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Your Turn: Bears 1st Round Strategy


Draft Outlook – View From A Bears Fan:

(From BEARIZONA)  Hey there “Bear Brethren”

Rising Up Draft Boards: I just want to cast my lot for Albert (Scouting Report) and say I think this guy is great! If our beloved Bears drafted him at 14 (even with with Otah and Williams on the board) I’d be just fine and here’s why…

Worst-Case Scenario: You end up with a solid prospect at guard who could start day one. Best-Case Scenario: You have a phenom All-Pro offensive lineman who can play multiple positions including right or left tackle, yet still enable us to secure an experienced tackle in the second round (ex. Baker, USC or Collins, Kansas). Therefore, we would shore up a good portion of our line for the next five years and give us at minimal, the same, if not better production – an improvement over last year’s debacle.

RB Alert: We would also still be able to select a productive back with our opening third round choice (ala: Tashard Choice, Kevin Smith, but maybe even Ray Rice or Jaamal Charles if they fall)

Wrap On Albert: As for Albert’s film and combine performance – both were good and still are good. Mike Mayock’s (NFL Network) breakdown of this kid was great! When watching multiple highlights of this kid getting out not only on linebackers, but even out to the third level pancaking safeties, was just absolutely incredible! I think a good number of teams are coming around to realize and rightly so, that this kid has amazing potential!

How To Approach O-Line: As for Williams and Otah, I would agree with my “Bear Brethren” that both would fill a gaping hole, but neither are by any means a “slam dunk” to become a successful lineman in this leauge (I some times wake up at night in a cold sweat with flash backs that we are getting ready to redraft Stan Thomas from Texas). Both have serious deficiencies in some part of their game and will be exposed for awhile at the next level. At least Albert has demonstrated an overall well-roundness in his run blocking, pass blocking, athleticism, and overall size and strength.

Final Thought: I feel better about Albert or Mendenhall at 14 because their “ceilings” are both so SKY HIGH!



  1. Ron N

    April 13, 2008 at 3:58 pm

    I feel selecting Albert or any offensive lineman is a safe pick and doing what most media types expect. If you look at our last 2 games the offensive line played great and I think getting some depth at offensive line in the 2nd round would be adequate. For that reason my pick is Rashad Mendehall a playmaker in the backfield that we did not have since Walter Payton

  2. Russ Loede

    April 13, 2008 at 5:18 pm

    Finally someone that agress that we should select Rashard Mendenhall with our 1st round pick (14th overall), Rashard’s a straight-up playmaker at the RB position. It’s great that you think we should draft him despite our past/recent history drafting bust RB’s…

    I’d take Albert/Rashard @ 14 – with the Illini Standout being more of a “BOLD” aggressive pick. So I may be turning to him a little bit more now ahead of Albert, yet I’m undecided up until this point. Even with our great desire/need to address the whole OL situation, We still need PLAYMAKERS On Offense.

    I Like your thinking Ron N.

    Thank you for your comment/feedback. Who do you have in mind for our 2nd round pick @ OL? I’m hearing guys like Nicks (Nebraska), Collins (Kansas), Baker (USC), Cherilus (BC – if avlb.), and Hills (Texas).



  3. Ron N

    April 14, 2008 at 2:24 pm

    Hi Russ

    I think either one of those tackles would be a good pick but a prospect that I really like is Duane Brown left tackle from Virginia tech. I watched a lot of tech games and this guy is an athletic physical specimen who should allow us to move John Tait back to the right side. I think people forget Indianapolis drafted Tony Ugoh late in the second round last year and he started 12 games being hurt for 4. Proof we can get a starter in the second round.

  4. Russ Loede

    April 14, 2008 at 7:04 pm

    1st of all thanks once again for another comment Ron… Posters/Readers like you, make it fun/enjoyable to write each day when receiving good feedback from the true Bears faithful.

    Keep the good comments coming, along with the valuable insight – I need to stay informed, as I obviously don’t know it all…

    Read two scouting reports on Duane Brown via WarRoom Report and NFLDraft Countdown…

    What I got from ’em and what I think about Mr. Brown from Va. Tech is that he’s raw, not physcially strong (just yet), and he doesn’t have much experience (up to this point) – so he’s going to be a major project.

    On the flip side of things, he’s a “physical specimen” just like you noted, he’s extremely athletic, agile, nimble, and mobile enough to guard speed rushers off the edge, which is often needed/called upon as a general duty/role of a LT and the ability to protect the QB by blocking the pass rushers is the calling card for most premiere, franchise left tackles. Hoepfully he can groom/grow into a stronger tackle and take on that job/task, as it looks like he has lots of upside – but is that enough to take him? I hope we would look long and hard after him – I like him as a prospect in the mold of Ugoh like you said.

