General manager Jerry Angelo said his goal going into the draft is to create as many possibilities for the organization as he can in the first round.
Those possibilities don’t seem that vast right now unless you do some real outside the box thinking.
The team’s needs are pretty serious. Stack them up however you want, we’ll go alphabetically:
1. Free safety. Josh Bullocks was signed to a one-year contract. He brings experience to the position and could step in immediately as a starter. A former second-round pick, he washed out in New Orleans and this is a fresh start. The one-year deal, though, tells you that he’s not considered a sure thing. It’s unlikely a safety comes off the board as early as No. 18 in the draft.
2. Offensive tackle. Not drafting a tackle before the seventh round for five straight years was Angelo’s first error. If the club was banking on John Tait to return for the sixth year of his contract, that was the second error. The Bears, at least from the outside, appear forced to draft a tackle for the second consecutive year because you have to remember all the faith in Lake Forest in Chris Williams hasn’t proven anything to this point.
3. Wide receiver. The Bears have not had a proven No. 1 wide receiver since, well, ever. Angelo has talked about the bust factor when drafting one in the first round and the man speaks from experience. Reidel Anthony didn’t work out so well for him in 1997 in Tampa Bay. He was hired by the Bears about seven weeks after they made David Terrell their first-round pick in 2001. That didn’t work out so well either. But Angelo freely acknowledges that to find a true No. 1 receiver, you usually have to take a shot in the first round. There’s a catch-22 for you.
Then there is an array of other possibilities, not the least of which is packaging the first-round pick and whatever else Denver demands in exchange for quarterback Jay Cutler. Cornerback, linebacker, quarterback and defensive lineman are other possibilities, but they don’t seem as realistic. Let’s just say, for the sake of this blog entry, that the Bears get in line to draft an offensive tackle in the first round. They’re not going to get any of the top three and they could be selecting the fifth or sixth tackle of the round if the trend from last year continues.
We were confident from the get-go that a receiver like Percy Harvin from Florida wouldn’t make sense for the Bears. Still, he popped up on a host of mock drafts. The Bears believe fully in Devin Hester and are in need of a complementary guy, a bigger target. That’s why they have been checking out a possession guy like Hakeem Nicks of North Carolina, who’s been taking a few hits since his pro day last week. What can you get in the way of a receiver in Round 2?
One guy that’s intriguing is Georgia’s Mohamed Massaquoi, who actually was a high school teammate with Nicks. Massaquoi is a shade under 6-2, 207 pounds. He runs the 40-yard dash in the high 4.4’s and low 4.5’s and put up a broad jump of 10-7 at the scouting combine, so he can jump. You won’t get a diva in Massaquoi, either, as he was team captain for the Bulldogs. He’s worth taking a look at. New England reportedly sent its offensive coordinator and wide receivers coach to his pro day last week, and he’s got a visit lined up with Dallas.
Ohio State’s Brian Robiskie might be on the radar. He’s got good size and comes from an Ohio State program that Angelo always keeps close tabs on. Oklahoma’s Juaquin Iglesias is a similar receiver. Rutgers’ Kenny Britt could go somewhere in the second round but there are concerns about his character.
So there is a look at some guys that could start to come off the board in Round 2 when the Bears get around to looking for a wideout. Keep an eye on Massaquoi, who is a willing blocker and might be the most athletic of the bunch.