Briggs goes on day one of the draft

Not many people expected a Wildcat to be chosen on the first day of the NFL Draft. If any player looked to have a good shot at being selected in the first three rounds it was receiver Bobby Wade. Instead, it was Lance Briggs who got the call in the third round.

Briggs had seen his stock bounce all over the place, but was though to be taken somewhere around the fifth round. Instead the linebacker is taken by the Bears in the third round, the 68th player taken overall.

Last season no Wildcats were selected in the seven rounds of the draft.

While scouts loved Briggs' speed and athleticism, his size and toughness were questioned. Many wondered if Briggs would be willing to take on the blocks of offensive linemen. What was never in doubt was his speed and ability to go from sideline to sideline.

Briggs was an exceptional inside linebacker in the Wildcats' Double-Eagle Flex defensive scheme, but will have to be an outside linebacker in Chicago. He bulked up from 230 to 250 before his senior season, but did not carry the weight well and has trimmed down to 240.

This was seen as a weak linebacker class. Only one backer was selected in the first round and Briggs was the 10th linebacker selected.

He is the fourth player selected by the Bears in the draft. The Bears originally held the fourth pick but dealt it to the Jets for the 14th and 22nd picks in the first round. With those two picks the Bears selected defensive end Michael Haynes of Penn State and Florida quarterback Rex Grossman. They picked up Louisiana-Lafayette DB Charles Tillman in second before grabbing Briggs in the third.

Briggs was a three-year starter at linebacker for the Cats after being a reserve fullback as a true freshman. Briggs had 113 tackles as a sophomore and had 304 career tackles. He stopped ball carriers behind the line of scrimmage 31 times.

Briggs was not impressive at the combine and had just a so-so on-campus workout, but showed enough to impress the Bears.

Wade should be the next Wildcat to be drafted, but Jason Johnson, Makoa Freitas, Young Thompson and Ray Wells have all been told that they have a shot at getting drafted.

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