NFL Draft Board Sets Up Nicely for Bears' Biggest Needs After First Round

John HatelakContributor IApril 23, 2010

The 75th anniversary of the first round of the 2010 draft is over, and although the Chicago Bears did not participate in it, it went well for them as far as assuredly leaving them something good when their 75th overall pick comes up.

That is if they do not move up.

The Bears should get at least one impact starter, maybe two, at two of their biggest need spots: Left Guard and Free Safety.

The list of Safeties left on the board after round one is even better than expected.

Especially since the rumored possibility of Nate Allen moving into round one did not take place.

Then of course with Taylor Mays dropping slides, one more prospect down to the Bears. 

The Bears were linked to Allen, because head coach Lovie Smith spent a day with him. Of course, that turned into, the Bears possible trade up to get him.

I doubt this happens, nor do I want it to. In my opinion, Allen is over valued.

Should Taylor Mays fall to the Bears (which is doubtful,)  he would have to be a consideration, but is a stiff athlete, and doesn't appear to be the ball hawk the Bears need.

If he does produce at the next level, I feel it'll be more likely as an in the box Strong Safety.

He has bust written all over him.

The most interesting name on the Board is Morgan Burnett.

None of the Free Safeties left on the board have a better size to speed ratio to go along with their college production.

He, by all definition, is the ball hawk the Bears need in the back end. He plays with toughness, and possesses the skill set, if not the willingness, to support the run and contribute in blitz packages.

He is probably the most ready to step in and play out of all the prospects at Free Safety left on the board.

The one player many feel should be the Bears' No. One target if they hold down the 75th slot is Major Wright.

According to all of the scouting report's, he is tough, smart, and instinctive but grades only average in coverage skills. This is why I would pass him over in favor of others.

Robert Johnson is another interesting name.

He's not much of a tackler and he may suffer in his run support, but he is a ball hawk with outstanding instincts. Just watch him on tape.

The Bears have also took a hard look at him, giving him a personal visit at Halas Hall.

There are some hybrid types that are intriguing.

Cornerback/Free Safety, Akwasi Owusu-Ansah, (who I love) maybe the most explosive, and dangerous return man in the entire draft, adds even more value.

That's saying a lot, considering all the explosive players in this draft. If you watch him on tape, you can see the athleticism, and the center field ability to play at Free Safety on the next level.

A couple other Cornerback/Free safety hybrids I love are Chris Cook (who's big, fast, and athletic,) and Myron Lewis who is another big, fast, and athletic player who could be there as low as the sixth round. He also comes from Vanderbilt, a school that seems to be a pipeline of talent for the Bears.

There are also two Free Safety/Strong safety hybrids I love starting with my favorite out of the bunch, and my third favorite after Burnett and Ansah on the board, Reshad Jones. 

Although not a huge need, a Strong Safety, wouldn't exactly escape my attention if I were the Bears in rounds four through seven, by the way. 

Going back to Jones, I see a Brian Dawkins type. A big tough physical hard-hitting safety who can make plays on the ball, and is a fantastic leader in the secondary.

All things point to him to be intelligent enough to be the quarterback in the secondary a la Mike Brown. He's also bigger and faster than Brown.

Chad Jones is very interesting as well, however I see him as eventually settling in as a Strong safety at the next level. He's one good breakfast short of being the size of an Outside Linebacker.

He's a two-sport guy. He played baseball as well as football at LSU, so you already know he's a finely tuned athlete, with great hand eye coordination from playing baseball.

He's already good, but should be even better once concentrating entirely on football. He also played in what seems to be the NFL developmental league, the SEC.

Speaking of guys a hair off weight wise from playing outside Linebacker, Kam Chancellor is another kid I would look at hard, to man my Strong safety spot.

He hits like a Mack truck and would be the intimidating force that would complement a ball hawking Free safety.

He may even go un-drafted and would provide insanely good value there.

The fact some of these players can go un-drafted like Chancellor, and my next prospect, just en-capsulizes the depth of this draft.

Looking at possible great late value, Myron Rolle may be a good pick in the sixth round, which is where he projects to go. He may even be a priority undrafted free agent which is a major drop for such an interesting prospect.

