With the NFL Draft quickly approaching, teams must make constant revisions of their drafting formula based on free agency. So before we jump too far into draft talk, let’s review the free agency status of the Chicago Bears.
The Bears made the surprising move of re-signing Lance Briggs, but let Bernard Berrian go to Minnesota and Muhsin Muhammed go to Carolina. Brendon Ayanbadejo is now a Baltimore Raven, and reports indicate that several teams are asking about Rashied Davis. Fred Miller and Ruben Brown are both gone and John Gilmore is a Tampa Bay Buc. The Bears replaced the wide receiver vacancy with veteran Marty Booker and Brandon Lloyd.
That leaves a gapping void at right tackle, right guard, running back, safety, and a long-term need to upgrade at wide receiver and quarterback. Whew, that’s all? There is little doubt the Bears are going to make a priority of drafting one of the talented offensive tackles available in this years draft. As much as the Bears need help shoring up safety, there isn’t much help in free agency or the draft for improvement. You really never know what Jerry Angelo will do about the quarterback situation so that remains to be seen.
The remaining priorities are right guard and running, with a need for a long-term solution at wide receiver. When I say a long term solution I mean that the Bears have players for the next couple years, so they should look into developing a young receiver that could make a huge impact. The guard and running back positions require forcing a free agent or rookie to make an immediate impact.
I’m still not done considering the Bears could sign a free agent running back, based solely on the fact that Jerry Angelo has shown no ability to weight talent at the position when drafting. They are better off taking an established running back from another team that can get to work, much the same way Thomas Jones made such a big impact. I was disappointed to see his brother, Julius Jones, get signed by the Seahawks for a 4 year deal. I figured if the Bears didn’t grab Michael Turner, who signed a big deal witht he Falcons, the Bears could grab Jones. Neither happened and I’m becoming increasingly concerned abou the Bears running game.
Marion Barber is a restricted free agent in Dallas, but the cost to tear him away could be too big for a team that has been trying to pinch salary cap pennies. Michael Pittman is available out of Tampa Bay but his best years are far behind him. Ron Dayne is available out of Houston and if I ever hear his name mentioned again I may puke in my mouth. There were reports the Bears were interested in Titan running back Chris Brown, but just as quickly he signed with Houston. You know what’s after that? Not a damn thing.
The running back situation came and went for the Bears, with no attempt to grab one of the impact players. Signing any of the players still on the market would only cause more trouble and create a bigger distraction of the Bears running game. As a result, drafting a running back suddenly becomes a big priority. The idea itself is scary given our recent track record of drafting running backs. The Bears should just go with the old proven method of drafting the best player availabe at your pick. For the first pick, it will most likely be offensive tackle. For the remaining three picks in the first three rounds, the Bears should grab any running back, wide receiver, or guard that has shown signs of talent and th eability to make an impact.
Any attempts by Jerry Angelo to survey the talent pool will only result in another disaster pick. The scary part is in order the win, the Bears are relying on this to be one of the most successful drafts in franchise history. Just the idea that the Bears are going to use as many as three starting spots on an already struggling offense with rookies could be ugly. The next few months will make or break Jerry Angelo’s future with the Bears organization, let’s hope he can get it right this time.
Tags: Bernard Berrian Brandon Ayanbadejo Brandon Lloyd Chicago Bears Chris Brown Fred Miller Jerry Angelo John Gilmore Julius Jones Lance Briggs Marion Barber Marty Booker Michael Pittman Michael Turner Muhsin Muhammed NFL Draft Rashied Davis Ron Dayne Ruben Brown Thomas Jones