Did the Bears make up any ground on the Packers on Thursday night? More mock drafts had the Bears taking USC defensive end Nick Perry and the Packers taking Boise State defensive end/linebacker Shea McClellin, and it went the other way around. It’ll be interesting to see which team can better fit its versatile first-round pick into its scheme.
Bears general manager Phil Emery was hesitant to compare and contrast McClellin with other defensive ends, but here’s one factor that seems like it might have made a difference, courtesy of Pro Football Weekly’s draft guide: McClellin: ‘‘Instinctive … plays better than he tests.” Perry: ‘‘Does not feel blocking pressure … tape does not match workout numbers.”
â—† Andrew Luck is considered the best quarterback prospect since Peyton Manning, but he has a long way to go to live up to that, if for no other reason than he’s inheriting a worse supporting cast. The Colts were 3-13 in 1997, but they already had first-round picks in running back Marshall Faulk (1994), wide receiver Marvin Harrison (1996) and offensive tackle Tarik Glenn (1997) when they drafted Manning.
They continued their string of top hits with Edgerrin James (1999), Reggie Wayne (2001), Dwight Freeney (2002) and Dallas Clark (2003). The Colts’ last five first-round picks have been Anthony Castonzo, Jerry Hughes, Donald Brown, Mike Pollak and Anthony Gonzalez.
â—† Like Jimmy Johnson did with the Cowboys in the early 1990s, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll used his previous knowledge from college coaching to pull off the biggest shocker of the first round, taking West Virginia linebacker Bruce Irvin with the 15th pick.
Irvin’s pass-rush ability is second-to-none, but he’s raw, thin (6-3, 245) and has character issues that include dropping out of high school and spending time in a juvenile jail for burglary. But Carroll had recruited Irvin at USC out of junior college and believed he had a better handle on the wayward kid than most. ‘‘I felt we had special information,” Carroll said.
â—† Vikings GM Rick Spielman pulled off the best move of the first round. By making it clear he was entertaining offers for the No. 3 pick, he convinced the Cleveland Browns to trade three lower picks to switch spots and make sure nobody jumped ahead of them for running back Trent Richardson. Spielman ended up with offensive tackle Matt Kalil at No. 4 and picked up picks in the fourth, fifth and seventh rounds.