Draft picks suddenly expendable for Angelo

October, 16, 2009
10/16/09
10:00
PM ET



Posted by ESPN.com’s Kevin Seifert

The transformation of Chicago general manager Jerry Angelo is complete.

A longtime scouting director in New York and Tampa Bay, Angelo brought a draft-heavy philosophy to the Bears. He didn’t mind signing a free agent here and there, but he hoarded draft picks like gold. That changed seven months ago, when he gave up most of the farm in the Jay Cutler trade, and continued Friday with the surprising but intriguing decision to acquire Tampa Bay defensive end Gaines Adams.

Angelo sent his 2010 second-round pick to the Bucs, which for now leaves the Bears without a first- or second-round selection for two consecutive drafts. (Their 2010 first-round pick is the final payment in the Cutler trade with Denver.)

There are some long-term risks to sitting out the blue-chip portion of the draft in successive years. But it’s clear that Angelo has expanded his thought process when it comes to acquiring talent.

A second-round pick might seem high for a player who has essentially been a bust in his first two seasons. But let’s consider a couple of caveats:

  1. If Cutler leads the Bears to the kind of season they hope to have, the pick will be close the start of the third round.
  2. If anyone can coax better production from Adams, it’s Bears defensive line coach Rod Marinelli. If anyone needed a reminder of Marinelli’s value as a position coach, check out the Bears’ increased sack production on the defensive line.

As recently as last year, I don’t know if Angelo makes this trade. But this is a new man we’re talking about here. As my ESPN Chicago colleague Jeff Dickerson points out, the 2010 draft is going to be awfully boring at the Bears’ Halas Hall training facility.

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