I will start this article by writing that Al Davis and the Oakland Raiders are leaders of men and do not follow. The only opinion that matters with Oakland bringing in a player is their own evaluation, period.
As reported by Adam Rank at NFL.com, "Chicago Bears General Manager Jerry Angelo told the Chicago Tribune that after Brian Robiskie WR from Ohio State was taken (14) spots before the Bears were to pick in round two at 49. And Michael Mitchell was taken at pick 47 in round two by the Raiders it was time to trade back."
Considering that wide receiver and safety were two of the Bears biggest needs to try and handle on draft day the above comment made by Jerry Angelo to the Chicago Tribune makes a lot of sense.
It is also easy to reason that since Brian Robiskie was taken very early in round two a full (14) spots before the Bears were to pick at 49. And with the Bears not trading out of round two until much later and right after the Raiders picked at 47. The Bears were sitting waiting on another player like Mitchell to be there at 49.
As reported by Bradd Briggs, "The Bears liked Mitchell an awful lot but the Bears missed." Secondary Coach for the Bears Jon Hoke visited Mitchell on Campus and the Bears had Mitchell in for a visit to Chicago where he meet with Head Coach Lovie Smith for forty five minutes.
That happens a lot in the NFL where the Head Coach will hold a 45 minute meeting with a player they are thinking of picking in round seven. That was my try at humor, it does not happen, ever.
It has also been reported and verified by both safety Michael Mitchell and the Chicago Bears that Mitchell received a call from the Chicago Bears on day one early in the second round, with the Bears telling Mitchell to stay by the phone that he was going to be a Chicago Bear.
After the Oakland Raiders were handed a bunch of insults for taking Mitchell so high in the draft it now seems that the Bears are trying to use the local media to run from the claim that they wanted Mitchell so early in the draft. They are now claiming that they wanted Mitchell but later and on day two.
Per a question and answer with Brad Briggs in the Chicago Sun Times he reported the following and I am paraphrasing.
The Bears told Briggs that they did call Mitchell early in round two and told him to stay by the phone and that he was going to become a Chicago Bear. But they were not going to pick him until late in day two.
Now let me get this straight, the Bears that did not have a pick in round one of the draft. And early in round two with what amounted to the Bears first pick of the day. With as busy as things must be in a war room just prior to a team making a pick.
The Chicago Bears are going to take the time to place a call to a player that they are considering picking on day two to tell him to stay by the phone because he is going to be picked by them. No other day two pick is afforded this courtesy only Mitchell?
You are kidding me, right? Do you really think people are as stupid to believe something like that.
And why didn't the Chicago Bears make any other calls to players they intended to draft on day two on day one of the draft as they were busy with trades and making picks? No, nadda, not a one received a call in round two like Mitchell.
Why was Michael Mitchell the only player not picked by the Bears on day one of the draft to receive this very unusual courtesy from the Bears? It was because the Bears had intended to take Mitchell in round two prior to the Raiders "raiding the Bears' cupboard" as reported in another article in the Chicago Tribune.
So seeing all the crap that the Raiders were getting on the pick they call their media buddy's to try and stomp out the thought that they were going to pick the kid in round two. And at the same time try and throw a little salt in the Raider Team eyes for stealing their guy.
Do you really believe that the public is that stupid. It has also been reported that the Bears were interested in WR Louis Murphy who the Raiders also picked in the draft.
And as for players being selected in the draft that had not attended the NFL Combine their were an NFL record 42 players drafted this year that did not attend the combine. With the Bears selecting an NFL record (four) players that did not attend the combine.
Not that any of this matters to the Oakland Raiders. I just wanted to point out how some teams in the NFL lead and how some NFL teams follow. And some like the Oakland Raiders carry a pair and stand behind the decisions they make no matter what the heat.
No other players taken in the 2009 Draft by the Chicago Bears on day two of the draft received a call from the Bears early on day one by the Bears except Mitchell. Michael Mitchell was special in that regard and now the Bears media lap dogs have been sent out for damage control.
One final note, I read an article by Jerry McDonald regarding Michael Mitchell where he reported. That when he asked a Coach of a team that played against Mitchell what he thought of Mitchell the Coach stated and I am paraphrasing,
Our best WR was three time all conference and went 6'5" 210 lb and Mitchell knocked the piss out of him, I mean he knocked the piss out of him. We thought Mitchell had killed our receiver with him laid out on the sidelines.