. Staley started college as a 230-pound tight end. He developed into the No. 3 tackle in this draft.
|Michael Griffin, S,
Len Pasquarelli, ESPN.com senior NFL writer: The kind of versatile defensive back the Patriots like, and Rodney Harrison isn’t getting any younger. Can play some safety, nickel corner, help on special teams.
S BrandonMeriweather is also a possibility here.
|Greg Olsen, TE,
Len Pasquarelli, ESPN.com senior NFL writer: It seems like the Jets have been trying to fill the hole at tight end forever. Olsen finally addresses the void.
|Brandon Meriweather, S,
John Clayton, ESPN.com senior NFL writer:The Eagles usually restrict their first-round selections to defensive and offensive linemen, corners and wide receivers. But drafting Meriweather fills a need and also looks to the future. With Michael Lewis gone and Brian Dawkins getting older, the Eagles can groom Meriweather to be one of their safeties of the future.
|Dwayne Bowe, WR, LSU
John Clayton, ESPN.com senior NFL writer:With the addition of cornerback Jason David from the Colts, the Saints can take the best available player. They lost Joe Horn this offseason and Bowe is also a local star coming from LSU.
|David Harris, LB,
Len Pasquarelli, ESPN.com senior NFL writer:The Michigan standout has been moving up Pats’ board of late and he’s the eventual successor to Tedy Bruschi.
|Arron Sears, OG, Tennessee
John Clayton, ESPN.com senior NFL writer:With Jonathan Ogden considering retirement and Tony Pashos lost to
Jacksonville, the Ravens can start to rebuild their line with a versatile blocker. They will also look at Ben Grubbs, Ryan Kalil and other blockers.
|Steve Smith, WR, USC
Len Pasquarelli, ESPN.com senior NFL writer:The Chargers are so deep and talented that they can afford to make a little bit of a reach to address a position of need. Smith is quicker than former USC teammate Dwayne Jarrett and gives Philip Rivers a deep threat.
|Jarvis Moss, DE/LB,
Len Pasquarelli, ESPN.com senior NFL writer: Probably better suited for a 3-4 front, but too good to still be on the board, and no team can overlook such a talented pass rusher at this point.
|Justin Harrell, DT,
Len Pasquarelli, ESPN.com senior NFL writer:Colts need to bulk up interior line. Lost starting cornerbacks Nick Harper and Jason David, so a guy like Chris Houston would give them another young cover guy to challenge for playing time. Linebacker and defensive tackle are possibilities as is a hybrid-type edge defender like Anthony Spencer of Purdue.