I feel that he will go no later then the sixth round, and may even make it as high as in the fourth round by some adoring personnel man.

The Bears also may find their starting Left Guard in round three or four of this draft.

Joe Asamoah is a first round talent who may be impossible to pass up at 75th overall should he fall that far. He has the intensity and mean streak teams love in their guards.

He also has the athleticism to fit in the scheme the Bears have as they incorporate a lot of traps, and the counter trey which is very prevalent in the Coryell offense Bears Offensive coordinator Mike Martz employs. I doubt he lasts past the second round, however.

John Jerry is the run blocking monster any team would love at Guard, but he's probably better suited at Right Guard than left because he's not athletic enough to consistently execute pulls, and traps required in the Bears offense. He's probably more suited for a zone blocking scheme.

Mitch Petrus is strong as the day is long which is evident after tying the combine record in bench press reps at 45 times. At 225 pounds, that's a lot of weight to throw around that many times.

He's also a good athlete being an ex-fullback. Still he's probably best suited for the Power guard spot on the right side.

Mike Johnson is another massive powerful Guard who could do your running game a lot of good,but he too projects more on the right, or in a zone blocking scheme.

The Bears are changing over from a zone scheme to a man scheme under the tutelage of Offensive Line coach Mike Tice, so he may not be a system fit in the Bears offense.

Now if a first-round graded tackle falls to 75th overall I think the Bears need to consider leaving Omiyale at left Guard, and drafting one to play Right Tackle, or possibly at Left tackle should there be an injury to Chris Williams, or he proves to be ineffective there.

Always good to have a Tackle who has the skill set to move to Left Tackle should the situation call for it. 

There are six names that would be hard to pass up on should they be there for the Bears first pick. One of them should fall to 75th overall.

The combine's Left Tackle sensation Bruce Campbell still remains on the board even though many thought he'd be the eighth overall selection going to the Oakland Raiders.

He may not last until 75th overall, but if he does, what do the Bears do? A pleasant quandary indeed.

Charles Brown may be the plum of the second round. By everyone's projection, this guy was a first round Left Tackle. Some team will be very pleased to get him in the second round.

He's worthy of trading up for, however the Bears have their Left Tackle of the future in Chris Williams so its doubtful he gets traded up for, or falls to 75th overall.

Roger Saffold is another first-round talent falling back due to this year's unusual amount of underclassmen declaring for the draft to get the payday before the NFL institutes a rookie cap, or the NFL cancels the 2011 Draft entirely should the owners decide to lock out the players.  

Vladimir Ducasse would fit in nicely at Right Tackle. He's got all the skills one could hope to ask for in its Right Tackle.

Jared Veldheer was a guy who was shooting up the pre-darft boards due to his athleticism. He was another guy who amazed all the draft evaluators at the combine.

He does have the question of whether he could carry it to an elite level, because he played at small school Hillsdale.

His one physical flaw was his short arms. At 33" on a 6'8" man is very small. To put it in perspective Frank Omiyale is 6'3", and has 36" arms. He projects best at the right side because of that, but still very much a first-round talent who could be there for the Bears.

Finally there's Tony Washington, a kid who has character questions as he is a registered sex offender. Its probably the biggest reason he played at small school, and another favorite small school the Bears like to occasionally reach into to pluck a player from, Abilene Christian.

Bears have Safety Daniael Manning, and Wide Receiver Johnny Knox, last season's fifth-round pick (from the Cutler trade) on their roster. This is a kid that might drop like a rock (even more than usual) due to the whole Roethlisberger debacle.

Picking him anywhere would be an instant PR hit not to mention the risk he brings with him. But there's no doubt he's a first round Left Tackle. Depending on the details of his off field issue this may be a very shrewd pick by Bears General Manager Jerry Angelo.

Any way you slice it the Bears should get an NFL quality starter when their turn comes. There's also a lot of great value at other positions too.

You just hope this doesn't turn into a typical Bears draft and Angelo reaches for a guy like Zane Beadles with the names I just mentioned still on the board.