Finding side doors and windows to draft intentions

Finding side doors and windows to draft intentions
April 8, 2013, 12:15 pm
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What makes some mock drafts and “big boards” worth tracking is that everyone has sources and they’re not all the same ones nor with the same teams. That means, for example, that the Bears (20th) or Green Bay Packers (26th) may not be giving the slightest indications of their intentions, but it’s a small universe and people do talk.

So a scout with the Houston Texans (27th) gets networking because Houston would like very much to know what the Packers and Minnesota Vikings (25th) are thinking. He may be a better “source” on the local teams than individuals within those organizations who are under understandably strict gag orders on draft matters, certainly where media are concerned.

With that in mind, that side doors and back windows can be better avenues to information than front doors, some of the analyses out there warrant considering.

In his revised mock draft, NBC cousin Mike Florio out at ProFootballTalk.com, who's one of the true NFL insiders, has the Bears selecting North Carolina defensive tackle Sylvester Williams, a distinct possibility at No. 20. During this year’s Scouting Combine, projected Top-15 pick Tarheel guard Jonathan Cooper was asked to name the toughest player he’d ever had to block. Teammate Williams was his immediate nominee.

[RELATED: Bears draft 'pool' more important than one target]

As is the case with the No. 2 quarterback slot, the Bears have not addressed defensive tackle beyond backup Nate Collins re-signing for one year. But no defense can have too many impact linemen.

Interestingly, Mike did not have Ogletree going anywhere in the first round. By comparison, when I “drafted” for the Bears on Monday as part of a mock draft conducted with media analysts from NFL cities around the country, Ogletree was taken at No. 19 by the New York Giants.

So I traded down and “selected”….  (Sorry, can’t tip my hand to the Bengals (21st), Rams (22nd) or Vikings (23rd).)

SI.com pal and designated mock draft specialist Don Banks projected the Bears passing on Williams (No. 28 to Denver) and snatching Georgia linebacker Alec Ogletree. Before he went to Sports Illustrated, Don ruled the Minnesota Vikings beat for Twin Cities newspapers so his projections of the Vikings selecting Missouri defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson at 23 and Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o at 25 are worth noting.

Between those two was Indianapolis choosing Kansas State linebacker Arthur Brown, a player high in Bears’ draft deliberations.