Supplemental Draft is Risky Proposition

The Bears used their first five selections in the draft on defense. The team could get a jumpstart on next year's class by taking another defender in the supplemental draft. However, there is a definite risk reward factor.

After two seasons at Virginia, LB Ahmad Brooks looked to be a surefire future first round pick. He was a freshman All-American and a finalist for the Butkus award as a sophomore.

However, major knee surgery and ankle problems during the '05 campaign limited Brooks to just six games. He finished with only 27 tackles and a sack. There were also off the field issues throughout his time with the Cavilers, which eventually led to his dismissal him from the program this spring.

The six-foot-4, Brooks struggled to control his weight. At one point tipping the scale near 280 pounds, he must now overcome character and durability issues. He's been working in preparation for a workout for teams on June 22.

According to his agent, Brooks is down to 264 pounds and is capable of running the forty-yard dash in the 4.52 range. Obviously those numbers have to be taken with a grain of salt and will need to be verified at the workout.

Considering Lance Briggs' future in Chicago is uncertain, taking a chance on Brooks could be worth a middle round pick in next year's draft. Any selections used during the supplemental process are forfeited in the 2007 April draft.

While the Bears are in search of depth at linebacker, there is a belief that Brooks could be best suited to play defensive end at the next level. If he does stay at linebacker, he played in the middle at Virginia. The Bears believe all three linebacker spots are interchangeable in their scheme, so with Brooks' size and speed he could move to the outside.

There are reports that the 49ers are very interested in Brooks, and more speculatively, the Patriots and Dolphins might also get in the mix. With Jerry Angelo as general manager, the Bears flirted with using a pick in the supplemental draft on RB Tony Hollings out of Georgia Tech in 2003, but the Houston Texans opted to use a second round choice. After three uneventful seasons with the franchise, the Texans cut ties with Hollings and has since landed with the Bears.

The supplemental draft is tentatively scheduled for July 13. The draft order is determined by a weighted system that is divided into three groupings. First come the teams that had six or fewer wins last season, followed by non-playoff teams that had more than six wins, followed by the 12 playoff teams. The only player to be selected last year was DT Manuel Wright, who the Dolphins took in the fifth-round.

Although Brooks the talent to be a starter in the NFL, he comes with a lot of baggage that could keep him from fulfilling his true potential.


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