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Posted on: March 5, 2008 12:25 pm
 

08 Mock Draft & FA Signings

 Here is what I think the Bears will do for the remainder of FA, I would like more to happen, but this is the minimum that needs to happen.:

- Sign Shane Olivea or Maurice Williams as a Guard.

-Other possibilities: Max Starks -OT, Bryant Johnson -WR, D.J. Hackett -WR, Eugene Wilson -FS.  But I doubt these guys will be signed.

Then the draft will go as follows:

1st: Ryan Clady, Chris Williams or Jeff Otah, OT

-These guys can all come in right away and start.  They all can play LT, so John Tait could be moved back to his natural side, RT.  Williams does have short arms and little strength, but his technique is perfect.  Otah is a mauler, but needs to improve his technique.  Clady is the best of the 3.

2nd: Joe Flacco or Chad Henne, QB

-I would prefer Flacco here, mainly because he has more upside.  Both are very intelligent QBs, and learn very quickly.  Henne will need less time learning because of the system he came from.  But he is a little slower and less mobile.  Flacco came from a spread offense that used the shotgun ALL the time.  He needs to work on his footwork and timing.  But he is incredible mobile and can buy extra-time.  Both have rockets for arms, but Flacco has the slight advantage, whereas Henne has the slight advantage in accuarcy.

3rd: Jordy Nelson, William Franklin, Adrian Arrington or Paul Hubbard, WR

-All of these guys are bigger receivers.  Franklin is the smallest @ 6'1.5", but he is also the fastest.  The rest are all 6'3".  Jordy Nelson will more than likely go in Round 2, but if he is available, he is a must take. He has great hands, runs extremely well, and is not afraid to to go over the middle.  Arrington is more of a sleeper.  He is a Junior, but if he were to stay in school, I think he would have become a 1st Round prospect.  He is not a burner, but he has great hands and runs his route well.  What the Capital One Bowl highlights from this year, and you will know why I have him in the 3rd Round.  Paul Hubbard is another big receiver that has great hands.  He is a consistent target that will run good routes.

3rd: Matt Forte, Jamaal Charles or Kevin Smith, HB

-Forte is a bruiser.  He is a very intriguing specimen.  He has the speed to run away from defenders, but he also has the power to run through them.  He didn't play against the top competition at Tulane, but he RAN through every defense (multiple 300 yd games =over 2,000 yards in the season while missing the last 2 games).  Jamaal Charles is a burner.  He is a little small, but has room to add more bulk.  But this kid is a natural track star that is a homerun threat everytime he touches the ball.  Kevin Smith is a great HB, but many have criticize his playing weak competition.  He carried the ball more often than any other college back, and team knew he was going to get the ball, but he still ran through defenses.  He was just 1 game short of breaking Barry Sanders rushing record.  He has amazing vision and burst to get through the hole.  He may not break many 50+ yd runs, but he will get yards consistently (like Thomas Jones).

4th: Craig Steltz, SS

-A very smart safety.  He has good speed, but can improve his coverage ability.  He is only a one year starter, but that is because he was playing behind LaRon Landry (1st Round selection in 07).  He will become a very good starter, he just needs some time to develop.  A great pick in the 4th.

5th: Best Available - DT, WR, or OL - Barry Richardson, OT?

-A big RT, who is not quite ready to start, but has all the tools to become a very good NFL T.  Tait is getting older, and he can become his future replacement.

6th: Best Available - DT, WR, or OL - Andre Fluellen, DT?

-His stock went down because of the Florida State academic scandal.  He has the ability to become a very good DT, he just needs good coaching.

7th: Best Available - Any position - Let the Bears staff work their defensive magic and find a diamond in the rough.

I think if the draft and offseason went this way, the Bears would look very good in 08.

Category: NFL
Posted on: February 5, 2008 9:26 am
 

08 FA Offensive Line - Guards

Guard

1.)    Jake Scott, RG, Colts, 26

§         Scott has started almost every game in his career, and for the Colts, whom have one of the best OL in the NFL.  He is very young and has great talent.  He will only get better as he gets older.  He has great field awareness, as well as a good explosion after the snap.  He does need to develop a little more strength, but he can develop into an into guard that can bolster an OL for years to come.

