Each year the NFL Draft is filled with uncertainty. All 32 teams, including the Bears, have the opportunity to add valuable players to their roster. But in time only a handful of organizations will look back at this year’s draft and be pleased with the results.
In the weeks leading up to the draft most of the chatter is about how much a certain team likes or dislikes a certain player. But we have decided to reverse this way of thinking, and instead will share with you a variety of things the players are saying about the Bears.
Florida State Defensive end Cornellius “Tank” Carradine, a top 10 player at his position in the draft and a second round grade, believes his game is similar to current Bear Julius Peppers.
“[Peppers] runs to the ball all over the field," Carradine said. "I see things he does that I see on my film that I do."
How about the possibility of the Bears drafting Carradine to play opposite his NFL idol?
“It would be a dream,” Carradine said with a smile. “I would be very excited and it would motivate me.”
Peppers is a sure-fire future Hall of Famer and the same can be said about middle linebacker Brian Urlacher, who has played a position that has already produced multiple Canton members including Bill George, Dick Butkus and Mike Singletary.
Could Georgia linebacker Alec Ogletree be the next in a long line of elite playmakers at the position in Chicago?
“I would be a good fit because I feel like I would be able to carry on the tradition of having great linebackers,” Ogletree said. “They’ve had Urlacher and guys like that to come in and just keep carrying the torch, and I feel like I would be able to step in and do that.”
[MORE: Urlacher to return...somewhere]
Alabama’s Dee Milliner, the top rated cornerback in the draft, was asked who the toughest wide receiver was that he faced during his college career, and a current Bears player just happened to top the list.
“Alshon Jeffery and the two guys from Tennessee, Cordarrelle Patterson and Justin Hunter,” Milliner replied.
Jeffery, the Bears second round draft pick in 2012, was teammates at South Carolina with wideout Ace Sanders. The 5-foot-7-inch Sanders is the shortest player at his position in the draft, but he still commands attention and is likely to come off the board in the fifth or sixth round.
“I loved playing with [Jeffery] in college,” Sanders said. “It would be an honor to get to play next to him again, along with Brandon Marshall and those other guys.”
Marshall finished his first season with the Bears tied for second in the league with 118 receptions, while also racking up 1,508 yards and 11 touchdowns.
“He’s a freak athlete, but also a hard worker,” Syracuse wide receiver Alec Lemon said.
Lemon is graded just below Sanders and is expected to be a late round selection. His production with the Orange was inconsistent, but when healthy Lemon was able to accumulate 1,070 yards on 72 receptions, finishing his senior season with seven touchdowns.
Now that he’s heading to the next level, Lemon is taking note of Marshall’s path to greatness.
“[Marshall] trained at the facility I trained at and they talked about his work ethic,” Lemon said. “I can see it by the stuff he does on the field. It doesn’t just start there, it starts off the field and he really wanted to make himself the best receiver and he’s at the top of the list right now.”
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Michigan State defensive end William Gholston is projected as a fifth or sixth round draft pick. At six-foot-six, 281 pounds it’s no secret Gholston has an NFL body, but some scouts wonder if he’s ready for everything else that comes with being a professional.
Gholston believes being drafted by the Bears and playing on a defense with Peppers, Charles Tillman and Lance Briggs could be a good fit.
“[It would be] a great learning experience,” Gholston said. “I get to sit and watch and learn from legends.”