A look back at day one

LAKE FOREST -- Good thing Tommie Harris is the son of a preacher, because he had to do a lot of praying Saturday.

Considered a top 10 pick, the University of Oklahoma defensive tackle slipped to No. 14 and fell into the Bears' lap during the NFL draft.

"I didn't go as high as I thought, but it's not how you start but how you finish," Harris said via teleconference at Halas Hall.

"I'm not a guy with greed. I'm satisfied already because I've been playing this game for free all of my life.

"When you're going to pay me to do something that I love doing for free, it's a blessing."

Harris, the winner of the Lombardi Award, given to the nation's top interior lineman, was the top-rated defensive tackle by virtually every draft report.

The 6-foot-3, 289-pound Harris was a definite need for the Bears, who currently have Bryan Robinson and Alfonso Boone as starters.

"Tommie was a guy we had ranked as our top defensive lineman, and with the 14th pick you have to keep your fingers crossed and do a lot of praying," Bears coach Lovie Smith said. "We were able to get the guy we really wanted. He's exactly what we'd like to play with at the defensive tackle position.

"He's athletic, he's fast and he's a guy who comes from a great home. We think he's someone who will play great football for us."

Harris finished last season with just 37 tackles, including 10 for loss, and five sacks. But he played in a rotation with the Sooners, and Smith said that impacted his stats. During his three years in college, Harris had 94 tackles, including 33 for loss, and nine sacks.

"I just like his upside. He's exactly what you look at when you're trying to get a defensive tackle in our system," Smith said. "It was a surprise he was (still there). We had a lot of different options, but it's a good feeling to get the No. 1 guy you want.

"We talk about the starting rotation, but we would like to have a three-man rotation at every position. We'll put Tommie there, and they usually determine how much they're going to play. But I think in time he'll be one of those guys that plays quite a bit for us."

Harris, who left school a year early, will join cousins Stockar McDougle (Lions) and Jerome McDougle (Eagles) in the NFL. Harris, a native of Texas, was said to be the "most gifted tackle prospect in his class," according to The Sporting News.

"I'm a Chicago Bear now and plan on showing them all what they missed," Harris said of dropping in the draft.

In the second round, the Bears selected Washington defensive tackle Terry "Tank" Johnson, a Gary native, with the 47th overall pick.

Johnson fits the new scheme that Smith is implementing defensively, with quick and more athletic defensive tackles.

Johnson, a 6-foot-2, 304-pounder, has 4.69 speed in the 40-yard dash and had 10 sacks and 18 tackles for loss this past season in the Pac 10.

"This is the opportunity of a lifetime," Johnson said. "It's like a dream come true. All my family lives in the Midwest and I've always been a huge Bears fan."

The Bears capped off the first day of the draft by taking Fresno State receiver Bernard Berrian. The speed receiver is also a kickoff return specialist and could help out immediately as a rookie on special teams.

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