2.)    Ryan Lilja, LG, Colts, 26

§         Lilja is another starting guard for the Colts.  He is a solid guard, but is better in pass protection than run blocking.  He needs to add more strength and develop a mean streak in order to develop into a star.

3.)    Maurice Williams, RG, Jaguars, 29

§         Maurice can play both Guard and Tackle, but he has been a much OL since being moved to G.  He has long, strong arms that he uses well in pass protection, and he has good explosion and strength to drive defenders back in the run game.  He will develop into a top guard.

4.)    Alan Faneca, LG, Steelers, 31

§         Faneca is an elite guard, but he is also an older guard.  The Bears NEED to get YOUNGER on the OL.  OL do have a long shelf life, so it is possible he will be an elite starter for the next 3 years, and then a solid starter for the next 3.  He is the best guard on the market, but his age hinders his appeal.

5.)    Floyd Womack, G, Seahawks, 29

§         Womack is a very versatile player that can play every position on the OL.  He does lack the speed and quickness to play Tackle, and thus is best suited to play guard.  He can hold his own well and is strong enough to get a good push at the line of scrimmage.  He is a solid veteran guard, not an elite starter.

6.)    Keydrick Vincent, G, Cardinals, 29

§         Vincent is a massive guard, but he lacks great strength and explosiveness.  He does play hard until the whistle, and never gives up on his blocks, but he will make a few mental mistakes a game.  He has had a history of injuries, so that is a big concern, and he is more of a space-filler than a blocker.

7.)    Ruben Brown, LG, Bears, 35

§         When healthy, Ruben Brown is one of the game top Guards.  Last year he showed he was getting old, either that or he was injured all season.  The Bears like the guy, so I could see them resigning him if he is willing to give us a hometown discount.  But again, the Bears NEED to get younger on the OL.  But Brown can provide some great veteran leadership, and assist coach the young guys.

Posted on: February 4, 2008 9:12 pm
 

08 FA Safeties

Safety

      1.)    Ken Hamlin, S, Cowboys, 6’2”, 27 years old

§         Hamlin is a great FS.  He has great speed and coverage ability; a natural ballhawk.  He is also a vocal leader, getting the secondary lined up before the play begins.  He is a hard hitter with good tackling technique.  He can play both safety positions, but is better suited to play FS.  As a hard hitting safety with outstanding range, Hamlin is the top safety in FA.  Oh yeah, he is also a perfect fit for Cover 2.

2.)    Madieu Williams, S, Bengals, 6’1”, 26

§         He is on the Bengals defense, so how good can he really be, right?  But really, he was one of the Bengals best defensive players.  He is a solid tackler and has a nose for the ball.  He has plus speed and good knowledge of the game.  He can play both free and strong safety positions, and is a very good player.  He may be the Bears best option at safety if they miss out on Hamlin.

3.)    Eugene Wilson, FS, Patriots, 5’10”, 27

§         <st1:city><st1:place>Wilson</st1:place></st1:city> is a good vocal leader that has the ability to play both FS and CB.  He is very good in coverage and has good speed to catch a receiver that gets behind him.  He is a decent tackler, but won’t “wow” anyone with big hits.  He did fall out of favor with the Patriots in '07, so he will not return in '08.  He is a solid FS, not a standout player.

4.)    Gibril Wilson, S, Giants, 6’0”, 26

§         Gibril is a solid tackler, but needs to improve his coverage ability.  Over his career he has improved, but he still has too many lapses in coverage.  He increased his value in the Super Bowl after helping keep the Patriots to 14 points.  He is an upgrade at safety position, but he is not the sole answer to our safety problems.

Category: NFL
Posted on: February 4, 2008 8:49 pm
 

08 FA Wide Receivers

Wide Receiver

     1.)    Bernard Berrian, Bears, 6’1”, 27

§         Berrian is a very inconsistent receiver.  He busted onto the scene in ’05 when Rex Grossman became the starter, and he greatly improved in ’06.  In ’07, he showed signs of greatness, but he also dropped a lot of passes and gave up on routes (which lead to INTs).  He has great speed and is a huge playmaker, but he needs to become more consistent.

