With the 14th pick the Bears select…

Some players are making a late surge up the draft board with the draft a day away. One thing is for sure the Bears have shown interest in several different players and have earned the smokescreen award for the team working hardest to hide their draft day intentions. At this point the only given is that USC WR Mike Williams is out the draft.

The confusion starts at the top. The New York Giants want Eli Manning and the San Diego Chargers seem inclined to trade the 1st pick in order to slide down and take Phillip Rivers. Negotiations have come to the forefront as Eli's father and former NFL great, Archie Manning, basically said he didn't want the Chargers to draft his son.

If a trade is eventually worked out it could set a chain reaction throughout the rest of the round. The 4th overall pick still might be too early to take Rivers, so the Chargers could look to move back again. However it could get risky because the Pittsburgh Steelers are looking for a quarterback and have the 11th pick.

Oakland is looking to move off of the 2nd pick and there are a few teams interested in dealing with the Raiders.

Jacksonville has their eye on Larry Fitzgerald, but sitting at 9 they'll have to move up. Fitzgerald has been projected to go to Arizona, who owns the 3rd choice, and has seemingly been on the Cardinals roster since Dennis Green took over. The former Vikings ball boy has a close relationship with Green and the Cardinals have their heart set on adding the talented wide receiver.

The Cleveland Browns are willing to part with multiple picks to trade up in order to select LT Robert Gallery. The Iowa product is the only tackle worthy of top-five draft status and the Browns are desperate to upgrade their offensive line.

Moving back would allow the Raiders to take RB Steven Jackson or possibly WR Roy Williams. The Detroit Lions also have the same idea to acquire Jackson, but without a trade would be left with whatever Miami player the Washington Redskins don't draft. Steve Mariucci would be happy with either safety Sean Taylor or tight end Kellen Winslow.

The fact that Mike Williams doesn't appear to be in the draft has pushed Lee Evans up the first-round. Last week the Wisconsin receiver had been projected to be a late first-rounder or early second-rounder. Now he could be off the board before the Bears are on the clock.

The Bears have brought multiple players in for visits including defensive tackles Vince Wilfork and Tommie Harris, as well as corners DeAngelo Hall and Chris Gamble.

Terry Shea is clamoring for a speed receiver, which is something the Bears don't have on their 53-man roster. Marty Booker, David Terrell and Justin Gage are all large receivers with good speed, although they're far from burners.

Even without Mike Williams the receiver crop is deep and there will be options in round two. Still the Bears were hoping Mike Williams would be eligible for the draft because at the very least his presence could have pushed another player closer to Chicago.

The Bears top priority has always been to upgrade the front-four, but does that mean an end or tackle?

Sitting at 14 the Bears will have to play the waiting game. There are two top prospects at both end and tackle. USC's Kenechi Udeze and Ohio State's Will Smith are both viable pass rush options. Coming of an 18-sack season Lovie Smith has said he needs a third defensive end to rotate with Alex Brown and Michael Haynes.

While it would be difficult to take a defensive end in the first-round two years in a row, the Bears are not ruling out the option.

"If he's clearly the best player then you have to think about going that way," said Greg Gabriel the director of college scouting. "You don't want to drop down (just because of the position). If it happens to be a defensive end then it's a defensive end."

Lovie Smith has also said he doesn't want any "fat guys" on his team, which would seem to eliminate Wilfork, who weighed 323 pounds at the combine but has gained 10 pounds in the past two months.

However Wilfork is willing to prove to the Bears that he's not going to be a problem. He would agree to put weight clauses in his contract and that could sway the Bears to taking the Miami defensive tackle.

Harris' stock has fallen over the past week because of a shoulder injury. Teams are hesitant to invent millions of dollars in a trench player that might have problems fighting off blockers.

In many ways the Bears decision will become a process of elimination as three of the four d-line prospects could be gone at 14 with an outside chance all of them will be off of the board.

While unlikely, it could go the other way where more than one prospect slips and the Bears will have to make a choice between Udeze, Smith, Wilfork or Harris.

Bryan Robinson and Alfonso Boone aren't on the upside of their careers as Brown and Haynes should be, so adding talent to compliment them on the inside makes the most sense for the Bears.

Wilfork wants to come to Chicago and is willing to put clauses in his contract to make it happen. Not to mention he's more gifted athletically than Harris and the Bears have said that their off-season acquisitions have put them in a position to take the best player available and that's Wilfork.

"They're both fine producers. I don't see either as the prototypical player, but I tend to feel that Wilfork would be a better match for our system," said GM Jerry Angelo.

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