Good stuff here from longtime reader betelguese with the Chicago Bears pick at No. 29. I perhaps would have gravitated towards Nate Solder, but I certainly don't argue with the logic of taking an OT here. Next up: the New York Jets, represented by a reader with arguably the greatest name ever, TomlinsPuffyJacket - Michael B. -
The day the Bears traded for quarterback Cutler in 2009, I called my dad to break the news. But when I added that the Bears would lose out on first round picks in 2009 and 2010 for it, he responded like the team had just cast off a couple goiters, "Ah well, they don't do too well in the draft anyway."
No one becomes a Bears fan by watching the team's draft choices.
This year the Bears will get their first 1st-round pick since 2008, and that 2008 pick is at the heart of the Bears' troubles today. The Bears picked LT-apparent Chris Williams in 2008, whose back problems have surfaced faster than his blocking ability.
After bringing in Orlando Pace at LT in 2009, the team tried Williams at RT. As Pace became more inconsistant, WIlliams replaced him at LT. In 2010, Williams looked lousy, and he got injured in the second week, sitting out for three games. Upon recovery, Williams was moved to LG, even as Bears quarterback Jay Cutler continued getting mauled by defenses, ending the season as the league's sacked-est at 52.
The replacement at LT who WIlliams couldn't depose, Frank Omiyale, ended the season among the league leaders in sacks allowed.
The team cited continuity as to why they didn't put Williams back in at LT, but with Cutler's mounting sack total, I think we know what faith the team has in WIlliams' abilities.
That said, Williams has shown flashes of competency at LT (he kept Vikings' Jared Allen from sacking Cutler all game earlier in 2010) and it may be the only position he can play.
The line is also getting used to the schemes of new offensive coordinator Mike Martz.
The Bears can draft anywhere along their offensive line besides RT, which is manned by last year's 7th round pick J'Marcus Webb. Young and competent, Webb is a lock at RT in 2011, and there have been rumors of moving the guy over to LT.
Bears Pro Bowl center Kreuntz, 34, is expected to sign another contract with the team.
The Bears' draft will depend on whether the Chris Williams project is over or not. He is likely not powerful enough to continue at LG. If Williams is not an option to start on the O-line, then look for this pick to be any of the top tackles available. But if the team holds out some hope that Williams or Webb or Omiyale can play LT, then the pick could go to guard or elsewhere.
Defensively, the team's two starting DTs last year are not expected to return to the team. They also need cornerback help. A new WR would be nice, but I don't like any of the ones available in the first round.
It's incredibly enticing to avoid the LT conundrum and go with a versatile guard, such as Ijalana or Watkins, who will start immediately and be an improvement, or with the highly touted DT Cory Liuget.
But sometime the team has to end the protection questions, the sacks, and a starting DT and guard can be found in later rounds....
So with the 29th pick the Bears submerge Chris Williams in the depth chart and pick a known technician at the LT position to start immediately: Derek Sherrod.
While LT Solder is still available, the Bears will hopefully go with the guy that has already proven his promise, compared to Solder. The last guy the Bears picked on athleticism isn't playing football anymore... I can only assume he's gone back to jumping out of swimming pools (you know the one!).
BTSC 2011 Community Mock Draft Selections:
- Carolina Panthers -- Cam Newton, QB, Auburn
- Denver Broncos -- Marcell Dareus, DT, Alabama
- Buffalo Bills -- Von Miller, LB, Texas A&M
- Cincinnati Bengals -- Da'Quan Bowers, DE, Clemson
- Arizona Cardinals -- Patrick Peterson, CB, LSU
- Cleveland Browns --
'The Snow Cone Machine'A.J. Green, WR, Georgia
- San Francisco 49ers -- Blaine Gabbert, QB, Missouri
- Tennessee Titans -- Nick Fairley, DT, Auburn
- Dallas Cowboys -- Prince Amukamara, CB, Nebraska
- Washington Redskins -- Robert Quinn, DE/OLB, North Carolina
- Houston Texans -- Aldon Smith, DE/OLB, Missouri
- Minnesota Vikings -- Tyron Smith, OT, USC
- Detroit Lions -- JJ Watt, DE, Wisconsin
- St. Louis Rams -- Julio Jones, WR, Alabama
- Miami Dolphons -- Mark Ingram, RB, Alabama
- Jacksonville Jaguars -- Brooks Reed , DE, Arizona
- New England Patriots -- Gabe Carimi, OT, Wisconsin
- San Diego Chargers -- Ryan Kerrigan, DE/OLB, Purdue
- New York Giants -- Akeem Ayers, LB, UCLA
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers -- Anthony Castonzo, OT, Boston College
- Kansas City Chiefs -- Martez Wilson, LB, Illinois
- Indianapolis Colts -- Cameron Jordan, DL, California
- Philadelphia Eagles -- Jimmy Smith, CB, Colorado
- New Orleans Saints -- Justin Houston, DE/OLB, Georgia
- Seattle Seahawks -- Jake Locker, QB, Washington
- Baltimore Ravens -- Torrey Smith, WR, Maryland
- Atlanta Falcons -- Adrian Clayborn, DE, Iowa
- New England Patriots -- Mike Pouncey, OG, Florida