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Bears Gab Grades the Teams Picks in the 2011 Draft

By Abe Munch

1st- Gabe Carimi, OT, Wisconsin
2nd- Stephen Paea, DT, Oregon State
3rd- Chris Conte, S/CB, California
5th- Nathan Enderle, QB, Idaho
6th- J.T. Thomas, LB, West Virginia

Synopsis: The Bears needed to add a player that could hold up in pass protection for Jay Cutler, who was one of the most sacked quarterbacks in the NFL last year. They also needed a replacement for the recently released Tommie Harris on the defensive line. Chicago solved both problems early with their first two picks of Gabe Carimi and Stephen Paea.

Best Selection:
Gabe Carimi. Carimi was one of the strongest run defenders I’d ever seen at the college level- a true road grader. His pass protection isn’t completely refined yet, but I believe he’s very capable of playing the left side. A very confident and tough player, he should fit in well in Chicago.

Biggest Risk:
Not selecting any skill players. The Bears were 30th in total offense last year and were bottom of the league running and passing. Jay Cutler needs a big, physical receiver outside, and Matt Forte needs a reliable change-of-pace runner behind him.

Sleeper: J.T. Thomas. Thomas has marginal size but he was drafted by the right team and right defensive scheme. His athleticism and agility are only adequate but he has a good motor and plays the game extremely physical with standout aggressiveness. He could develop into a reliable depth player on the weak side and should be an immediate contributor on special teams.

Grade: C+
General manager Jerry Angelo didn’t have a full set of draft picks but he hit on his first two selections of Gabe Carimi and Stephen Paea. Chris Conte is an intriguing player who played both safety and cornerback. Nathan Enderle gives Mike Martz a developmental quarterback with NFL qualities. They still should’ve found a way to give Jay Cutler an extra weapon or two.



  1. cgaspard

    May 5, 2011 at 6:55 pm

    The Bears have to be counting on finding another offensive lineman, and a physical receiver through free agency. They have to in order to compete with the Pack, and now up and coming Lions.

  2. Russ Loede

    May 6, 2011 at 6:26 pm

    I hope we can add a giant interior lineman. We need a big guard to help block against the monster-sized tackles in our division. Also, I’m hoping we can scoop up Cullen Jenkins from G.B. He will be on the market. As for a WR, we could use someone like James Jones (yes, another Packer!) or Malcom Floyd from San Diego. Two physical pass-catching options for Jay.

  3. adam mcgill

    May 7, 2011 at 12:37 pm

    It is nice to see Da Bears spend some picks on improving the lines. Carimi is a 300 plus pounder (6’6″ 314 pounds), who is famous for finishing blocks DOWNFIELD. He is an outstanding run blocker and has strong enough footwork to be a top tier tackle in the next couple of years.

    Paea showed he is strong by benching 225 pounds 49 times, a new NFL combine record. He can potentially anchor the Bears defensive line for the next five plus years and quickly replace the hole left by T. Harris.

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    GO BEARS!!!!!

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