Bears land pash rusher

There was a rush on defensive lineman in the top half of the first round. Despite making another move back the Bears found their man in <!--Default NodeId For Michael Haynes is 332460,2002--><A HREF=[PlayerNode:332460]>Michael Haynes</A> with the fourteenth pick.

The Penn State product was the second defensive end selected only behind Terrell Suggs, who went 10th to Baltimore. There was a feeling that the Bears wanted to upgrade the interior of the line, but four defensive tackles went in the first 12 picks including Haynes' teammate Jimmy Kennedy at the 12th slot.

The Bears swapped the 13th selection they had obtained Friday in a trade with the Jets for the Patriots 14th pick and a sixth-round pick 193rd overall.

Haynes led the Big Ten with 15 sacks, which tied the school record and was fourth in the nation.

Many wanted to give Kennedy credit for Haynes impressive sack totals. However, Haynes paints a different picture.

"A lot of people forget I was getting double-teamed as much as Jimmy was," Haynes said.

A high school fullback, Haynes, converted to the defensive side of the ball at the suggestion of Joe Paterno.

"it was really Joe who mentioned first," Haynes said. "Then I sat and talked with (defensive line) coach (Larry) Johnson, and we decided to try."

For a time Hayes backed up Courtney Brown before the end went on to the NFL as a top pick.

Haynes proved he could stand on his own at the Senior Bowl. The defensive end had a sack, two forced fumbles to win the Defensive MVP award for the North squad.

Whether or not Haynes can step in and start, is a major question. At this point, the rookie will behind Phillips Daniels and Alex Brown on the depth chart, but could move up as training camp approaches.

Either way, Haynes should be able to contribute in pass rush situations which is something the Bears needed with the off-season loss of Rosevelt Colvin.

"I definitely expect to be an impact player," Haynes said. "Now they drafted me in the first-round, therefore they must obviously expect me to come play."

Wrote Tony Pauline of TFY Draft Preview:

"If there was one player that has really stood out to scouts as a senior during the 2002 campaign, and as a result is watching his draft rankings shoot through the roof, it would be Michael Haynes of Penn State. A forceful defender that terrorizes opposing quarterbacks and at the same time stops the run, Haynes may not be around for very long next April."

For as much as Haynes helped his cause at the Senior Bowl, he took a step back at the combine. He injured his leg during the initial 40-yard dash and did not complete the second running. Even with that Haynes gritted the day out and participated in all the drills, which could attest to his toughness.

"He is a guy that we really watched a lot of tape on and he grew on us," said Coach Dick Jauron. "He's a fine player and we think he's got a lot of up-side to him also. He's got good size, good speed, plays both the run and the pass can play both left and right (end); so he'll play a lot of football for us."


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