Getting to Know the 2007 Draftees

The Bears had seven picks coming into the 2007 NFL Draft, but they came out of it with nine new players and an extra third-rounder next year. Landing Greg Olsen at 31st overall was the highlight of Day 1, and then the second day focused on depth in the defensive backfield and along the offensive line. Get to know the newest Monsters of the Midway and how they fit on the roster.

 Round 1 (31st Overall)
GREG OLSEN
TE - Miami-FL (6'6", 254)

The Bears had to have another playmaker on the offensive side of the ball, and it looks like they found one in Olsen. The Hurricanes have produced their fair share of great tight ends, and he brings the kind of speed and big-play ability that Desmond Clark simply does not offer. Clark played very well in 2006 and will open the season as the starter, but Olsen should develop into one of quarterback Rex Grossman's favorite targets in a hurry.

 Round 2 (62nd Overall)

DAN BAZUIN
DE - Central Michigan (6'3", 266)

Despite the fact that Bazuin was a great value pick this late in Round 2, defensive end does not appear to be a position of need on the depth chart. Starters Alex Brown and Adewale Ogunleye are two of the stalwarts on defense, and backup Mark Anderson led the team in sacks a year ago. Bazuin made a living in the opponent's backfield throughout his college career, but he'll have to impress quickly if he wants some time in the defensive line rotation.

 Round 3 (93rd Overall)

GARRETT WOLFE
RB - Northern Illinois (5'7", 173)

With Thomas Jones now in the Big Apple, the Bears wanted to come out of this draft with a complementary running back to new starter Cedric Benson. Wolfe is a Chicago native and destroyed the competition at NIU for three seasons, and he'll bring a home run threat to the backfield that has been absent for quite some time. He was very impressive in his personal workout at Halas Hall, although he may have still been available a round or two later.

 Round 3 (94th Overall)

MICHAEL OKWO
LB - Stanford (6'0", 232)

The Cardinal had one of the worst defenses in college football last season, but if there was one standout, it was Okwo. Lance Briggs is still a member of the Bears but can hardly be counted on at this point, so Okwo can come in right away and compete with Jamar Williams for playing time on the weak side. He offers the kind of lateral movement and flat-out speed that Lovie Smith likes to see from his linebackers, and he might be able to add a few pounds.

 Round 4 (130th Overall)

JOSH BEEKMAN
OG - Boston College (6'2", 313)

Not only was Beekman an accomplished guard for the Golden Eagles, but he also has a ton of experience at center and might be better suited to be the backup to Olin Kreutz than Anthony Oakley. An all-conference performer the last two seasons in the ACC, he was remarkably durable in college and is quite a bargain in Round 4. The Bears had to get younger at guard behind Ruben Brown and Roberto Garza, so Beekman is a step in the right direction.

 Round 5 (167th Overall)

KEVIN PAYNE
S - Louisiana-Monroe (6'1", 220)

Of the three players the Midway Monsters specifically targeted in this year's draft, Payne was one of them. After putting up pretty good numbers as a running back for two seasons, he moved to strong safety his junior year to fill the void left by, coincidentally, current Bear Chris Harris. Payne is a punishing hitter and thrives playing close to the line of scrimmage, and he was even versatile enough to double as the Warhawks' punter.

 Round 5 (168th Overall)

COREY GRAHAM
CB - New Hampshire (6'0", 195)

The Cover 2 scheme puts a priority on bigger cornerbacks that can be effective in run support, and Graham looks to fit that mold. Possessing a similar build to Charles Tillman, Graham hails from the same school that produced another Bears corner, Jerry Azumah. He has impressive closing speed and good football instincts out on the field, although he needs to work on his backpedaling and bursting out of his breaks.

 Round 7 (221st Overall)

TRUMAINE McBRIDE
CB - Mississippi (5'10", 180)

McBride was the second consecutive cornerback selected by the Bears and the third straight defensive back. Anybody who was a three-year starter in the loaded SEC is going to have tons of experience against top-quality competition, and McBride held his own in coverage week in and week out. Both Tillman and Nathan Vasher are free agents after the 2007 season, so it's time to start developing a contingency plan in the secondary.

 Round 7 (241st Overall)

AARON BRANT
OT - IOWA STATE (6'7", 315)

It's not easy to find a prototypical right tackle in the seventh round of the draft, but the Bears did just that with the selection of Brant. Not only does he have excellent drive-blocking skills, but he plays with a nasty streak that is so highly coveted for offensive lineman. Since Fred Miller is 34 years old and John Tait is 32, Brant will be a backup this year before possibly competing with practice-squader Mark LeVoir for a starting gig in 2008.

John Crist is the Publisher of Bear Report and Editor in Chief of BearReport.com. To read him every day, visit BearReport.com and become a Chicago Bears insider.

Bear Report Top Stories