2011 NFL Mock Draft: Chicago Bears Draft Take

Jake CoxCorrespondent IApril 1, 2011

2011 NFL Mock Draft: Chicago Bears Draft Take

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    CHICAGO, IL - JANUARY 16:  Quarterback Jay Cutler #6 of the Chicago Bears talks with offensive coordinator Mike Martz against the Seattle Seahawks in the 2011 NFC divisional playoff game at Soldier Field on January 16, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo b
    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    The Chicago Bears surprised a lot of people by making it all the way to the NFC Championship game last season.  The free agent acquisition of Julius Peppers really made a huge difference to the defense, and the offensive line performed much better than expected. 

    Lovie Smith assembled an impressive coaching staff, and the effect of Mike Martz and Mike Tice could be seen with the offense last season.

    Jay Cutler had a pretty solid season last year, but it really ended on a sour note for him.  Cutler worked surprisingly well with Mike Martz last year, and having a full year in Martz’s system will only help him in 2011. 

    Forte turned it on in the last half of the season, and he looked a lot better than he did in 2009. 

    Chester Taylor didn’t contribute much last year, but hopefully he can bounce back in 2011. 

    The Bears still don’t have a top wideout, but Devin Hester, Johnny Knox, and Earl Bennett form a solid duo.  The offensive line needs a lot of work, as pretty much every position could be upgraded. 

    J’Marcus Webb was surprising as a rookie, but I’m not sure he’s the long term answer.

    The defense was again the strength of this Chicago Bears team, and it was led by Julius Peppers.  Peppers and Israel Idonije form a very good tandem at defensive end. 

    Defensive tackle is somewhat of a weakness, but Anthony Adams is pretty solid at nose tackle.  Lance Briggs and Brian Urlacher are still playing at a pro bowl level, and they both should be just as good next year. 

    The other spot could be a problem, as Pisa Tinoisamoa has been injury prone since coming to Chicago.  The secondary could use some work, as they are lacking a standout player. 

    Charles Tillman is still solid at cornerback, but the other spot is unsettled.  Chris Harris and Danieal Manning are both good players, and I expect both of them to be starting again in 2011.

2010 Draft Recap

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    CHICAGO - NOVEMBER 28: Major Wright #27 of the Chicago Bears awaits the start of play against the Philadelphia Eagles at Soldier Field on November 28, 2010 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bears defeated the Eagles 31-26. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    3. (75) S Major Wright, Florida

    Should be a solid player, but injuries somewhat slowed him down in his rookie year, as he was never able to claim the starting safety spot.

    4. (109) DE Corey Wootton, Northwestern

    Didn’t get much playing time early on, but he looked like he had some potential when he got the chance to play.

    5. (141) CB Joshua Moore, Kansas State

    He didn’t get much playing time, but he will be given a shot to earn a role in 2011.

    6. (181) QB Dan LeFevour, Central Michigan

    He was let go at the end of training camp, and he ended the season with the Cincinnati Bengals.

    7. (218) OT J’Marcus Webb, West Texas A&M

    Webb played pretty well last season after being inserted into the starting lineup, and he’ll continue to improve with more experience.


    Webb was a great pickup in the seventh round, and both Major Wright and Corey Wootton look to be major contributors. Jerry Angelo did a pretty good job despite not having a first or second round pick.

    Grade: B-

Team Need: Wide Receiver

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    CHICAGO, IL - DECEMBER 26: Devin Hester #23 of the Chicago Bears runs against the New York Jets at Soldier Field on December 26, 2010 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bears defeated the Jets 38-34. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    The Bears have lacked a true No. 1 receiver for a long time, and having one would really be a major help to Jay Cutler. 

    Devin Hester is a great weapon in the slot, and Johnny Knox looks like he has the ability to become a solid No. 2 option at receiver. 

    The depth is suspect, as Devin Aromashodu didn’t perform as well as expected.  They may not be able to find a true No. 1 receiver in this draft, but I expect them to draft at least one within their first four picks of this draft.

    It is extremely important for the Bears to find a top receiver in this offseason.  They may have to go through the free agency route to find one, but there are a few underrated, mid round receivers who could turn into top targets.

