...Alex Carrington, DE, Arkansas State.
The funny thing about this selection is that I looked up a ton of mock drafts, and one that I came upon had the Bears selecting him in the fifth round.
I don't think he makes it past the fourth. In fact, it might be a stretch to believe the Bears can get him in the fourth round considering the way he helped his draft stock during the Senior Bowl.
With the combination of size (6'5", 284 lbs), strength, and decent speed (he ran a 4.8 40), he has the makings of a steal of a pick in the fourth round for the Bears.
The Bears struggled to rush the quarterback from the defensive end position (well, from every position, really), so an upgrade is much desired at the position. With Adewale Ogunleye most likely taking a walk, we will need someone to fill his shoes and hopefully exceed his level of play at the same time. And, for less money.
You hear that Bears management, do NOT pay that man what he is going to be asking for.
Anyways, I digress.
Carrington was the 2008 Sun Belt Conference Player of the Year and was a first team 2009 Sun Belt Conference selection. He can get to the quarterback, as witnessed by his 14.5 sacks last season, which was third most in the Sun Belt Conference.
He has power to run straight through offensive tackles and the quickness to make a move to get around them and put pressure on the quarterback. Not only that, but he has the ability to drop back into coverage on pass plays and make key tackles on run plays, which is another thing the Bears like to have on the defensive line. Some might say that run stopping is what he does best.
Like I noted before, his stock has risen since the Senior Bowl. Some sites have him listed going in the third round, but I still think that is too high for him. I have seen him listed as being taken in the sixth round on some draft boards, but I would like to see the Bears go after him in the fourth round, which is where I believe his talent should land him.
I know that a lot of people believe the Bears need to go after a safety, but I think the Bears need to address that concern through free agency. There are a decent amount of players available at the safety position, so I think the Bears can make that their one "minor" free agent pickup that they're known to make each offseason, and spend the draft addressing the issues at offensive and defensive line, and wide receiver.
If Carrington goes early, perhaps the Bears could take a chance on Murray State DE Austen Lane. He's another big DE (6'6" 267) with decent speed and good strength, and can play in the 3-4 or 4-3, which is a good skill to have for the NFL.
Coming tomorrow, my choice for the Bears fifth round selection...
To see my choice for the Bears' third round selection, click on this link: