Site Editor Russ Loede’s 1st Round Draft Thoughts
Bears 1st Round Draft Plan: Upgrade Ground Game, Focus On Offensive Line
Check Out A Complete, Insightful, FULL-Pledged 2008 NFL 5-Round Mock Draft @: WalterFootball.Com
Select OL Over RB, Draft Back Later: Team Should Start Bolstering OL By Rebuilding Via The Draft With Branden Albert At 14, Placing A Premium On Linemen That Can Play Both Offensive Guard and Tackle.
1st Round #14: Branden Albert, OL Virginia (6’7”, 315) – Chicago’s Achilles heel was their false-start happy, slow motion offensive line last season, so they have to address this area of need first in the Draft. OL is the top priority and a major problem the team has to take care of. Albert is the answer and he is the the best lineman available @ 14 (Clady/Long – Top 5, Williams – finesse, Otah – too slow). The UVA standout’s decision to come out early as a Junior is a gift for the Bears to help shore up their O-Line and rejuvenate a struggling unit by filling a spot in the trenches as a key pulling guard (nimble, quick) in the all-important run department (a void created by Ruben Brown leaving). He would have been considered a Top 5 pick in ’09. He has a legitimate shot to start right away at either the tackle or guard position. Albert’s versatility, intensity (mean streak), and upside (the best is yet to come) makes him the best choice as an OL and for the 14th overall pick in the Draft.
Why OL Ahead Of RB: For Chicago to jumpstart their bread and butter offensive game plan, which is their rushing attack, they have to first begin by upgrading the OL, looking at someone like Albert who can make an impact from the get-go. The team needs a RB but they can find one later and they cannot risk having another bust at the position. There’s more of a difference when you compare 1st round caliber OL with 2nd/3rd round talent then there is with RB’s, where you can find equal skill level between a 1st and 2nd rounder back.
There is a chance Chicago will trade down to select him later, while obtaining more draft picks in the process. Second Option: Rashard Mendenhall, RB Illinois.
Tomorrow (Offensive Playmaker): 2nd Round, #44
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