Friday, April 29, 2011
Day 3 preview: Linebacker help?
By Jeff Dickerson
LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- After using the first three picks to address offensive tackle, defensive tackle and safety, the Chicago Bears head into the final day of the NFL draft with only two remaining selections (Nos. 160 and 195).
They could still attempt to fill a few needs on defense by grabbing either a linebacker, cornerback or defensive end. With only two linebackers under contract (Brian Urlacher and Lance Briggs), it would seem the position is a priority, although Bears general manager Jerry Angelo feels the organization can look outside the draft for linebacker help if necessary.
"I like the prospects of what potential free agency can bring," Angelo said. "In free agency you are able to find linebackers. We have. Are there some kids we are going to look at [Saturday]? Absolutely. The nice thing about our scheme now is the kids we look at probably aren't on half the boards in the league because of the 3-4 scheme. We are totally the antithesis when it comes to linebackers for 3-4 teams."
Only 10 linebackers were selected through the first three rounds.
On offense, the Bears could explore the idea of adding a wide receiver, fullback, developmental quarterback or an additional offensive lineman. During the last rounds of any draft, teams rarely draft for need, and usually stick to taking the best available player left on the board.
Of course, having already attempted to make two trades -- only one was successful -- Angelo might still try to deal one of the two picks to perhaps acquire a couple extra choices in the late rounds. But he made it sound like that possibility is remote given the shortage of picks at his disposal.
"I wish I found a bottle on a beach," Angelo laughed.