Pompeii's Mailbag; April 24, 2012
Reader Q&A: Dan Pompei's Bears mailbag
The Tribune's Bears beat writer sorts through questions on Michael Floyd, Whitney Mercilus and more in an intensive NFL draft mailbag.
Dan Pompei On the NFL 2:08 p.m. CDT, April 24, 2012
If Michael Floyd slipped to No. 15 or 16, do you think Phil Emery would try to trade up? Or do you think they value him that highly? Jim Toner, from Twitter
I do not suspect the Bears would try to trade up for Floyd. That is not to say that if he fell to them, they would not take him. But I don't think the Bears are driven to take a wide receiver. And I don't think they are too excited about giving up extra draft picks to move up. My read is if the Bears move up for any player, it's because they believe it is something they have to do, not something they want to do. Floyd is a little like Brandon Marshall in terms of playing style. I would think they would rather have a receiver who is different from Marshall than similar.
Love your position-by-position analysis leading up to the draft. In a dream scenario where offensive tackle Jonathan Martin, wide receiver Michael Floyd and defensive end Quentin Coples were all still on the board when the Bears pick, whom do you think they should take? How would you rank these three in such a scenario? Brett Rush, Riverside
I would take Floyd first, Martin second and Coples third. Floyd is going to be the cleanest of the three, and the highest ranked on most draft boards. Martin might have the potential to be the best offensive tackle in the draft, given his foot quickness, athleticism and size. But he has been an inconsistent player at Stanford. A number of front office men have told me they would have reservations about taking him too high. Coples is as talented as any player in the draft, but he is not Rod Marinelli's kind of player in my opinion.
What's your take on Quinton Coples? The similarities to Julius Peppers are incredible: huge defensive end from North Carolina, athletic freak, but with a reputation for taking plays off. I don't think there's any question that the place where he has the best chance to succeed is in Chicago, where he would be mentored every day by his idol and also he would have one of the best motivators in the game in the game in Rod Marinelli. If you were Phil Emery and Coples fell out of the top 10, would you trade up a few spots to secure him? Doug, Knoxville, Tenn.
I think Coples will fall out of the top 10, and I think he will fall out of the top 20. And he should. Coples is similar to Peppers athletically, but it's an insult to Peppers to say Coples plays like him. Peppers plays hard. Coples does not. Why should we believe Marinelli could get something out of Coples that no one else has been able to? Marinelli is a coach; he's not a miracle worker. Personally, I would never take a player who has been labeled an underachiever or a dog early in the draft. With a first-round pick, I want a player who is going to raise the level of intensity on my team, not one who is going to lower it.
If Whitney Mercilus, Chandler Jones and Nick Perry were available for the Bears with the 19th overall pick, whom do you think they should take, and whom do you think they would take assuming they draft a pass rusher? Most big boards I've seen have Mercilus rated higher than Perry in spite of Perry's incredible athleticism and considerable production. Do you have any idea why this is? Sean Keady
I would take Mercilus first, and I think the Bears would, too. Perry would be No. 2 on my board. Perry had better workout numbers than Mercilus (particularly in the vertical jump and bench press), but Mercilus had more production last season. Mercilus had 16 sacks to 9.5 for Perry. He had 19.5 knockdowns to 14.5 to Perry, according to the Stats Ice system which is being used by some NFL teams. And he had eight hurries compared to 6.5 for Perry. Some scouts see Perry as a bit of an underachiever, whereas Mercilus gives it all he has.
In your defensive end rankings, you seemed down on Chandler Jones. Why? Marcus Batal, from Twitter
He was my seventh-ranked defensive end, but I still believe he could be a first-round pick. I'm really not down on him as much as I think the other ends ahead of him are better prospects. Jones is not the kind of quick-twitch athlete with speed off the edge that scouts think will be a big sack producer. He is more of a big, physical base end. My first choice as a defensive end would be a dynamic player who can change games with big plays, like Mercilus. Jones does not always finish plays. He missed five games last season, but had only 4.5 sacks.
I have a question about what we do with our first-round pick this year. Before the Brandon Marshall trade I was sure the Bears would go WR in the first round. Now I think we need to shift our focus to the d-line and help out Mr. Peppers. I don't really think any of the D-ends look all that great, so what do you think of the bears taking Jerel Worthy from Michigan State? He reminded me a lot of Tommie Harris in his prime. Too high for him? Rich, San Francisco
You probably could get Worthy later in the first round. But if you think he's going to be a standout NFL player, the 19th pick is not too high to take him. I would consider Worthy depending on who was available. He has a lot of potential as an interior pass rusher. He still is inconsistent and needs to develop. I think he would have a chance to develop under Marinelli. Fletcher Cox is the only player you could definitively say would be a better fit for the Bears as an under tackle.
Would a trade of the Bears' first-round pick for both of the Rams' second-round picks work out? Josh Anderson
Interesting question. If the draft goes as I suspect it will through 18 picks, I would jump at that trade possibility. Such a deal would be good value for the Bears. In this draft, the 33rd and 39th picks may not be ranked much below the 19th pick. That first pick of the second round is worth quite a bit. It's likely other teams will want to trade for it after the first round is over. They say the old draft trade value chart is obsolete, but it still is used as a reference. The chart says the Rams' picks are worth 1090 points; the Bears' 19th pick is worth 875 picks. I can't envision the Rams, who are rebuilding and need multiple additions, wanting to make a deal like this. But if they did, the Bears should be all ears.
Seems to me that a smart pick for the Bears would be Russell Wilson, the quarterback from Wisconsin. He's a little short, but so what? He played behind a huge and tall line at Wisconsin and it was not a problem. The guy has good skills; he's a competitor and a winner. Seems to have a good attitude, too. I don't understand the hangup with a QB who is not 6-2 or taller Your thoughts? In what round do you think he might go? Dan McCollum, Fort Collins, Colo.
The problem with short quarterbacks like Wilson, who measured in at 5-10 1/2 at the scouting combine, is they cannot see or throw over linemen who usually are between 6-3 and 6-7. So the offense has to be compromised and highly dependent on rollouts. There are some examples of shorter quarterbacks who find ways. One of them is Drew Brees. But he is close to two inches taller than Wilson. He also is unusually instinctive. He is the exception, not the rule. There is not a great NFL quarterback who is Wilson's height or shorter. I think Wilson could have a role in a package if he gets with the right team. I don't see him as a starting NFL quarterback, though. I think he will be chosen between the fifth and seventh rounds.
How much of the franchise tag is guaranteed to Matt Forte if he signs the franchise offer? If he is injured while playing under the franchise tag does he have any guarantees? Frank Kowalski, Linden, Va.
If Forte signs the franchise offer, he is guaranteed the entire amount of $7.7 million. If he is injured, he still collects the $7.7.
The Bears have five games indoors this year, with three of the last four games on the road in domes (Vikings, Lions, and Cardinals). What is the Bears' record indoors under Lovie Smith? Brian Helser, Thornville, Ohio
The Bears are 12-11 in domes since Smith became head coach in 2004.