We're Black and Blue All Over:
By now you know that the Chicago Bears' otherwise smart initial draft decision was marred by the collapse of a trade designed to ensure they were able to select Wisconsin offensive tackle Gabe Carimi. Bears general manager Jerry Angelo took the blame and apologized to the Baltimore Ravens, who missed their pick at No. 26 overall because they thought they had completed a trade with the Bears to move down to No. 29.
Is the case closed? Or do the Bears owe the Ravens additional compensation, namely the fourth-round pick that would have changed hands if the deal was consummated? David Haugh of the Chicago Tribune thinks the latter.
Haugh: "If Angelo's apology was sincere, and the only thing preventing the trade from being consummated was his sloppy neglect, then the Bears should go ahead and offer to forfeit rights to that selection to the Ravens. That's the right thing to do. Salvaging Angelo's reputation around the league by showing he's a man of his word might be worth whatever fringe roster player might be picked at that slot in the fourth round."
This situation is nearly unprecedented, so I guess it's possible the NFL will force the Bears to forfeit the pick. Dan Pompei of the Tribune reports that the Ravens have asked the league to look into the situation and that Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti has spoken with commissioner Roger Goodell about it. According to Pompei, Angelo instructed two staffers to report the trade to the NFL, but each thought the other was doing it.
But I would be surprised if the NFL took action. Remember, the Minnesota Vikings didn't receive the pick they would have received when the Ravens failed to report a similar trade in 2003.
For now, let's take a late-morning look at local coverage of the draft's first day:
Neil Hayes of the Chicago Sun-Times: "By landing Carimi with the 29th overall pick, [Angelo] injected attitude into a toothless unit that not only allowed a league-high 56 sacks but failed to consistently open holes in the running game."
Jeff Dickerson of ESPNChicago.com: "The Bears could use Day 2 to target perhaps their second greatest need: the defensive line. Many quality defensive tackles remain on the board, including North Carolina's Marvin Austin, Oregon State's Stephen Paea, Iowa's Christian Ballard, USC's Jurrell Casey, USF's Terrell McClain and LSU's Drake Nevis."
John Niyo of the Detroit News on the Detroit Lions' selection of Auburn defensive tackle Nick Fairley: ": "By doing so, the Lions proved to us all they're serious. They stuck to the plan, even while others around them didn't. They didn't reach for a position need or to plug a hole. No, the Lions stayed true to their draft board and grabbed the highest-rated player on it when it came time to make their pick. Just like they'd said they would. And just like they'd done the last week or two in their mock drafts in Allen Park."
Tom Kowalski of Mlive.com: "If Fairley plays like he did at Auburn last year, the Lions are going to be putting a lot of quarterbacks on the run. Offensive linemen will get no breather during their 70 snaps a game."
Drew Sharp of the Detroit Free Press: "Any team can stand out in the first round, but it's those that dominate the second and third rounds that more quietly lay the necessary foundation onto which consistently winning teams are built. The Lions had a very good Thursday. They need an even better Friday."
Green Bay Packers general manager Ted Thompson on new tackle Derek Sherrod, via Jason Wilde of ESPNMilwaukee.com: "We think it's a really good value to get a big man that late in the first round that we feel like can come in and help us. Where he's going to play, I don't know. But I know this: You can never have too many big men. And the more run blockers, the more pass blockers we have, the better off we [are]."
Sherrod's style and body type suggest he will ultimately end up at left tackle, writes Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Tom Powers of the St. Paul Pioneer Press: "Ponder is what I'd call a 'tweener.' He was selected right between two guys who could really have helped the Vikings. Defensive end J.J. Watt, out of Wisconsin, went No. 11 overall to Houston. The Lions grabbed defensive tackle Nick Fairley at No. 13. In between, vice president of player personnel Rick Spielman reeeeaaached for Ponder."
The Vikings were in a tough spot with the Ponder pick, writes Tom Pelissero of 1500ESPN.com.