Bears could continue trading ways?

The Bears have maintained that they are happy with the 14th pick in next weekend's draft. However team personnel sang a different tune when they met with the media following the completion of the second mini-camp of the year.

"I feel we could go down and get good quality for what we need later on (in the first round)," said GM Jerry Angelo on the possibility of sliding back in the draft.

The reason Angelo is now talking about trading the 14th pick is finding the right fit for the new schemes Lovie Smith has installed instead of just selecting a defensive tackle because that is a need area.

"I think there's probably going to be three guys that are going to have tremendous value (but) they're not going to be the ideal fit for us or the ideal need for us, and we're going to have to make a decision," Angelo said.

Last year the Bears owned the 4th pick in the draft, but traded it to the Jets. New York took DT Dewayne Robertson and the Bears ended up with the 14th and 22nd overall selections, which after moving back to the 15th slot turned out to be Michael Haynes and Rex Grossman respectively. Angelo also moved up in order to take Justin Gage in the fifth-round. In his first draft, Angelo moved out of round two and ended up with Roosevelt Williams, Alex Brown and Bobby Gray in a trade with Dallas.

Increasing overall team speed is the Bears draft mantra. Meaning Vince Wilfork might not be the right fit for the Bears defensive line because he weighs more than 320 pounds and his best forty time is in the high 4.9's. Smith has also gone on record as saying he doesn't want any fat guys on the team. Smith is playing it safe on this subject when it comes to Wilfork.

"My wife had an ideal husband in mind but she got me," Smith said. "We may have an ideal guy in mind but he's a football player. And I don't know if you've seen Vince but I don't want to be the one to tell him he's fat. We had some heavy guys in here and we started running them and they aren't as heavy anyway. With the way we're conditioning guys, they're going to lose weight anyway."

There are six players at four or five different positions that the Bears are considering in round one, but more than half of those could be gone by the time 14th pick.

"The way I look at it you've got your top 15-20 players are all pretty good players and a lot of times you're going to take according to value then," said Bears director of college scouting Greg Gabriel. "After that you have another 15-20 that are relatively similar in value and now it's what flavor do you like. There's some impact guys that just because he might not fit one team's way of playing he may fit another. We could like a guy other teams don't like, other teams could like a guy we don't."

A player that could give the Bears ammo to pick up additional draft choices is Oregon State RB Steven Jackson. Earlier in the month the Denver Broncos moved up from the 24th pick to the 17th slot to have a better chance at Jackson, who they deem as a replacement for Clinton Portis. For moving up 7 slots the Broncos sent the Bengals Deltha O'Neal and a fourth round pick.

The New England Patriots, who have multiple picks in round one and two, are also interested in Jackson and will likely have to move ahead of Denver to take the running back.

That's where the Bears could become a factor. While Angelo admitted he's not actively shopping the 14th pick, he will listen to offers.

"What I'm preparing for is we're going to get a value player, but not necessarily a need or not necessarily a perfect fit," Angelo said.

As draft day approaches teams could become increasingly desperate and overpay for a player they feel is the right fit for their team. There is a chance that New England would be willing to send the 21st and 32nd overall selections to Chicago for the 14th pick in order to take Jackson.

However a trade of that nature is unlikely to happen until draft and more probably when the Bears are on the clock. Angelo would have to weigh what players are still on the board at that point and what the chances are a player of their liking will still be available by moving back 7 slots.

The Bears could go a variety of different ways if they move back in the first-round. The only position that has been ruled out is quarterback. Still Angelo favors improving the defense, especially after he spent the bulk of the team's free agent money on the offense.

"We felt like in the off-season free agency we did some good things for the offense and now it's the defense's turn so we've been looking real hard, particularly with the defensive linemen but it may not play out that way."


Bear Report Top Stories