Friday, February 19, 2010
Bears third-round draft possibilities
By Jeff Dickerson
CHICAGO -- Here is the second installment of our look at the Chicago Bears' draft needs and available players who might still be on the board when the third round begins. Draft ranking can change dramatically after the combine, but most of these players have been given pre-combine grades of third round or lower.
Some scouts project that USC running back could be converted to an NFL wide receiver.
Defensive End: This is a major need that should be addressed in both the draft and free agency. Just like at defensive tackle, Lovie Smith covets speed in his edge rushers. The Bears have failed to consistently pressure the quarterback in each of the last three seasons, and subsequently have missed the postseason in each of the last three seasons. See the correlation.
Offensive tackle:Chris Williams appears to have a bright future ahead of him at left tackle, but right tackle is a bit cloudy with Kevin Shaffer and probably Frank Omiyale competing for the job. The Bears are very high on last year's seventh-round pick Lance Louis (who is athletic enough to slide over to guard if necessary), but you can never have enough depth at tackle, especially in the pass-heavy offense run by Mike Martz.
Offensive guard: If the Bears were sold on Josh Beekman, they wouldn't have signed Omiyale last offseason. The goal in 2009 was to get bigger up front. Maybe the goal in 2010 should be to find a guard who can play, regardless of size and wingspan. The Bears would be wise to find their new left guard in free agency, but might want to pick one in the draft as insurance.
Receiver: The Bears could really use a veteran presence in this meeting room, but adding a bigger rookie to the mix might be prudent. Devin Aromashodu is the only wideout with any kind of size, and Jay Cutler is more successful throwing to a larger target.
Running back: The Bears are expected to add another running back either through free agency or the draft. It's tough to say whether Kevin Jones will be around this year, although he did play for Mike Martz in Detroit. Even if Jones is brought to training camp, the Bears still need to bring in another runner with pass-catching ability.