We have focused a lot on safeties and offensive guards in the past.
Now, we should take a look at some of the other needs the Chicago Bears have heading into the 2010 NFL Draft.
The release of cornerback Nathan Vasher, although probably more of a good move than a bad one, has left a little bit of a hole in Chicago’s secondary—in particular, at the cornerback position—and something will have to be done about it during this offseason.
The Bears are also thin at the offensive guard and tackle positions. They need to find someone who could either back up and then eventually start in a year or two—or, if at all possible, find someone who can compete with Kevin Shaffer and either start or add some depth. Without some additional depth at the offensive tackle position, the Bears could have a difficult season on the offensive line.
The following is a look at two players—one at the offensive tackle position and one at the cornerback position—whom the Bears may be interested in heading into the 2010 NFL Draft.
Sam Young—Notre Dame
If the Bears are looking for a starting-caliber offensive tackle when they make their first pick, they need look no further than Notre Dame’s Sam Young. Young has improved over the course of time—and after a good Senior Bowl showing, he’s thrust himself into the spotlight for many NFL scouts.
Some things that he does well include great size with the kind of physical traits you would like to see in an offensive tackle. He is a solid and strong run blocker with a very good, aggressive streak. He finishes his blocks and gets the best of the defender. He is also a solid pass blocker with a good mirror and great feet.
What Young doesn’t do well is block effectively at the second level—and he doesn’t possess the speed or athletic ability that the ideal offensive tackle has. He would need to work on his mechanics a little bit in the league—meaning that he won’t be quite ready to go when he lands.
Young also needs to learn how to control himself better, because he was guilty of several personal fouls during the 2009 season. That won’t help him in the NFL.
Young should be around when the Bears make their first pick—and depending on which way they go, they could quite possibly turn him into a starting-caliber offensive lineman who could step in and start in short order.
Arenas may have dropped down a little bit in the cornerback rankings after having a subpar season with the Crimson Tide, but he is definitely worth a look when the Bears make their first selection in the third round.
What the Bears might like most about Arenas is that he is an accomplished return specialist and is a threat to run the kick back every time he gets his hands on it.
He has strong instincts for the position and can be used to blitz the quarterback—which he did well at Alabama—and this might come in handy for the Bears. Arenas is also a solid tackler, and he has the ability to judge where the quarterback is going to throw the ball and jump the route to make the interception.
On the downside, Arenas is not the ideal size for a cornerback, and the Bears like their cornerbacks bigger to help support against the run. There are times when he will take risks that have ended up backfiring on him.
He will struggle at times against larger receivers and doesn’t have a lot of upside—but he does have enough to be effective.
Arenas is working out well this offseason, but some question his ability to be a starter. The Bears could use him not only as a backup but also on special teams—and that may be enough to at least get them interested. If he can learn behind the guys slotted to start, he could eventually develop into a quality cornerback that fans could see starting on Sundays.
These are just two of the many options that the Bears have when they start making their first few picks. They at least have to get some help on the offensive line and add some depth at the cornerback position—and perhaps these are two guys who could help them out in the future.