    I would like to take a chance on him in the 3rd round, maybe 2nd. I need to read more about him, in order to get a good feel to his game – cannot evaluate him all that well – just yet.

    Most of all I love the Tony Ugoh comparisons – Ugoh was SOLID last year as a Rookie 2nd rounder outta Arkanasas, and he basically shut down Will Smith (not the FRESH Prince… laughing) in Week 1 against New Orleans. When I was thinking about drafting a solid OT in the 2nd round my first thought/inclination was is there any “Ugoh’s” and I wondered if there were any in this draft to warrant and consider, being worthy enough to select, if we pass up on an OL in the 1st round for Rashard.



  5. Kevin

    April 17, 2008 at 1:00 pm

    I think we need to make a serious commitment to the offensive line in this draft. I would package our late third round pick and first to move up and get Clady if possible. Second round go for the best guard on the board. Use remaining 3rd round pick and 4th to get the best available at the center or running back position.

  6. Russ Loede

    April 17, 2008 at 7:04 pm

    Good Stuff Kevin. I agree we definitely need to make a serious commitment to our OL because it was awful last season – and because it all starts up front with the line – we have to address this major issue 1st.

    Trading up to get Clady would only be a good move if we’re truly convinced on him (I’m not too sold on him) and if Branden Albert’s off the board – because personally I like Albert better than the Boise State product.

    We can get a good OG in the 3rd round and spend our 2nd on a Back. Guards will be there in the 3rd, not much difference between 2nd/3rd rounders this season when talking Guards. Also, not a great Draft class besides Albert for OG’s in the first 2 rounds. Who do you have in mind other than Albert. Also, who do you have us taking if we Stay @ 14 – Albert…?

    Olin Kretuz is our Center – we’re SET their for another good 2-3 years… We have other needs to take care before Center.



  7. Ron N

    April 19, 2008 at 7:41 pm

    Hi Russ

    I have to say as the draft gets closer I am doing a complete 180 from my earlier posting. Now I don’t feel so strong about drafting the flashy running back and now completely agree with you that we should go for the best available left tackle with our 14th pick. In the second round we can draft a back such as Matt Forte who is without the fanfare of Mendenhall but still should provide some competition for Benson.

  8. Russ Loede

    April 20, 2008 at 6:03 am

    Ron N,

    I am 50/50. Either Albert, Rashard, or Trade Down. I kind of want the RB because he would give us that unique difference-maker on offense that we so desire, giving us the impact playmaker we need – one who could take it to the house every time he touches the rock – but how good would he be w/ the OL we have because we haven’t improved it yet this off-season… And how good are the OT’s in the 2nd/3rd rounds? Part of AP’s brilliance running the football was due to his great OL and all the credit goes there when a RB is so good like he was. The lack of OL is our #1 concern/problem, an area of need we need to address because without a solid OL it’ll be tough to do anything on the ground – and we definitely need a consistent, productive rushing attack, we were doomed by it in ’07.

    All I know is that BOTH Rashard/Albert are going to be READY RIGHT AWAY to START and make a big contribution. Trading down is always a very good option too… we usually come out successful all the time after dealing down except last year’s trade w/ SD (extra ’08 3rd rounder) when we got Wolfe instead of a Weddle or Blalock… we’ll see how that turns out this season because so far we’ve got the bad end of that trade.

    I’m high on Rashard/Albert so either player would be a good selection. I also have been looking into Matt Forte alot and did an article on him, and from what I read, he’s going to be a really good power back and he would fit into our offensive game plan exceptionally well and he is what we are looking for in a RB (Draftking also agrees). I also would like to get 6’7″ WR James Hardy (Indiana) if he’s AVLB.

    Thanks Again for your Insight Ron N! Your comments/feedback are always appreciated here @ – I love to read your stuff and enjoy your interest and insight on the Bears!

    So, I would like to extend an offer to ya’ if you want to write for the site and become part of the Bears Gab team, as a mainstay – a important, much-needed Columnist/Expert! We could use lots of HELP leading up to the Draft, on Draft Day, and Draft Weekend because I will be out and away this Thurs-SUNDAY. So e-mail me at or just respond back if you want to join the Bears Gab Staff – writing for us @!

    Thank You,


  9. Ron N

    April 20, 2008 at 10:31 am

    Hi Russ

    I would love to join the staff of Bears gab as I am was very excited to find a group of people with the devotion and energy that I have about the Chicago Bears.

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