Potential Wide Receiver Targets

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    PITTSBURGH - DECEMBER 05:  Jonathan Baldwin #82 of the University of Pittsburgh Panthers catches a touchdown in the fourth quarter against the Cincinnati Bearcats on December 5, 2009 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Ge
    Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

    Round One: Jon Baldwin

    Round Two: Titus Young, Torrey Smith

    Round Three: Leonard Hankerson, Dwayne Harris

    Round Four: Vincent Brown, Terrance Tolliver

    Baldwin has all the talent to become a No. 1 receiver, but his attitude has been questioned. Torrey Smith is a very underrated talent, and he could turn out to be a top receiver in a year or two.

Team Need: Defensive Tackle

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    CHICAGO - SEPTEMBER 12: Tommie Harris #91 of the Chicago Bears awaits the start of play against the Detroit Lions during the NFL season opening game at Soldier Field on September 12, 2010 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bears defeated the Lions 19-14. (Photo by
    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    Anthony Adams is a very solid run stuffer, but the Bears will be looking for a starting tackle to pair next to him. 

    Tommie Harris has underperformed in recent years, and he is no longer with the franchise.  Matt Toeaina had his moments, but I think he is a better fit as a rotational player. 

    There will be quite a few options for the Bears in this draft, but this position needs to be addressed at some point.  They can find a solid 4-3 defensive tackle who could challenge for the starting job in round two or three, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see them take one in those rounds.

    As I said, it’s a strong draft for defensive tackles, as that position could just be the deepest position in this year’s draft. 

    I think the Bears really need to address the position this year while they have a lot of very good options to choose from.

Potential Defensive Tackle Targets

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    CHAPEL HILL, NC - NOVEMBER 7:  Marvin Austin #9 of the North Carolina Tar Heels warms up before the game against the Duke Blue Devils at Kenan Stadium on November 7, 2009 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
    Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

    Round One: Christian Ballard, Corey Liuget, Drake Nevis

    Round Two: Jurrell Casey, Marvin Austin

    Round Three: Jarvis Jenkins, Terrell McClain

    Ballard and Nevis are two players who could be first round talents, even though most people may not agree. 

    If the Bears don’t want to use a top pick on a defensive tackle, Jenkins and McClain would be solid pickups in round three, and they would fit well in the Bears’ defense.

Team Need: Offensive Tackle

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    CHARLOTTE, NC - OCTOBER 10: Offensive tackle J'Marcus Webb #73 of the Chicago Bears blocks defensive tackle Derek Landri #61 of the Carolina Panthers at Bank of America Stadium on October 10, 2010 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Geoff Burke/Getty
    Geoff Burke/Getty Images

    Frank Omiyale and J’Marcus Webb played better than expected last season, but neither of them are starting quality tackles.

      Former first round offensive tackle Chris Williams was moved to guard and it seems to me that he is going to stay at that position, at least for the time being.  The Bears must come away with at least one tackle in this year’s draft, even if they aren’t able to select one in the first round.

    Offensive line coach Mike Tice did a pretty solid job with the offensive line despite not having a whole lot of talent to work with. 

    This team needs to give Jay Cutler some better protection if they plan on winning a championship with him as the quarterback.

Potential Offensive Tackle Targets

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    CHESTNUT HILL, MA - OCTOBER 03:  Anthony Castonzo #74 of the Boston College Eagles congratulates teammate Montel Harris #2 after Harris scored a touchdown in the first quarter against the Florida State Seminoles on October 3, 2009 at Alumni Stadium in Che
    Elsa/Getty Images

    Round One: Anthony Castonzo, Gabe Carimi, Derek Sherrod and Ben Ijalana

    Round Two: James Brewer and Chris Hairston

    Round Three: James Carpenter and Lee Ziemba

    Round Four: Joe Barksdale and Jason Pinkston

    The Bears would love to have Castonzo or Carimi fall to them, but I’m not sure if that is going to happen at this point. 

    Even if they don’t take a first round tackle, Brewer and Hairston are two players who could develop into left tackles in a year or two, but could contribute at the right tackle spot in their rookie seasons.

Team Need: Offensive Guard

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    CHICAGO - AUGUST 28: Chris Williams #74 of the Chicago Bears participates in warm-ups before a preseason game against the Arizona Cardinals at Soldier Field on August 28, 2010 in Chicago, Illinois. The Cardinals defeated the Bears 14-9. (Photo by Jonathan
    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    Roberto Garza and Chris Williams both played adequately in 2010, but neither of them has firmly secured a starting spot for next season. 

