Round 3: No. 75
Indiana-Pennsylvania CB Akwasi Owusu-Ansah (6-0, 207)
Desperately needing playmakers for a secondary that just isn't forcing turnovers anymore, the Monsters of the Midway could use an injection of raw ability at both the cornerback and safety positions. Corners Charles Tillman
and Zack Bowman
are quality players but have a tendency to get banged up here and there, and the safeties as a whole intercepted a grand total of one pass in 2009. Owusu-Ansah has the attributes to play either corner or safety depending on which franchise selects him because he can cover and he can hit, plus he stands out on special teams as a dynamic return man.
Round 4: No. 109
Cincinnati WR Mardy Gilyard (6-0, 187)
Quarterback Jay Cutler
has a bunch of 2s and 3s to throw the ball to, and tight end Greg Olsen
is a dangerous safety valve if offensive coordinator Mike Martz
uses him correctly, but a bona fide No. 1 receiver is still nowhere to be found. While fans have a right to be excited about the future of Devin Aromashodu
based on how strong he closed out last season, the fact that he is already on his fourth organization tempers those 1,000-yard expectations. Gilyard has been up and down draft boards during the evaluation process, but the game tape suggests he can be a primary target one day.
Round 5: No. 141
Colorado State G Shelley Smith (6-3, 300)
The coaching staff may decide what to do with Frank Omiyale
based on which prospects are available to them in the draft, as he started to come around at left guard toward the end of last season but may still benefit from a switch to right tackle. That means there is a room for a rookie to start right away at either guard or tackle, with Josh Beekman
only regarded as a future center and Kevin Shaffer
better suited to be a swing tackle off the bench. Smith's combination of strength and quickness makes him a quality fit at the left guard spot in Chicago's offense.
Round 6: No. 181
South Dakota State DE Danny Batten (6-3, 246)
's version of the Cover 2 is predicated on getting consistent pressure from the front four, as too much blitzing tends to expose the back seven and leads to big plays in the passing game. Both Alex Brown
and Adewale Ogunleye
are gone from the starting lineup, and even though free agent addition Julius Peppers
might get more sacks than Brown and Ogunleye combined, Smith is prone to say he can never have enough pass rushers on his roster. Batten has already visited Halas Hall and looked very impressive at his Pro Day with a 4.71 40 and 30 reps on the bench press.
Round 7: No. 218
Virginia OT Will Barker (6-7, 317)
Even if Jerry Angelo
addresses the offensive line earlier in the draft, there is still room to stash an extra blocker or two on the practice squad since the backups are far from set at this point. At tackle, assuming Omiyale makes the move from guard, he, Shaffer and Chris Williams
are solidified atop the depth chart and make for a dependable trio, but expecting anything from the likes of Lance Louis
or James Marten
would be wrong. Barker's sheer size can't be coached, and he comes from a program that has produced D'Brickashaw Ferguson
, Branden Albert
and Eugene Monroe
in recent years.
Note: These selections are based on team needs, draft value and, in some cases, which prospects the Bears have shown the most interest in thus far.
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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.