Bears select West Virginia LB Thomas in Round 6

Bears select West Virginia LB Thomas in Round 6

Saturday, April 30, 2011
Posted: 3:47 p.m. Updated: 6:00 PM

By John Mullin
CSNChicago.com

J.T. Thomas draft capsule

Complete NFL Draft Coverage

The Bears 2011 draft came to a quiet close with their selection of West Virginia linebacker J.T. Thomas in the sixth round, the 195th pick overall.

Thomas, 6-1, 241 pounds, started 13 games in each of his last three Mountaineers seasons after working as reserve in 10 games his freshman year. He will need to be a solid contributor on special teams although, GM Jerry Angelo and the Bears liked that Thomas comes with options.

He fits us perfectly, can play all three positions, Angelo said. He played multi-roles there at West Virginia. We spent a lot of time on him, saw him at an All-Star game. He got hurt during that practice week, but we feel very, very good about his fit and picking up a linebacker was a goal today and he was the right one.

That would be an important step up.

The Bears behind Jerry Angelo have fared very poorly drafting linebackers other than picking Lance Briggs in the third round of the 2003 draft. One linebacker was selected in every draft from 2002 to 2009, a list comprised of Bryan Knight (2002, 5th round), Joe Odom (2003, 6th), Leon Joe (2004, 4th), Rod Wilson (2005, 7th), Jamar Williams (2006, 4th), Michael Okwo (2007, 3rd), Joey LaRoque (2008, 5th) and Marcus Freeman (2009, 5th).

Wilson made the team initially, was cut but returned and finished last season with the Bears. Williams gave the Bears several respectable seasons as a backup before being traded. But the Bears have gotten virtually nothing of consequence from multiple attempts to find a linebacker in the mid- to late rounds of their drafts.

But Thomas may be a better fit than some of his unsuccessful predecessors.

"Its the same defense that I played in at West Virginia, the same mentality, very aggressive, Thomas said. Ill also be playing alongside one of my best high school friends, Joshua Moore cornerback, drafted fifth round last year as well. It will definitely be fun and Im very excited.

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.

2017 NFL Draft Profile: Missouri OLB Charles Harris

2017 NFL Draft Profile: Missouri OLB Charles Harris

As part of our coverage leading up to the 2017 NFL Draft we will provide profiles of more than 100 prospects, including a scouting report and video interviews with each player.

Charles Harris, OLB, Missouri

6'3" | 253 lbs.

2016 stats:

61 tackles, 12 TFL, 9 sacks

Projection:

First round

Scouting Report:

"High-cut pass rusher with good athleticism but concerns regarding his ability to drop anchor against the run. Ironically, Harris might be best suited as a penetrator which is something he fought against this season. His hands can be improved as pass rush weapons, but he has agility and footwork that can't be taught. Harris can play on the edge in a 4-3 or 3-4 front and should be the next in a line of early contributing defensive ends coming out of Missouri." — Lance Zierlein, NFL.com

Video analysis provided by Rotoworld and NBC Sports NFL Draft expert Josh Norris.

Click here for more NFL Draft Profiles

Ex-Bear Brandon Marshall an early favorite at NFL owners meetings

Ex-Bear Brandon Marshall an early favorite at NFL owners meetings

PHOENIX – Brandon Marshall never needed a whole lot of encouragement to step before a microphone but the NFL, which sometimes wished he'd put a sock in it, has now invited the former Bears wide receiver to speak up.
 
The NFL extended an invitation for Marshall, whose time in Chicago ended in some measure because of his insistence on pursuing the media portion of his career, to address the league higher-up's ostensibly as part of a communications bridge-building. Marshall jumped at the chance.
 
"They thought it was important for a player to come up and give a player's perspective and talk about the relationship between owners and players," Marshall said on Monday at the outset of the NFL owners meetings. "I think it's evident that our relationship could be so much better."
 
Marshall has been part of Showtime's "Inside the NFL" in recent years, flying to New York to participate in taping the show, and ultimately accepting a trade from the Bears to the Jets in 2015, which obviously cut down on his commute. The Jets released Marshall earlier this month, after which Marshall signed on with the Giants.
 
He told owners this week, "If we want our game to continue to be on that [positive] track, that it's on being super successful and being a pillar in our community and being a thread in our community, we have to make sure our relationship as players and owners is good."

[VIVID SEATS: Get your Bears tickets right here!]
 
The immediate response was more than a little positive: Per San Francisco 49ers owner Jed York:

https://twitter.com/JedYork/status/846400103472480256
 
Marshall predictably welcomed the forum and wants to see it expanded.

"I'd like to see more players be more involved in our owners meetings," Marshall said. "And not only at the owners meetings, but any time we're talking football, we should have players at the table. Commissioner Goodell is always open-minded. He always has that open-door policy. So I think he'll continue to listen and continue to evolve this part of our business."