Friday, April 29, 2011
Posted: 5:34 p.m. Updated: 6:21 p.m.
By John Mullin
The drafts second day brought some skill players into the NFC North as Minnesota took the drafts first Notre Dame player, tight end Kyle Rudolph. Coach Leslie Frazier and personnel head Rick Spielman are not wasting a lot of time getting beyond Brett Favre.
The Detroit Lions took a bit of a gamble in Boise State wide receiver Titus Young, a lightweight (174 pounds) burner who caught 150 passes in his combined junior-senior seasons after being suspended as a sophomore.
Interestingly perhaps, the Lions supplemented two of their absolute strengths with their first two picks. Young will be opposite Megatron (Calvin Johnson). On the defensive line, Nick Fairley was drafted to play inside on a line that already has Ndamumkong Suh.
The Lions won their last four games of 2010 to finish 6-10. They will not be 6-10 in 2011.
The 8th Court of Appeals granted the owners their block of the players block of the owners block of the players going back to work.
And from a press room wag with a sense of Hollywood Squares history: All they need now is Wally Cox to block. Or maybe Paul Lynd or Ruth Buzzi.
Coach Lovie Smith kept a veil over plans for Gabe Carimi but offensive line coach Mike Tice pulled it back a little on Friday, stating that he sees the Wisconsin rookie tackle as an outside player, meaning tackle, not guard.
Tice said he and the Bears were surprised that Carimi was available when their turn approached at No. 29. Carimi was rated fourth among their line prospects, which confirmed what Jerry Angelo said after Thursdays first round, that the number of quarterbacks taken in the first round (four) helped push Carimi down.
And yes, size does matter. Its nice to have a guy in the building as big as I am, said Tice, himself 6-8.
Back at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, draft guru Wes Bunting of National Football Post told me that LSU defensive tackle Drake Nevis was a player to watch when the Bears turn came in the draft, particularly the second round.
Wes was among the first to point out that Nevis fits the scenario that Jerry Angelo, Tim Ruskell and others have cited working in the Bears favor. The proliferation of 3-4 defensive schemes have sent teams scurrying for jumbo defensive linemen and more linebackers.
The Bears and Lovie SmithRod Marinelli dont mind bulk but they treasure speed. So where a 3-4 scheme may pass over a D-lineman smaller than 310 pounds, the Bears did quite nicely with a healthy Tommie Harris at 290 pounds and Julius Peppers at 283.
So when Nevis weighed in at 294 at the Combine, he may have dropped off some draft boards but gone up on the one in Chicago.
I'm comfortable at any weight that I'm asked to play at, Nevis said. But that's what I got down to for the Combine
And just as the level of competition in the 2010 Big Ten was a plus for Gabe Carimi, Nevis career against offenses of the SEC prepared him well by the competition and the athletes you go against, Nevis said. They are big, strong, fast as well as smart.
And there was something at stake every Saturday. Every Saturday was like playing for a national championship game.
Something else to like about Nevis: Like Carimi, he was a four-year man at LSU, although not a starter until his senior season. He had just 10 sacks for his career, 4 as a junior and 6 as a senior. He is not a run-stuffer but more an undersized disruptor who is a shade under 6 feet but had nearly 30 tackles for loss in his final three LSU seasons.
Someone to watch as Saturday evening plays out
Fans will be following the NFL career of Gabe Carimi soon enough. In the meantime they can follow the rest of him on Twitter, @GabeCarimi, where this afternoon the rook tweeted, on the toad to chi town! so stoked to be a bear!
Carimis coach at Wisconsin, Bret Bielema, dropped by the NFL Networks draft desk and explained why the Badgers have a nice tradition of players with good size: Were in Wisconsin. You go to the grocery store, youre going to see big people.
John "Moon" Mullin is CSNChicago.com's Bears Insider, and appears regularly on Bears Postgame Live and Chicago Tribune Live. Follow Moon on Twitter for up-to-the-minute Bears information.