2010 NFL Draft: Chicago Bears' Draft Board Begins to Take Shape

Steve PauleyContributor IApril 23, 2010

TAMPA, FL - NOVEMBER 28: Safety Morgan Burnett #1 of the Clemson Tigers celebrates a victory against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets in the 2009 ACC Football Championship Game December 5, 2009 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida.  (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

Now that a wild first round has wrapped, the Bears can begin to restack their draft board—and they have to be happy with what they see.

Conventional wisdom indicates that Chicago's biggest needs include safety, the offensive line, and cornerback. So how did Thursday's picks affect these positions?

At safety, Tennessee's Eric Berry and Texas' Earl Thomas were both taken slightly earlier than projected, but neither of these players was going to slip to the third round anyway. Chicago has to be happy that players like Taylor Mays and Nate Allen will slide at least to Round Two.

If teams are waiting to draft safeties, the Bears will have a better chance to nab one of the third-tier guys with the 75th pick. These players could include Georgia's Reshad Jones, LSU's Chad Jones, Florida's Major Wright, or Georgia Tech's Morgan Burnett.

Then again, if either Mays or Nate Allen (a Lovie Smith favorite) is still on the board in the late second round, I wouldn't be shocked to see Jerry Angelo package a few picks to move up.

Let's move on to the offensive line.

Only four offensive tackles were picked in the first round, which is surprising when as many as seven could easily have been drafted. The best players still available include USC's Charles Brown, Indiana's Rodger Saffold, and Maryland's Bruce Campbell.

I don't expect any of these players to be there at No. 75, but once again it bodes well that other teams aren't scooping up players at a position of need. Also, Lovie recently announced that Frank Omiyale will indeed be moving to right tackle, so it's likely the Bears will wait to draft a backup tackle.

With Omiyale moving outside, the left guard position is obviously a major hole to fill. The only guard projected in the first round was Idaho's Mike Iupati, who was drafted by San Francisco. The good news is that no one reached for UMass' Vladimir Ducasse.

Unless there is a huge run on guards in Round Two (unlikely), Chicago should have plenty of options in the third and fourth rounds.

Illinois' Jon Asamoah, Ole Miss' John Jerry, Alabama's Mike Johnson, Arkansas' Mitch Petrus, and the aforementioned Ducasse all project as second- to fourth-round picks. Also keep an eye on Utah's Zane Beadles—the Bears reportedly showed serious interest in Beadles at Utah's pro day.

Finally, Chicago can't be too happy if they were targeting a cornerback with their top pick.

Five corners were drafted in Round One, including more than one surprise. While Florida's Joe Haden and Boise State's Kyle Wilson were almost guaranteed to be Day One picks, the other three cornerbacks drafted were all projected as second rounders.

Unfortunately for the Bears, this means there is now a premium on the remaining cornerbacks.

Suddenly, guys like Virginia's Chris Cook, Wake Forest's Brandon Ghee, and IUP's Akwasi Owusu-Ansah are sure-fire second round picks.

Unless Angelo feels like trading up, the cornerback pool will certainly be withered by Round Three. The more likely scenario would be waiting until the final day and taking a shot on an unknown.

Trying to guess who the Bears are looking at in the late rounds of a draft is nearly impossible, but I will throw out one name to keep in mind for Saturday: Vanderbilt's Myron Lewis.

Not only does he fit the mold of a Lovie corner (6'2"), he can also play safety, and of course, he's from Vanderbilt.

So there you go.

Chicago has to be happy that the safety and tackle positions weren't heavily drafted, and there is no reason for alarm in a deep guard class. While the Bears are probably out of the running for an impact corner, Angelo is known for finding a late-round gem every now and then.