The Bears found starting linemen Lance Louis and J’Marcus Webb in the seventh rounds of drafts. The New England Patriots secured Tom Brady in a sixth round. Richard Dent was an eighth-round pick. Nice surprises can happen late in drafts.
The Bears and many analysts were surprised to see Cornelius Washington still unselected in the sixth round and Marquess Wilson in the seventh. The Bears liked what they saw in their first extended time with the pair this weekend.
At 6-4, 265 pounds, Washington had no more than five sacks in any of his four seasons at Georgia but the expectations are higher now.
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“He looks athletic, looks like he can rush a little bit, high-motor guy who only knows one speed, full speed whether it’s a walk-through or whatever,” defensive coordinator Mel Tucker said. “He’s a fun guy to coach and…he’s a guy who improves and takes coaching, so I think he’s got some upside and the arrow is up with him.”
Washington had 11 college starts at defensive end and 14 at linebacker. The initial plan is for him to have his hand on the ground as an end and he spent the weekend at left defensive end.
“I’m just going to do what I’m asked,” Washington said. “If they say they want me to come in and rush, then I’m completely comfortable with that. I’m just ready to come in and do what the coaches ask me to do and earn as much respect as I can on this team. And just make my part of the team.”
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Despite more than 1,000 receiving yards in his first two college seasons, Wilson fell to the draft’s seventh round primarily because of quitting the Washington State team following claims of abuse by the coaching staff. He played in nine games last season, meaning his time away from football has been the longest among the draft picks.
“He was a little leg weary a little bit I think from the travel and I thought he stepped up [on Sunday] and was a little more involved,” said coach Marc Trestman. “He had his feet underneath him, had a little more balance and you could see his movement and his skill level certainly.”