Dec 6, 2014; Atlanta, GA, USA; Missouri Tigers defensive lineman Shane Ray (56) walks off the field after being ejected from the game during the second quarter of the 2014 SEC Championship Game against the Alabama Crimson Tide at the Georgia Dome. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
Shane Ray, DE Missouri. Willie Young has had a really good season, but the Chicago Bears need something viable across from him. Jared Allen is clearly not the player he once was, while the jury is still out on Lamarr Houston. Even if Houston pans out, Ray could still be a valuable part of the rotation. Shane Ray has had a phenomenal season for the Tigers, and shows elite potential as a pass rusher. He is a bit undersized at 6-3, 245, but has the frame to put on more weight. And who knows, maybe the Bears will be running a 3-4 next year. Elite pass rushers don’t grow on trees and Shane Ray would be hard to pass up if he’s available.
Andrus Peat, OT Stanford. If the Bears decide to stay the course and ride with Jay Cutler at the helm for one more season, Peat might be the player that could impact this team the most. The top 10 is really high for a right tackle, but I don’t think Peat would be a right tackle for very long. Jermon Bushrod is 2 years into a 4-year deal and Peat could be the guy to take over the left side when Bushrod’s time is up. There has been some talk recently about Peat returning to school for another year, but I think that would be a mistake. How much higher does he hope to go? He’s only subjecting himself to injury risk. With his rare combination size and athleticism, Peat could go in the top 5. Another player the Chicago Bears would be hard pressed to pass on, were he available.
Brandon Scherff, OT Iowa. Scherff is definitely a lesser talent to Andrus Peat, but is probably the better football player at this point in their respective careers. I’m not a huge fan of Scherff because I think he has a limited ceiling, but he’s receiving high marks from scouts and should come off the board shortly after the top 10, if not in it. He’s more of a road-grader than Peat and has a very high floor. At the very least, I think he’s an elite right tackle in the NFL. He wouldn’t be a terrible pick, but Jerry Angelo ruined me on “safe” picks a long time ago. I want more upside in a top 10 pick.
There you go. It’s not all terrible. A losing season or two might be just what the Chicago Bears need to rebuild the talent base of this team. I know it’s hard to see your favorite team struggling week in and week out, but there’s always ample reason to hope for the future. Keep your chin up and you’re eyes on the college football postseason. There’s bound to be at least one player that very few of us have heard about that ascends because of what happens during those games. Bear Down, but keep it balanced…