In part two (Missed it? click here), we discussed how the Bears have plenty of choices in the first round. In fact, you all took part in a poll to choose who the Bears should draft in the first round on April 25th. You can look at the results here.
In part three, I decided to list a few players that I think the Bears could draft in a trade down scenario or in the second round. I would like to stress that it’s very possible that any of the players listed below could be taken in the first round because you never know how much another team values a certain player.
Darius Slay- Did you know that six corners are on the Bears’ roster right now and only one is signed beyond 2013? That’s a pretty scary thought and with Charles Tillman on the wrong side of 30, it’s not a bad idea to consider drafting a corner in the second round. At 6’0″, I was shocked that Slay was able to run a 4.36 forty and that he only gave up two touchdowns last year. Slay’s biggest strengths are his run defense and special teams, something the Bears covet. Not only would the Bears be adding depth but possibly a playmaker in the making.
Manti Te’o- With many looking at his performance against Alabama in the BCS Bowl and “catfish” situtiaon, a lot of analysts and fans have forgotten how special of a year Te’o had. The linebacker finished the season with 113 tackles and 7 interceptions. The year before that he had 128 tackles. I don’t understand why a lot people think the Alabama game showed what kind of player he really is. Production is production and either Te’o was very talented or very lucky the past two seasons. I’ll believe the former. Te’o's instincts and leadership qualities are great but I don’t like the baggage Te’o will bring to a team. However, Te’o would be a great second round pick, and that’s even if he slips that far. The Bears need to start replenishing a very dry linebacker unit with Urlacher gone and two other linebackers playing on one year deals.
Matt Barkley- Will Barkley fall all the way to Bears in the second round? Most likely not. But there are some mocks that have him dropping to the second round. Walterfootball.com has him going to the Bills in the second round. That being said, I wouldn’t mind the Bears drafting a potential protege and successor for Jay Cutler. Cutler can’t keep playing forever and with his recent injuries and concussions, it would be very wise for the Bears to invest in a quarterback, especially if a talented quarterback like Barkley fell to them. Believe it or not, ESPN had nice piece about Barkley here and said some interesting facts about him: “Barkley completed more than 65 percent of his passes with 23 touchdowns–including 16 touchdowns on designed roll outs.” The talent is there but I wonder if Emery or Trestman would want to trade up in the second round for him.
Jesse Willams- Henry Melton is still a Bear for one more year but if a long term deal is not reached then he will become a free agent with the franchise tag becoming too heavy to use on him again. That’s tough to think about but it’s even tougher to think about how there’s no one to replace him, let alone to play alongside him. Hence, this is why the Bears should consider defensive tackle, Jesse Williams, in the second round. The numbers do not look all that impressive but he was a big reason why Alabama only allowed 76 yards per game. At 6’3″ and 323 pounds, he could push Stephen Paea and Nate Collins for some playing time. Williams made everyone take notice of his strength at the combine when he bench-pressed 225 pounds 30 times. All in all, the Bears need to add some depth at a pretty weak position to help ease the blow if Henry Melton was get injured or leave next season.
Markus Wheaton- Tavon Austin will probably be drafted ahead of the Bears in the first round or the Bears might consider Austin too much of a risk with the 20th pick overall. The Bears need weapons on offense and adding Wheaton in the second round would provide Cutler another target to throw to. Wheaton has drawn comparisons to Antonio Brown and Marvin Harrison. The young receiver possess fantastic speed (4.45 forty) and great ability to adjust to the ball. The only thing that I would say that Wheaton needs to work on is catching the football away from his frame more. Other than that, I would love to see the Bears add a player that could hopefully fill in the void at slot receiver and as a speed receiver.
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