My First Mock Draft On This Board (02/02/12)
Round 1) WR, Michael Floyd, Notre Dame (6'3", 220lbs)...The Bears, more than any other team with a franchise QB, need to get WR help NOW!! The days of "Devin Hester is a starting WR" are hopefully over now with a new GM in place. Floyd has a lot to offer as a WR; great hands, good speed, runs good routes, excellent body control, RAC ability and a big target for the redzone. He also had a knack for getting open and coming up with big catches when the team needed to move the chains in college. For a team so WR-challenged like our beloved Bears, drafting Floyd would be a step in the right direction IMHO. Cutler would probably be one "happy camper" come July's training camp...pun intended.
Round 2) CB, Stephon Gilmore, South Carolina (6'1" 193lbs)...The Bears desperately need help at CB, with Graham, Bowman and Jennings all scheduled to become free-agents and Tillman another season older. From the scouting reports I have read about this kid, Gilmore excels in zone coverage and would fit right in to a zone scheme and most-likely be able to contribute from day 1. FYI, one draft site that I researched said that Gilmore's NFL comparision is......Charles "Peanut" Tillman of the Chicago Bears. IF the Bears draft him, let's hope that comparison holds true.
Round 3) DE, Cam Johnson, Virginia (6'4", 265lbs)...Of the many big named D-linemen who were at Senior Bowl week (Coples, Ingram, Branch, Curry), there was one kid who continuously stood out during the practices that I watched and also during the game. This is that kid. After watching some of his highlights from college and seeing what he did during the Senior Bowl, I am definately intrigued by this kid. He could be the help that the Bears need at DE and he could also possibly contribute from Day 1. If Idonije is retained, this kid could be the situational pass rusher that the Bears need on passing downs. No matter what role he plays IF he's drafted, the Bears HAVE TO get better production from their DE's...especially with Peppers being double and tripled teamed almost every snap. The Bears defense in general has to get better at getting to the QB.
Round 3) OT, Matt Reynolds, BYU (6'5", 315lbs)...EXCELS IN PASS PROTECTION!! That's really all I needed to read, because our current starting LT (Webb) is beyond horrible in pass protection and gave up 12 sacks and had 15 penalties last season, mostly false starts. Reynolds is a two-time team captain in college and did I happen to mention that he excels in pass protection?? LOL. Watching highlights of him and it's clear that he 1) doesn't stop blocking until the sound of the whistle and 2) he's pretty good at what he does.
Round 4) OLB, Nigel Bradham, Florida State (6'2", 238lbs)...This guy was all over the field at the Senior Bowl and I don't think I seen him miss a tackle. He has good speed and an ability to shed blockers from what I've seen of him, though he is still a bit raw from what I have read. IF the "a bit raw" part is true about him, I could see him falling to the 4th round where a LB depth-starved Chicago Bears team should be ready to run their card up to the podium to announce this selection.
Round 5) TE, Evan Rodriguez, Temple (6'2", 243lbs)...The poor mans Aaron Hernandez is what I've heard him called. I can't say I agree with that comparison because I personally hate comparisons all together...it just creates unreal expectations at times and Aaron Hernandez is a beast!! Nonetheless, the Bears need a versatile pass-catching TE who can line up anywhere and I like what I have seen from this kid. Out of pure boredom last season, I watched a couple of Temple games just to see their RB Bernard Pierce (who I also like BTW) and in those games, Rodriguez played very well. He showed good hands and the ability to break tackles for those tough extra yards. Jay Cutler not only needs help at the WR position, but the entire offense would benefit from a pass-catching TE, whom Cutler could rely on to check the ball down to.
Round 6) RB, Lennon Creer, Louisiana Tech (6'0", 220lbs)...The MVP of the East/West Shrine Game had himself a pretty nice career in college. He's a bigger back, who runs very well between the tackles from what I've read about him. He has good hands and does pretty well in pass protection. I'm pretty sure that the Bears will be releasing Marion Barber before the season starts...he's getting older, he can't stay healthy and I personally want to kick him in the nuts for costing us a win against the Broncos!!!! Lovie Smith also mentioned his disappointment in Barber in his "State of the Bears" presser after the season ended.
Round 7) CB, Tashaun Gipson, Wyoming (6'0", 195lbs)...Again, the Bears are in need of some depth at the CB and safety positions. Gipson is a sure-tackler who could excel on special teams for Dave Toub and his special teams unit.
Free agent wish list...not saying we'll get any or all of these guys, just adding who I'd like to see our beloved Bears bring in:
WR: 1) Dwayne Bowe 2) Vincent Jackson 3) Stevie Johnson 4) Mario Manningham
QB: 1) Chad Henne 2) Jason Campbell 3) Josh Johnson
DE: 1) Mario Williams 2) Kroy Bierrman 3) Cliff Avril
TE: 1) Fred Davis 2) John Carlson (would add Finley, but the Packers aren't letting him go.)
RB: 1) Mike Tolbert 2) BenJarvis Green-Ellis
CB: 1) Brent Grimes 2) Brandon Carr
FS/SS: 1) LaRon Landry 2) Tyvon Branch
ILB: 1) Johnathan Goff (depth) 2) Blake Costanzo (special teams purposes)
OLB: 1) Phillip Wheeler (depth) 2) Chris Chamberlain (special teams purposes)
OT: 1) Anthony Collins 2) Barry Richardson
OG: 1) Carl Nicks 2) Ben Grubbs
C: 1) Samson Satele 2) Scott Wells