Many thanks to one of BTSC's great long-time readers and participants, Chicago Steeler, who adjusted on the fly nicely to both pick for Denver after the Jay Cutler trade, while still providing some information on the Bears as part of his write-up. Good, good stuff, even though he had to improvise. Next up? The Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who will be repped by Romain El 82 if we can get him to step away from the beer pong table for a few moments. -Blitz-
The Chicago Bears
Who would have thought that Jerry Angelou would come out of his shell and make a deal like this? I certainly never envisioned it. Previous to acquiring Cutler the Bears had been nearly as quiet as our own Pittsburgh Steelers. But then the Bears mortgaged two drafts for a Pro Bowl QB. And who can blame them looking at the Chicago's inability to draft for that position?
Chicago's 2008 Season
The 2008 season was a disappointment for the Bears. The NFC North was weak and should have been theirs for the taking. Kyle Orton finally won out the QB battle against Sexy Rexy Grossman and to his credit the Neckbeard came out on fire. Brandon Lloyd was looking like a good pickup as he and Kyle had a good connection. Matt Forte was an animal in the backfield and did his best to erase the ghost of Benson's past. The o-line was suspect at best creating very few good running lanes and breaking down on pass protection. It didn't help that their #1 draft pick needed back surgery a la Marvel Smith for our own Steelers.
The Bear Down Chicago Bear Defense was not intimidating this year. The D-line is falling apart against the run and Brian Urlacher was certainly not living up to the better contract he demanded. Urlacher's always been a good open space guy but if you get a blocker on him it's all over for him.
But enough about them. They got their shiny new toy in Jay Cutler,
and let's hope for the sanity of my city that he doesn't pout out the
The Denver Broncos
Josh McDaniels is a mini-Belicheck without any of the track record to take him seriously. If Bill Belicheck considers trading Tom Brady the football world sagely nods their heads assuming that the evil genius has a grand plan. But this is a 32 year old kid running a franchise having no prior head coaching experience. This isn't intended as a total knock on McDaniels who may turn out to be a great coach, but at this point he's going about his business as if he deserves more respect than he has earned. His wheeling and dealing has left him with a journeyman QB at the helm, but a plethora of draft picks.
Denver's 2008 Season:
Speaking of disappointing seasons in weak divisions. The Bronco's were darn near gifted the AFC West. Ed Hochuli even gave them a second chance to defeat the Chargers early in the season. (not hating on Hoch here, he's a great ref and the Bronco's still had to score and get the 2 point conversion) But any promise of a playoff season soon went down the drain as the Broncos hit serious health issues (I believe by the end of the season Mike Shanahan's nephew was playing Running Back cause he was visiting for game day) and their defense didn't hit anyone.
This is a team in transition. They'll need a lot of defensive help. Their offense, short of a franchise QB, is fairly set. The offensive line can pass block with the best of them, and their wide outs are top notch. They don't have a clear #1 running back and now that they're out of the Shanahan plug and play cut block system that could be a need to be addressed. In our BTSC mock, they already took Michael Johnson as a DE. They still have needs at safety, linebacker, and nose tackle (read everywhere on defense). On offense they could use either a QB in waiting or a franchise RB.
The Possible Picks
- Mark Sanchez, QB, USC - Sanchez could remind Josh of his boy Matt Cassell, coming from the USC system of quarterbacks, with good poise and control. Might not be the flashiest QB but many draft experts are calling him the most pro-ready.
- Beanie Wells, Ohio State or Knowshon Moreno, Georgia (RBs) - As I mentioned the Bronco's might be in the market for a franchise runner as they have no clear cut #1 on their roster currently.
Mark Sanchez, QB, Southern California
I believe that Orton is a stop gap solution at QB at best, and I think McDaniels wants to instill a system in Denver and his experience with Cassell will convince him that he's got the best chance to do this with a fresh face.
(Updated BTSC mock draft list through pick 18 after the jump)
#1) Detroit Lions - Jason Smith, OT, Baylor
#2) St. Louis Rams - Michael Crabtree, WR, Texas Tech
#3) Kansas City Chiefs - Aaron Curry, LB, Wake Forest
#4) Seattle Seahawks - Eugene Monroe, OT, Virginia
#5) Cleveland Browns - Brian Orakpo, DE/OLB, Texas
#6) Cincinnati Bengals - Jeremy Maclin, WR/KR, Missouri
#7) Oakland Raiders - B.J. Rahi, DT, Boston College
#8) Andre Smith, OT, Alabama
#9) Everette Brown, DE, Florida State
#10) San Francisco 49ers - Malcolm Jenkins, CB, Ohio State
#11) Buffalo Bills- Aaron Maybin, DE, Penn State
#12) Denver Broncos- Michael Johnson, DE, Georgia Tech
#13) Washington Redskins - Matthew Stafford, QB, Georgia
#14) New Orleans Saints - Peria Jerry, DT, Ole Miss
#15) Houston Texans - Rey Mualuaga, LB, USC
#16) San Diego Chargers - Evander 'Ziggy' Wolf, DE, Missouri
#17) New York Jets - Brandon Pettigrew, TE, Oklahoma State