    Williams wasn’t supposed to be an offensive guard, but he has struggled at tackle, and he will most likely get a shot to start because of the money they are paying him. 

    There really isn’t any depth at this position, and the Bears need to find someone who can not only provide depth, but can challenge for a starting spot.

    Garza will most likely be starting again next season as well, but the Bears need to bring in some competition for him.  They should be able to find that player in the mid rounds of this year’s draft.

Potential Offensive Guard Targets

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    TALLAHASSEE, FL - NOVEMBER 27: Rodney Hudson #62 of the Florida State Seminoles celebrates a touchdown during a game against the Florida Gators at Doak Campbell Stadium on November 27, 2010 in Tallahassee, Florida.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
    Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

    Round One: Danny Watkins

    Round Two: Rodney Hudson and Clint Boling

    Round Three: Will Rackley and John Moffitt

    Round Four: Zach Hurd

    Hudson and Boling would be very good fits for the Bears if they last until the end of round two.  I think the Bears might not want to wait too long to draft a guard, as the talent level really kind of drops off after the first five or six prospects.

Team Need: Outside Linebacker

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    CHICAGO, IL - JANUARY 23:  Lance Briggs #55 of the Chicago Bears reacts while taking on the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Championship Game at Soldier Field on January 23, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
    Jamie Squire/Getty Images

    This isn’t the biggest of needs for the Bears, but it is a position that they could consider.

    Lance Briggs has one spot locked down, but the Bears can’t really count on Pisa Tinoisamoa playing for a full season. He is a solid starter when he gets on the field, but he missed seven games last season and there really isn’t much depth to speak of. 

    This is a position that I don’t expect the Bears to address early on in the draft, unless a top prospect falls to them.  Yet, I wouldn’t be surprised if they took a player in the mid to late rounds who can provide depth in his first couple of seasons, but can possibly develop into a starter in a few years.

Potential Outside Linebacker Targets

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    SEATTLE - SEPTEMBER 11:  Linebacker Mason Foster #40 of the Washington Huskies follows the play during the game against the Syracuse Orange on September 11, 2010 at Husky Stadium in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
    Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

    Round One: Justin Houston

    Round Two: Mason Foster

    Round Three: Colin McCarthy

    Round Four: K.J. Wright and Lawrence Wilson

    Houston would be a good pick for the Bears, but he might be gone by that point. The Bears probably won’t use a high pick on a secondary need. 

    Wright and Wilson are very underrated players, and while they most likely wouldn’t start in their first year, they could develop into solid starters down the road.

Other Possible Needs

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    CHICAGO - OCTOBER 17: Charles Tillman #33 of the Chicago Bears uses the goal post as a punching bag during warm-ups before a game against the Seattle Seahawks at Soldier Field on October 17, 2010 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Image
    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images


    Charles Tillman has one spot locked down, but the other spot isn’t really settled.  The Bears may look to bring in some competition for Tim Jennings, D.J. Moore, and Corey Graham.

    Running back

    Chester Taylor vastly underperformed in 2010, so the Bears may look to bring in a different backup for Matt Forte.  At the very least, they should look to find a new No. 3 running back, as Garrett Wolfe may not be back with the team next season.


    Olin Kreutz is one of the team leaders, and he is arguably the best offensive lineman on the team.  Yet, he is getting up there in years, and he may not have too many years left in Chicago.

Team Draft Strategy

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    LAKE FOREST, IL - MAY 4: The head coach Lovie Smith (L) and general manager Jerry Angelo of the Chicago Bears look over players during a rookie mini-camp practice at Halas Hall May 4, 2007 in Lake Forest, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    It will be nice for the Bears to have a first round pick again, after not having one for the past two drafts due to the Jay Cutler trade. 

    The Bears need some help around the trenches, with the offensive line most likely being a big focus in this year’s draft.  Jerry Angelo hasn’t exactly had the best track record in the past, but he needs to have a solid draft here so the Bears can keep up with a division that is getting better every year. 

    The Bears took the league by surprise last year, but they have the talent to still be a force to be reckoned with. 

    They need to build around their franchise quarterback, which means that the Bears need to use some high picks on finding some protection for Cutler, as well as a No. 1 receiving target.