As the 2011 NFL Draft approaches, there has been a lot of talk and speculation about what the Bears are going to do with all six of their picks in the upcoming draft. Will the Bears play it smart and fix their offensive line, or will they go ahead and go out and try the "best player available" approach, stacking their roster with talent that might not specifically fill a need on the roster?
It’s doubtful that teams are going to try to use that "best player available" approach this year because of the way that things have and may still shake out in regards to free agency. This may still end up being the only way that teams are capable of improving themselves this offseason, so the draft is going to be very important for the Bears and for every other team in the NFL.
As we prepare for the 2011 NFL Draft, here are a few last minutes notes and tidbits about the Bears as they prepare to try to make their future look better and improve their chances of getting to, and winning the Super Bowl.
The Bears seem to be a favorite for trading down in this draft. Chicago has been a team that has traded down in the draft in the past to acquire more picks, and if they were able to acquire more picks in the second or third rounds, then they might be able to acquire additional help that could step in and start soon. That seems like a very likely scenario.
If that player that they want isn’t there, then you can expect a trade out of the first round by Chicago.
Looking at Austin? There are many reports that link North Carolina defensive tackle Marvin Austin to the Bears, and while they have shown some interest in him, it would be out of character for them to take him, especially in the first round. There are character questions surrounding Austin, and the Bears are a team that, having learned from past experience, may not be interested in someone with off the field issues.
It’s possible that they could make him a second or third round pick if he’s still available, but the team could be taking a risk if they draft him at No. 1.
The Bears have looked at several different cornerbacks throughout the pre-draft process, and it's almost a sure bet that they will try to take one in the latter rounds of this year’s draft. It seems that the fourth or fifth round may be popular spots in the draft for the Bears to take a cornerback (most of the talent that they have been looking at fits in those two rounds), so look for them to grab a guy in this draft that can add some depth and help them out there.
Consensus Number One?
It seems that experts and mock drafters are thinking that Mississippi State’s Derek Sherrod is going to go to the Bears in the first round of this year’s draft, and the Bears would do well in drafting him. He is capable of coming in and starting right away, in addition to the fact that he doesn’t come with any injury concerns. Perhaps the Bears will have enough interest to draft him at No. 29 in the first round.
Defensive Tackle Prospect No. 1
Chicago has exhibited some interest in Oregon State’s Stephen Paea, a player that appears to be a good fit in their style of defense. Paea has the size and quickness that the Bears like in their defensive tackles, and after exhibiting nice strength at the combine, he just might be the right guy for the Bears.
Another popular player that some people have connected to the Bears is Wisconsin offensive tackle Gabe Carimi. Carimi is much better suited to play right tackle than he is left tackle, and the Bears may have found their right tackle in J’Marcus Webb. Carimi may not be as interesting to the Bears as some might think.
Defensive Tackle Prospect No. 2
The Bears are known to really like Illinois defensive tackle Corey Liuget, but it’s doubtful that he will be there when Chicago has a chance to take him late in the first round. He is most likely a mid-round pick and won’t be there when the Bears make their first round pick.