Risks for Potential Bears Picks

The Bears have visited with a few first- and second-round draft prospects that should be considered medical risks. In fact, giving those players a physical could be one reason they were brought in. Some showed no ill effects from past injuries while others could be red-flagged. Scout.com lists the players and the potential risks involved in selecting them.

Each year, there are players who have various issues coming in to the NFL Draft. Scout.com outlined the players who had character issues last week and this week we'll take a look at some who have some medical issues in this update:

Ernie Sims/LB/Florida St. - It's no secret that he had some concussion issues in the past but Scout.com has learned he had suffered six concussions in his playing career, and one of them knocked him unconscious. While Sims seems like a rising prospect, in actuality, he could drop quite a bit on draft day. The Bears visited with Sims and he checked out medically. However, the chances of him falling to 26 are unlikely. He is a perfect fit in the defensive scheme, which relies on speedy linebackers and Sims fits that bill.

Jason Allen/CB-S/Tennessee - He suffered a hip injury last October that, despite a solid workout at the NFL Combine, has teams very concerned. Two teams that Scout.com talked to this week said they took Allen off of their draft board because of long-term concerns of his injured hip. Allen didn't visit Halas Hall, but his ability to play safety or cornerback is intriguing.

Antonio Cromartie/CB/Florida St. - Cromartie missed the entire 2005 season due to a knee injury, but that doesn't seem to have been an issue as he's been passing team physicals throughout the league. The addition of Ricky Manning means the Bears aren't in despeate need of adding another cornerback, but Cromartie did come in for a visit.

Eric Winston/OT/Miami-Fla. - While he suffered a major knee injury during the 2004 season, Winston hasn't had any problems passing team physicals. Still, teams feel he was not fully healthy last year at Miami, which resulted in disappointing play. Most teams feel Winston still needs time before breaking into a starting line-up.

Marcus McNeill/OT/Auburn - He has been diagnosed with Stenosis, which is defined as the narrowing of the spine. While he certainly can play with the condition, teams are concerned with the long-term affects, which is why many see him falling out of the first round. The Bears were reminded of what a serious injury can do when Jerry Azumah had to retire this off-season at the age of 28.

Ryan O'Callahan/OT/ California – He has been red-flagged by several teams after two shoulder surgeries and back problems. Sources have told us certain franchises will not consider using a first day pick on O'Callahan due to the injury history.

Anthony Fasano/TE/Notre Dame - While some have the tight end rising up draft boards, his combine medical grade tells a different story altogether. Due to a back injury Fasano was given a grade of 1 (one) by doctors who examined him at the combine, the lowest number possible. He is now considered undraftable by many teams.

A second tier running back, Ryan Gilbert told people he was rehabbing his surgically repaired knee the past three months but sources say the big interior ball handler has actually done nothing at all. As a result Gilbert, previously looked upon as late round consideration, is barely roster fodder.

Two prospects are falling down draft boards after poor interviews, with some teams removing their names from consideration altogether.

Earlier last month we spoke about an insecure attitude by Winston Justice which was being labeled as a "humble personality". We have learned that has changed.

Several franchises were completely turned off by what they called "complete immaturity" on behalf of Justice. Source have labeled him as a "blamer" who does not take personal responsibility. Factor in off-the-field issues which includes an arrest for solicitation and at least two teams in the middle of round one have said they will not select Justice even if he is available.

Another dropping due to poor one-on-one interviews is defensive back Jimmy Williams. At one time considered a top ten choice, Williams has not come off well and source have told us he has asserted no desire to move back to free safety and will only play cornerback.

Character concerns has reared its' ugly head and red-flagged several other defensive players.

Considered first round material coming into the season, a number of teams have tabbed Alan Zemaitis as a character concern citing a bad attitude. While opinions on Zemaitis are split, some teams will not consider using a pick on his services until the third round begins.

Texas defensive lineman Rodrique Wright has also been dropping down draft boards with character concerns. Part of Wright's problem is the fact he's just not liked by a lot of people.

South Carolina safety Ko Simpson is another drifting down charts because of poor character. Sources have said Simpson presents himself as an immature prospect who just doesn't seem to get it. Less than average classroom skills have also been a concern for general managers around the league.


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