Williams' development example of Bears' draft problems
For a guard, Bears paying high price of a tackle
Mike Mulligan October 26, 2011
Left guard Chris Williams is a mainstay on the Bears offensive line. He is the only first-round draft pick of the Jerry Angelo era in the starting lineup. He has more starts at his position than any other offensive lineman. He has a bigger contract too. None of that makes him a success story. Williams' status, like everything with a Bears top selection, remains complicated.
"I am a guard now,'' said Williams, taken No. 14 overall in 2008 NFL draft with the idea of making him a left tackle to protect the quarterback's blind side for a decade to come. "I don't know what the future holds, but as of today I am a guard and I like it there," he said. "If I had to go back and play tackle, I would do what I could. I can play guard and tackle, so wherever they put me, that's where I will play.''
Nobody has talked about moving Williams out of his spot, be it to a different position or to the bench. But the off week promises to be a telling time for the offensive line. Rookie Gabe Carimi presumably will be returning from a knee injury soon. Does Carimi step back in at right tackle where he started the season? Does Lance Louis move back to right guard? Isn't Chris Spencer playing well enough at right guard to keep his spot, maybe even move to left guard in place of Williams? Would offensive line coach Mike Tice consider moving two guys to fill one position? Does draft status come into play?
If expectations are created through the resources a team uses to acquire a player, and the money it pays him, then William has not lived up to expectations. NFL In fact, the player taken one spot after Williams in 2008, Branden Albert, was the first guard in the top 15 in 11 years since Chris Naeole went 10th overall to the Saints in the 1997. Albert was a guard in name only. He was converted to left tackle where he has been a fixture for the Chiefs.
Simply put, if the Bears knew Williams would wind up at left guard, they never would have taken him as high as they did. Nor would they have given him $9.2 million in guaranteed money on a five-year, $12.73 million deal.
Generally speaking, if you want a left tackle you have to grab one high in the first round. Williams was the third offensive tackle and one of eight taken in that first round. The guys taken above him, Jake Long (first overall) and Ryan Clady (12th) both have made the Pro Bowl. The guys after him all start at tackle, including left tackles Albert (15), Sam Baker (21) and Duane Brown (26), along with Gosder Cherilus (17) and Jeff Otah (19) at right tackle.
If you want a guard, you can go much deeper into a draft. Just look at the six players who made the Pro Bowl at the position a year ago.
The Patriots' Logan Mankins was the only one taken in the first round, he went No. 32 overall. The Giants' Chris Snee went in the second round at No. 34. The Saints' combination of Jahri Evans and Carl Nicks went in the fourth and fifth rounds, respectively. The Chargers' Kris Dielman and the Chiefs' Brian Waters were both undrafted free agents. Dielman is a converted defensive tackle.
It's not Williams' fault the Bears drafted him. All he can do is line up and try his best, which Williams has done. "There is no unfinished business (at tackle),'' Williams said. "I am here to help us win games and that is it. I just want to play, I don't care where it is at.''
The issue speaks to the terrible strikeout rate in first-rounders during the Angelo era. Marc Colombo, Michael Haynes, Rex Grossman, Tommie Harris, Cedric Benson, Greg Olsen, Williams and Carimi have exactly three Pro Bowls among them, all belonging to Harris. Williams and Carimi are the only guys still on the roster, with the 2009 and 2010 selections traded along with Kyle Orton and a third-rounder for Jay Cutler and a fifth-round pick.
In the context of that first-round club, Williams would have to be considered a success.
Special contributor Mike Mulligan co-hosts "The Mully and Hanley Show" weekdays from 5 to 9 a.m. on WSCR-AM 670.
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I've decides to stop criticizing and beating up on that dumbass Mike Martz for a while and look for a new target and low and behold another very easy one appears on the horizon. Although my buddy motown and I seen to be at odds over Martz I think we both agree that Jerry Angelo is a worthless piece of shit. So this thread is dedicated to our friedship as well as ours with the President of the "Jerry Angelo Should Eat Shit and Die Fan Club", our own 4th and 26.:highfive:
We've all been deabting whether or not Chris Williams has been another of JA's infamous wasted draft picks and this article investigates exactly that. This can be looked at two ways. Is CWill a 1st round bust or is he a bust period.
I tend to have reached the same conclusion that the auothor seems to have reached. There is no question that he's a bust based on where he was drafted and you have only to look at the other OLineman chosen in the 1st round that year to realize it although I will say this. If he was playing LT he probably be a better one than a couple of those picked after him who are playing LT.
The real blow that year came when the Broncos slid in front of us and tabbed Ryan Clady whom the Bears would most likely have selected. That left the Bears needing to go to "Plan B" and much like this past FA Angelo either didn't have one or the one he had sucked. Even though Branden Albert was an OG coming out of college I thought he was the best pick on the board at that point. To me he was a lot like the Colts Ben Ijalana who was also an OG capable of playing LT. Hindsight is 20-20 but I think even the guru's thought that Albert of Otah would be the Bears pick. I think everyone was surprised when the Bears took CWill who at best would have been no more than a or second round pick on most teams boards.
Well as Mully says it isn't CWill's fault the Bears drafted him where they did and paid him what they did and I'll give him credit to sticking in there for a couple of years of "musical position swapping" before finally settling in at LG. It looks to me like he's found a home and now in his second year playing there his performance is fairly good. Will he ever be and All-Pro? No but despite his lofty draft status he can still be an effective pulling OG and a decent pass blocker.
Let's not blame him for being another one of Jerry Angelo's bad 1st round picks when we can all blame Angelo and agree to that without debate.
He's been solid this year, and is really growing into his role. I'm fine with him where he's at.
He needs to improve on pass blocking and get more push for an inside running game. Other then that who cares about draft position as long as they contribute
I absolutely did not want him on draft day and thought he was third round talent
. Everyone knew he was our pick ja basically let everyone know it was obvious. Personally I wanted mendenhall first and nicks second. I take forte over mendenhall now but I still take nicks over Williams lol
I was noticing something Tice said about him before pre-season. That OT block on their toes more and OG's block more from their heels (blocking in more confined spaces). I think he's been getting better and improving at a position he wasn't really suited for. IF he's paired w/Louis at LG/RG and Louis stays at RG we really have some very athletic guards and when they run the sweeps and tosses it's great to see.
Also we should draft a G/C in the first few rounds. I do NOT want JA thinking his bucket of bolts approach is the best way to address the line regardless of the small improvements over the course of this season.
I think we have to be pleased with his play so far this year. If we consider the fact that he's really only played 1 1/2 years of his entire NFL career at that spot he's actually come along pretty well. He's a poor straight ahead blocker but he shines when asked to block on the move and his pass protection is decent. He may never do man on man blocking well but if can improve his pass blocking a notch or two we'd have a pretty solid young lineman.
I wasn't in favor of drafting him either as I pointed out. This one of those instances where JA got too hung up on position and not enough on the talents of the guy he was picking. As mo ponted out, if you look at who we could have had it's looks much worse.