While the Chicago Bears continue to labor to find a head coach, we’ve got mock drafts to do to figure out the new direction the Bears will take in 2013. As important as the head coach selection will be, the Bears’ first round selection is that much more critical.
As we’re still trying to sort through the college prospects to create our own mock draft, we’ll go to the Mother Ship’s site to check out FanSided’s official mock for this week and which player they have the Bears taking at #20. This most recent mock had me picking my jaw up off the floor.
20. Chicago Bears – Manti Te’o, ILB/Notre Dame
There was a discussion earlier this year as to whether or not the Chicago sports community should claim Notre Dame as their own. While that is a topic of debate still, the man leading the charge for the Irish could wind up in the Windy City. Brian Urlacher is likely not going to return to Chicago, meaning the Bears will have a massive void to fill with his departure. Te’o will be able to step up and be a leader in the locker room, be a menace on the field and he’ll become a staple in a gang ravaged Chicago community that needs all the help it can get. By drafting Te’o, more than just the Bears win — the great city of Chicago wins as well.
Just over a week ago, this would have seemed like a great pick for the Bears. With an aging and likely departing Brian Urlacher, Te’o would immediately step in to patrol the middle of the Bears defense for the next decade. After watching his performance against the Alabama Crimson Tide in Monday night’s National Championship Game, I’m not sure I really like the idea of Te’o any more.
While he dominated throughout much of Notre Dame’s season, seeing him get manhandled against Alabama really makes me question whether he can get it done on Sundays.
Alabama probably boasts more NFL prospects than any other team that Te’o and the Irish faced all season. Alabama took Te’o out of the game and when he was in position to make a play, he couldn’t make the tackles. If that’s the best he can do against that level of competition, Te’o could be in for a tough NFL career.
On the flipside, if Te’o didn’t have a tough game in the national spotlight, his draft stock wouldn’t have dropped him down low enough for the Bears to be in a position to select him. Earlier mocks had him going at the top half of the first round and depending on his Combine results, he could very well drop into the bottom half of the first round or later.
Besides Te’os performance, there’s also a question of need. The Bears have gaping holes at offensive line and tight end that seem to be more pressing than their middle linebacker position. If the Bears go for someone from the National Championship game, how about Alabama center/guard/tackle/quarterback shover Barrett Jones? He’d step in immediately in any spot on the offensive line and provide an immediate upgrade for the Beloved.
And if you have your heard set on a member of the Fighting Irish, how about tight end Tyler Eifert? I’ve seen him described as a “Greg Olsen with better inline blocking.” Sounds good to me.
What do you think? Any interest in Te’o? Did Monday’s game change your opinion like it did mine? Who would you like to see the Bears draft in the first round? Let’s see your Comments.