Obviously, it was an uneventful day today. I can tell you this: I feel great going home tonight and not have to worry about any of these picks. But the key to drafting is fulfilling your needs without leaving levels, and we were going to adhere to that throughout this draft.
Unfortunately, the players that we targeted at 49 did not fall to us and we weren't in a position, as I mentioned the last time I spoke with you, that we were able to move up. We just didn't have enough to be an attractive candidate to move up, given what people were doing to move up in the draft. Rather than put a square peg in a round hole and take somebody that we feel that we could get tomorrow and pick up another pick, because we do want to get some good football players and we do feel that we can get those tomorrow with these picks. I feel like we did a pretty good job in these rounds. We really focused because we had seven picks between [Rounds] 3 and 7. We really looked at that part of the draft really hard. 49, we had to get a little luck. Someone had to come to us. We thought there was a chance. That didn't happen, though, and those guys were gone pretty much five or six picks before us.
So I had Bobby [DePaul] call around. We spent the better part of the last half hour doing that, and we were able to facilitate a trade that I thought was good for us in terms of compensation with Seattle. So we are ready for tomorrow. We will meet tonight and get the board, and we will obviously be very, very active tomorrow but feel we can get some good football players, competition, depth and some that will challenge at certain positions.
On whom the Bears were looking at with the 49th pick:
We were looking at a receiver. We were looking at a defensive player, as well. We were looking at [Brian] Robiskie and a couple other receivers, not just Robiskie. We felt he could possibly be there, and we liked them all. But again, they went and we didn't want to manufacture a receiver for the need's sake.
On Coach Byrd's son, Jairus:
We were looking at him, but even if we were looking to take him, he was gone. It just didn't fall the way we wanted it to fall. That happens. [You've] got to have a little luck in the draft, and we just didn't get luck at 49. That isn't to say we can't have a good draft tomorrow, because we will. The player we would have taken at 49, in most drafts, that is a double. We are not liking to hit a home run with that player, so it's not like we missed gold. Although those players we targeted were very good players, there are no guarantees that we targeted.
On having draft envy of other teams that are making picks:
It's hard. I am sure there are other teams that put in the time and energy that we do, but we really work the draft hard. Our scouts, Greg [Gabriel] do a great job from A to Z. That is their big day. It's our big day. So we understood when we made the trade for Jay [Cutler] that this was part of it, and we just will transition and we will be okay.
On a possible trade with Arizona for wide receiver Anquan Boldin:
We did have conversations with Arizona. I had Bobby explore some things, we talked, but it just didn't come together. I am assuming [the trade talk is dead]. I thought if it was going to happen, that it was going to happen today. So I don't really know what their thinking was, but we are always going to explore any avenue that makes us a better football team. It just didn't work out. I am not going to get into the details of it, but yes, we did explore it.
On if there was a pass rusher targeted at 49 that was drafted early in the second round:
We did. We did have a pass rusher. We had several positions, like I said earlier, but we spent a lot of time and we wanted to get the right player at the right pick. We were going to be very disciplined about that.
On possibly moving up a few spots to get one of the top defenders that slid:
There was absolutely no way we were able to move up. I wouldn't embarrass a team by making a call and offering [nothing]. Those players at the top half of the second round, that is the hardest place to get to in the draft is that top half of the second because those are the best buys. Those are the players that you really get a great deal on. Not financially but for the value, and I know this because we have been up there. We didn't do it. It takes an awful lot, and the teams that moved up gave up a lot. So we weren't in the position to do that.
On the difference between players at the beginning of the second round to the middle of the second round:
It's hard without looking at the board here. The top half of that round was pretty good, probably went to the 50 percent line, but after that it kind of just went away for us.
On what held up the talks with Arizona about Boldin:
I don't really want to get into that. I think I have been candid enough to let you know that we did explore it. I really don't want to get into that. Arizona wouldn't appreciate that, and if I were Arizona I wouldn't appreciate that. All I said was we explored it, and I really don't want to talk about it more than that.
On moving forward with the rest of the draft:
We can. There will be somebody up there because we targeted somebody. We had three levels. One was at 49. We have a level tomorrow that was going to be in the third. We have a high fourth and then we have another level between five and six. Our coaches have spent an inordinate amount of time looking at these receivers, and they are on the board as well as the scouts. Again, at the right level, it's the right value. If I have to sit here and tell you that someone is going to come in and be the answer or challenge for the No. 1 spot, no, I have no visions of grandeur. We just need a good receiver to complement what we have. So that may happen, but again, you need to get a little luck and things need to fall and sometimes they do and sometimes they don't. But you have to be prepared. That's what we did. I told Bobby about a half hour before the pick, "Start making those calls." He did a great job, we got some interest, we had a lot of activity and we got what we thought was the best deal for us.
On the value of players at the beginning of the third round:
I thought that last year, as you know we had a high three, it wasn't last year, so it may be tomorrow. We are anticipating that, so we will look at that if we get calls and how far will we be willing to go down. We have two good threes, so we may entertain it. I thought that last year, and it did not work out that way last year. It may this year. There was a lot of activity, teams trying to move up. Everyone was saying what a bad draft it was, but look at the activity for teams to move up in the first round. So that tells me that there were some highly-coveted players. Maybe that will happen tomorrow.
On being more open to bring in a veteran wide receiver now:
Good question. I am not going to rule that out. We are going to continue to look. We have the resources. We will be motivated, and we want to win now. We are going to do anything we can to get the best players, whether it comes from a draft pick or comes from a veteran and we are not going to shut any door. So that is a possibility, and we just will wait for this draft to get over with. As I said earlier, there were a lot of quality receivers. Maybe now there is a receiver that comes out now, now that a team has one.
On the draft picks of the Bears' divisional rivals in the NFC North:
Starting with Green Bay, the obviously helped themselves on defense. [B.J.] Raji was clearly the best run-stuffer in the draft in my opinion. They have Ryan Pickett. I don't know if that creates depth or if they will move Pickett over to left end. That gives them a very strong front. They have [Aaron] Kampman. They have Clay Matthews, who I think is an ideal 3-4 guy. They have [A.J.] Hawk and [Nick] Barnett, so that is going to be a tough front seven.
I thought Detroit did a very good job. [Brandon] Pettigrew, great player. No bust in that guy. Tough guy. He isn't going to make the secondary fearful, but he is big, he is tough, he will be a good target.
And then I thought Percy Harvin could be the best playmaker in football, could be better than a guy like [Jeremy] Maclin that everyone was talking about, so I thought [Minnesota] got a great playmaker.
Our work is cut out for us. Everybody in our division got better today. We might not have gotten better today, but we got better a few weeks ago [with the Cutler trade] and tomorrow hopefully we are going to get a lot better.
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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.