Are Bears Zeroing In On Baldwin?
One league source proclaimed the Bears have put in major work targeting Pitt wide receiver Jon Baldwin, despite GM Jerry Angelo giving us this, ‘‘I just don’t want to overrate the position.’’ Let’s not give our franchise QB and most important player too strong of a supporting cast.
‘‘Yeah, we’d like to get the big receiver, like everybody,’’ Angelo hinted nonchalantly. ‘‘We’ve looked at the position hard this year. I don’t anticipate that we collectively as a group see anybody that is going to fit that definition, but we do like the receiver group, given how they complement what we have. We looked at it in-depth.’’ Speaking of “in-depth”, I like North Carolina’s big (6-3, 231) receiver Greg Little in the 2nd, or if he’s available, 3rd round. Little, clearly plays big and has first-round talent.
Some of the prospects the Bears might be considering in the first round are offensive linemen Derek Sherrod (Mississippi State) and Danny Watkins (Baylor), defensive linemen Cameron Heyward (Ohio State) and Marvin Austin (North Carolina) and cornerback Aaron Williams (Texas). That being said, only Marvin Austin strikes me as a player entertaining with the 29th pick. Wouldn’t you want to go with the dynamic high-reward athlete; even if he has some risks/red flags? Sherrod is worthy, but does he have a high ceiling? Why not go with the Tar Heel with more potential/upside?
The other side say’s play it safe by going offensive line – the ugly, unglamorous pick. “We want to go bigger for that because we’ve got bigger people in our division that we’re playing against, Pro Bowl type players,” said general manager Jerry Angelo. “In fact there’s three,” (Ndamukong Suh, Kevin Williams, and B.J. Raji). “So that is something we’re mindful of. So we’re not really looking at that guard/center [type of player]. It’s not that we would pass up a player that we felt was a really good player. We’re not going to miss the forest for the trees. We’re still going to evaluate the quality of the player. But if everything is even, [bigger is] the way we would go.” It’s a serious, serious need.
Thinking big, bigger, biggest? “The last couple of years with, obviously a lot of talking with our coaches, we’ve kind of shifted in that we want bigger people,” Angelo said. “So we’re looking for tackles that can play guards rather than guards who can play center. “So there’s a little bit of a shift in our thinking that way philosophically. I know coach [Mike] Tice, coach [Mike] Martz want bigger people. Staffs we’ve had before, they weren’t as committed to that thinking. But there’s a little bit more of a shift. So when we look at offensive linemen, we’d like to think that the tackle/guards can be interchangeable. Going big is the safe play and it could keep Jay Cutler safer for longer.
I think the Bears are done playing it safe. Time to roll the dice and upgrade the pass rush and the ability to make the big play in the pass department. Whether it be receiver first defensive line second, or vice-versa, these two areas have to be upgraded early. However, can offensive line wait until late in Day 2, Round 3? They are trying to catch their rivals, the Super Bowl champs. Whatever they do, they must pick their spots wisely.