Risky proposition

Posturing before a draft has become part of the show that is the NFL combine. Bears GM Jerry Angelo is doing his best to sell the fact that selecting a quarterback with the fourth pick in the draft isn't something that interests him.

There are success stories of drafting a quarterback early in the first round, but Angelo has focussed on the failures of high draft choices like Ryan Leaf, Akili Smith and Rick Mirer.

Reaching for a player because he's at a particular position of need, particularly quarterback, is a mistake many teams make.

"Quarterback, I think that's the position that probably gets overrated the most when you're at the top," Angelo said. "If you look at history, half of them fail at the top. So, I'm mindful of that. We'll go through it and we'll do our due diligence. And if the right guy is there and we have a feel we'll pull the trigger. But he's got to be the right guy."

What characteristics is Angelo looking for in a quarterback?

"The intangibles, I like a Gannon type. I want a winner," Angelo said. "I want a guy who has an insatiable appetite for work, for passion. I think that's important to the position. He has to be resilient. He's got to have a real maturity. I think those intangibles, you can't underestimate them.

Despite a 38-2 record and a National Championship as a starter at Miami, Ken Dorsey's draft stock isn't as high as a Carson Palmer or Byron Leftwich because a perceived lack of arm strength. Not to mention the fact several other quarterbacks who had successful at Miami struggled to make the jump to the pros. Names like Steve Walsh, Gino Torretta and Vinny Testaverde come to mind, but that doesn't scare Angelo.

"I think at least 50 percent of the evaluation of a quarterback is based on intangibles and he's exemplary in that area," Angelo said. "You can't minimize the record," Angelo said. "You're always going to hear a product of the system and there have been a lot of great quarterbacks come through there that didn't turn out to be good pros but he's a fine player. His record speaks for itself and I think he'll get an opportunity."

Another name that could slip into the 2nd or 3rd round is Texas QB Chris Simms, who failed to win the games against top ten teams going 1-4, but went 26-6 as a starter.

"He's won a lot of games," Angelo said. "I think that you don't want to get too carried away on those couple of games that he didn't win. I think he's got exceptional intangibles. We had a chance to visit with him and spend some time with him down in Mobile (during the Senior Bowl). I was very impressed obviously with his arm strength and with his size. And when you meet him, you don't like people if you don't like him."

Of course, the Bears need to select a quarterback could change depending on the caliber of free agent the team signs.

"It could knock us out of the first round," Angelo said. "It depends on who and how much. Really, it's how much. We know how that is in terms of how it affects your cap.

"We're going to be open minded. We created many options, many scenarios. But until we find out who the players are in free agency we can hypothesize and we've done that exercise. We know what the draft looks like. There's still some things that we have to get comfortable with on some of the players. We'll have plenty of time. We're not going to go into this thing desperate."

Bear Report Top Stories