Grading the Draft: Chicago Bears

The only positive about having a poor record is that the club has a chance to add some of the top talent in the draft.

With a defense that has quietly amassed a group of talented players over the last few seasons the Bears entered this draft wanting to improve on the offensive the offensive side of the ball with the hopes of giving young quarterback Rex Grossman more weapons.

With the fourth pick in the draft Chicago selected Texas tailback Cedric Benson. Benson was considered by some the top running back in this draft before being passed by Ronnie Brown in the post season. Benson is a workhorse back that can carry the load and will wear opponents down. If he keeps his focus on the field he will be a franchise runner in Chicago. Oklahoma receiver Mark Bradley gives the Bears a return specialist as well as a wide receiver who can stretch the defense. An athletic prospect that must further refine his skills as a receiver, Bradley could be a dynamic return man from day one. The Bears have had little success in finding a backup to Rex Grossman in recent years; enter Kyle Orton. Orton is an intelligent quarterback that will be effective in a short to medium passing game. He provides the Bears a solid option should Grossman continue to be injury prone. Clemson receiver Airese Currie offers the Bears sprinters speed and good upside. Once he develops his game Currie should be a solid downfield presence for the Bears. Louisiana-Monroe safety Chris Harris is best suited on the strong side where he can focus defending the run. South Carolina Rodriguez Wilson will likely spend his first season on the practice squad. He is the undersized, explosive linebacker coach Lovie Smith covets.

Benson and Bradley could have an immediate impact on the Bears offense while Kyle Orton could have a long term stabilizing effect with his understanding of the game. The Bears did a nice job of improving their team immediately yet at the same time invested in the future. With the next two seasons being critical for Jerry Angelo, this a solid draft.

RD Pick Player Pos School
1 4(4) Cedric Benson RB Texas
2 7(39) Mark Bradley WR Oklahoma
4 5(106) Kyle Orton QB Purdue
5 4(140) Airese Currie WR Clemson
6 7(181) Chris Harris S Louisiana-Monroe
7 6(220) Rodriguez Wilson OLB South Carolina

UDFA Signings: DE Jonathan Jackson, PK Tyler Jones, PK Nick Novak, OG Matt McGhghy, LB Stephen Larsen, DT Greg Pauly, OT, CB Leroy Smith, CB Talib Wise, DB Brandon McGowan

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