2.)    Bryant Johnson, Cardinals, 6’3”, 26

§         Johnson isn’t a burner, more of a possession receiver. He is a big, strong receiver that runs good routes.  He does have some problems with dropped passes, because he is thinking too much about the run after the catch.  He has the ability to become a great #2 receiver, he just needs to see more time on the field.

3.)    Andre Davis, Texans, 6’1”, 28

§         <st1:city><st1:place>Davis</st1:place></st1:city> has great straight line speed, but he is not a spectacular receiver.  He is good to stretch the field, but is not willing to go across the middle of the field.  He has very good hands, but needs to become more versatile in his routes.

4.)    Jerry Porter, Raiders, 6’2”, 29

§         Porter is a playmaker.  He also needs an attitude adjustment.  He sat out ’06 because of a dispute with the Raiders staff.  His talent has not been properly used by the Raiders, just like Moss’s wasn’t.  Either that or he just plays when he wants to.  He has great size, speed and playmaking ability.  He may be a steal if he comes at the right price.

5.)    Keary Colbert, Panthers, 6’1”, 25

§         A quick, young receiver that doesn’t stand out.  He does all the small things right, but nothing exceptional.  He has only average size and speed, but is a consistent target.  He is a smart receiver that will find holes in the secondary, but will also disappear against bigger physical corners.

6.)    DJ Hackett, Seahawks, 6’2”, 25

§         Hackett is a good size receiver with good speed, but he drops many easy passes.  He lacks the concentration and hands to become a dependable receiver in the NFL.  He has benefited from <st1:city><st1:place>Seattle</st1:place></st1:city>’s pass happy offense.

7.)    Devery Henderson, Saints, 5’11”, 25

§         An undersized WR with a lot of speed.  He can really stretch the field, but that’s about it.  He is not a great route runner and he will drop a few passes.

Posted on: February 4, 2008 7:59 pm
 

08 FA Running Backs

Running Backs

      1.)    Marion Barber, Cowboys, 6’0”, 220 lbs, 24 years old

§         Unlike Jones, Barber is a RFA, which means any team that wants him would have to give <st1:city><st1:place>Dallas</st1:place></st1:city> a 1<sup>st</sup> and 3<sup>rd</sup> Round Draft picks.  That might be a high price pay, especially with this years draft class of RB.  But Barber is a hard runner that never gives up.  He rarely leaves yards on the field, he actually gets more than are there.  He doesn’t have elite speed, but he is a good receiver out of the backfield.

2.)    Michael Turner, Chargers, 5’10”, 237 lbs, 25

§         Another hard runner, but shares the backfield with Tomlinson.  When given the chance, he does extraordinarily well.  He is not a very fast RB, but he is fast enough to run away from defenders and good power to break tackles.  He is not the type of RB to make defenders miss, but he is improving.  There are concerns that he will not handle the full load.

3.)    Julius Jones, Cowboys, 5’10”, 211 lbs, 26

§         Jones split the carries with Barber in 06 & 07.  As 07 came to an end, Jones saw much more bench than grass.  He also rarely saw the endzone, due to Barber getting the ball inside the 20.  But Jones is a great team player and running back.  He has great speed and agility.  He is also a solid receiver out of the backfield.  He does have minor injury concerns, as well as the occasional fumble.

4.)    Tatum Bell, Lions, 5’11”, 213 lbs, 26

§         A very quick runner that can make defenders miss.  He is not a solid between the tackles runner and will fumble at times.  There are also durability concerns, as he has been injured frequently.  He has loads of upside because of his ability to create big plays, in both running and receiving.

5.)    Chris Brown, Titans, 6’3”, 220 lbs, 26

§         Brown is a big, strong back with durability issues.  He has been injured a lot, but when healthy, he can display his great talent.  He runs high, so he takes a lot of big hits, as well as difficult to drive the pile.  He is very fast and can make defenders miss, but he needs to share carries with another back.

6.)    Justin Fargas, Raiders, 6’1”, 220 lbs, 28

§         Fargas had a breakout season in ’07.  He has great speed, but will not make many defenders miss, nor break a lot of tackles.  But when given the room, he will take full advantage and make some big plays.

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com