Rookies Webb and Wootton Show Promise Against Panthers
The Bears finally showcased two of their 2010 draft picks against the Carolina Panthers on Sunday and it looks like might be here to stay. Seventh round pick RT J’Marcus Webb got the start in place of the injured RT Kevin Shaffer and fourth round pick DE Corey Wootton saw limited action. It was very refreshing to see some young guys on the field after watching countless veterans fail week after week this year.
Webb is definitely the kind of guy you want protecting your QB and blocking for your RB. He is 6’7”, weighs 328 lbs. and looks to be pretty athletic, but I guess it wouldn’t be hard to look good on the Bear’s O-line after last week’s debacle against the Giants. While most of the big running plays this week went to the left side, Webb was clogging up the defense and doing a good job protecting QB’s Collins and Hanie. He did commit two penalties in the second half, a holding penalty (that was declined) and a false start, but neither one affected the game much. If the Bears can find a way to get Webb into more plays this season he may prove to be an invaluable asset to an offensive line that needs all the help it can get.
DE Corey Wootton also made his first NFL appearance against the Panthers, recording one assist on a tackle. While he didn’t do anything spectacular, he didn’t screw anything up either, so I guess you can consider it a good performance for his first real game action. Wootton was a highly touted prospect out of Northwestern, who was looked at as a top college DE until he tore his ACL at the end of the 2008 season. He returned to NU in 2009 and recorded 4 sacks, 6 tackles for a loss and 1 forced fumble. While I don’t see Wootton entering the Bears regular rotation on defense, he will probably see occasional action as the season wears on and guys need more rest.
Finally, we’ve only gotten to see a glimpse of top Bears draft pick, third round pick S Major Wright. He injured his hamstring in week 2 and has yet to return. He is expected out another week or so, but he could be starting by the end of the season if he can stay healthy. Though the Bears only had five draft picks this past year, it looks as though a few of them may pay off. We all know how bad the Bears have been at drafting (WR David Terrell was the 8th overall pick in 2001), so for once it’s nice to be optimistic.
Fifth round pick CB Joshua Moore has yet to see action but is still on the team’s roster. Sixth round pick QB Dan LeFevour (went to Benet High School in Lisle, IL) is currently the 3rd string QB for the Cincinnati Bengals.