Future Bears? Thursday from Indy

The Chicago Bears singled out several prospects that they like at events like the Hula Bowl and Senior Bowl, and now it's time to see what they can do at the NFL Combine. Bear Report has a seat in the front row as some possible future Midway Monsters do their best to impress team scouts.

G Branden Albert (6-5 1/2, 309) – Virginia
Although he played both guard and tackle during his collegiate career, Albert projects as the No. 3 guard available in the NFL Draft according to Scout.com.

"I think the main strength of my game is my athleticism, my pulling [and] pass blocking," Albert said when asked what he does best. "One thing I do have to work on is my pad level on my down blocking and in-line blocking. That's one thing I'm going to have to concentrate on in the offseason."

Albert said repeatedly that he could also play left tackle, and the only reason he moved to guard from tackle in the first place was the presence of former first-round pick and fellow Cavalier D'Brickashaw Ferguson.

OT Chris Williams (6-6, 315) – Vanderbilt
A prospect who seems to be getting a lot of attention after his performance at the Senior Bowl, Williams projects as the No. 2 tackle available in the NFL Draft according to Scout.com.

"Yeah, I have it," Williams said when Bear Report asked if he had a mean streak, even though some scouts aren't so sure. "You need it. I think you do need it. Offensive line is a tough position. It's not always about talent. It's about, can you play through pain? Can you play through injuries? Can you play every snap? So it's not a position where people are rotating a lot."

Williams admitted that he's a better pass blocker than a run blocker right now, but he's still good enough to warrant a selection midway through the first round.

OT Ryan Clady (6-6, 309) – Boise State
One of the top juniors on the board and a lock to be the Broncos' first ever first-round pick, Clady projects as the No. 4 tackle available in the NFL Draft according to Scout.com.

"Just my pass-blocking abilities," Clady said when asked why he feels he's the best tackle available in April. "And my feet. I think I have good feet. I think that I can excel at the next level."

Clady seems to have lost a little weight since the end of his college season and has been working out with former Pro Bowlers Will Shields and Jackie Slater, so he might not make it to the Bears at 14th overall.

RB Matt Forte (6-1, 223) – Tulane
Possibly the fastest tailback on display at the Combine and a player who is certainly on the rise leading up to the draft, Forte projects as the No. 9 running back available in the NFL Draft according to Scout.com.

"With all the juniors who came out, also with all the other great running backs who are seniors who came out, it gets your adrenaline going and gets you competitive just thinking about it," Forte said when asked to compare himself to the other ball-carriers here in Indianapolis. "I'm really anxious to get started, get the tests done and see how I compare to them."

Forte was named MVP of the Senior Bowl and has shown serious skills both rushing and receiving, which goes to show how deep this class of running backs is this year.

John Crist is the Publisher of Bear Report and a member of the Professional Football Writers of America. To read him every day, visit BearReport.com and become a Chicago Bears insider.


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