Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Posted: 10:48 a.m.
By John Mullin
All of the talk swirling around whether draftees should or would boycott the draft has not obscured the fact that there indeed will be one. And it will not be an easy time, with the Bears picking at No. 29.
I had a brutal time with Chicago with this mock draft, not that anyone cares, joked Todd McShay, college scouting director for ESPN Scouts Inc. on a conference call Wednesday. I dont have the perfect answer for them.
Hopefully, for the Bears sake, Jerry Angelo and Tim Ruskell do.
The need areas on both lines are well documented and they need a young Tommie Harris, a guy who can be that three-technique, McShay said. But can you get him at 29 overall? I dont think you can.
Insiders at Halas Hall are extremely high on Henry Melton, who has added muscle on up to 294 pounds and he right now is the heir apparent to the banner that Harris put down. Unfortunately the Bears arent able to be in close touch with Melton right now because of the labor situation but Melton could be enough of a factor to allow the Bears comfortably address offensive line first.
Linebacker is a possibility for the Bears in McShays mind. And Angelo is a firm believer in keeping a strength strong, a philosophy that points toward defense.
No No. 1 pick at all??
The Bears could choose to be without a pick in round one for the third straight year.
I think the Bears may be moving back and acquiring an extra pick on day two, McShay said. That may wind up being the best scenario for the Bears.
Nate Solder from Colorado could fall to the Bears because he does not have the rankings of Gabe Carimi, Mike Pouncey, Tyron Smith or Anthony Castonzo.
But waiting on the offensive line could work for Chicago.
Addressing the tendency of Indianapolis draft legend Bill Polian to draft offensive skill positions in his first rounds, McShay went against some analysts and said that there is sufficient depth in the offensive line class for a team to make a move there in the second round rather than the first.
McShay has moved Miamis Orlando Franklin into that range of the Bears in the late first round. While theres a lot of very good football players, probably one through 26, theres a drop-off after that, McShay said. Orlando Franklin could become one of the surprises of this class.
Gabbert vs. Newton
It wont involve the Bears but Missouris Blaine Gabbert has solidified some standing ahead of Cam Newton in the race to be the first quarterback taken. McShay has rated them that way for some time.
I dont view it as a leapfrog, McShay said. When he started studying tape on them closely, it didnt take longAndrew Luck was No. 1 if he was coming out, with Blaine Gabbert No. 2 and Cam Newton No. 3.
But neither should be expected to hit with the splash of some recent high No. 1 picks. I dont think theres a Matt Ryan or Sam Bradford in this class, McShay said. I think we have to take a step back from the last few years and go back to the old way of taking a year with a guy and letting him sit a year. Hes the only quarterback in this class I would draft in the top 10.
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.