The Bears two best picks of the draft, offensive tackle Gabe Carimi and defensive tackle Stephen Paea, will have very promising careers with the Bears and should be able to make an impact on the team right away (depending on what happens with the lockout). Luckily, the Bears recognized their two biggest needs early and got two players that should be able to make an impact right away.
But exactly how will they be used? Will it be curtains for other players on the team as a result of them being drafted? Can they help the Bears out immediately?
Let’s find out as we take a look at how things should work out with the Bears' two newest pieces to their complicated puzzle of a team.
If you read draft guides you will see that many experts have projected Carimi to be a right tackle in the NFL. Going into this draft, the Bears had a pretty serviceable player at the right tackle position in J’Marcus Webb and feel that he could be a good starter on the offensive line. The question is, will he start at right tackle or will the Bears slide him over to the left tackle spot?
Frank Omiyale was the starter at the left tackle position for most of last season but his skill leaves a lot to be desired. Adding someone at that position (someone better) would work wonders for the Bears pass protection, so here is what the Bears may do to fix the left tackle position.
Chicago could do one of two things here. First, they could allow Carimi to compete at the left tackle position and try to see if he could beat out Omiyale and make that position much better than it was last season. The only problem is, Carimi is not well suited for that position. He doesn't have the proper length or footwork to adequately play left tackle in the NFL.
The other option is for the Bears to allow Carimi to take over at right tackle and allow Webb and Omiyale to battle it out for the left tackle position. Webb is an interesting prospect and had a pretty decent latter half of the season in 2011, but still has a lot to learn. He could almost certainly beat Omiyale out for the left tackle spot, but will he be able to solidify it?
Carimi is a nice pick and a great value for the Bears. Hopefully they will use him in a way that makes both him and the offense successful.
The Bears let former starter Tommie Harris go this past offseason, and don’t have Anthony Adams under contract right now, so taking Paea made a lot of sense. Paea has the size that the Bears like to see in their defensive tackles, the quickness to get up the field and make plays, and the strength to take on blockers effectively.
If the Bears manage to sign Adams, their rotation next year will be strong. They will be able to bring in Paea, Adams, Matt Toeaina, Henry Melton, Marcus Harrison and Tank Tyler (depending on who they decide to keep), which looks like it could be a good rotation if everyone holds up and there are no injuries.
So the Bears will have a lot of work to do when (and if) training camp opens trying to figure out exactly what they are going to do with their two top players. In order to have any kind of success, Chicago needs to come up with the right formula for these guys, get them in the lineup and help make their chances of winning much better.