Making the Bears Draft a Good One: What to Do in April
We are all well aware the Chicago Bears general manager Jerry Angelo has struggled in recent drafts to find the right talent for the Bears. Several of his higher draft picks have not only struggled to make the active roster but have also struggled to make rosters in the NFL and are out of league right now (remember guys like Michael Okwo and Dan Bazuin?).
Angelo has wasted a lot of draft picks trying to find guys like Lance Briggs, those diamonds in the rough so to speak but he’s found too few of those players to make a difference and it’s come down to the fact that he is wasting draft picks. The problems that they have experienced in past have set this team back and made them miss the playoffs (before 2010) and may cause them to miss them again.
If ever there was a year that Angelo needed to have a good draft, this is the year.
So what does Angelo need to do in the April draft to help make his team better and not allow them to slip backwards and not make the playoffs and go back into the realm of mediocrity?
Here are a few suggestions that Angelo could use to help make this a good draft for the Chicago Bears.
1. Go with offense first-Angelo has struggled to pick offensive players early (in drafts) and when he does he does make picks on offense early he does struggle (see Cedric Benson and Chris Williams among others). He cannot look away from drafting offensive talent in this draft, in particular along the offensive line because of the great needs that the Bears have at each position on the line.
Angelo needs to spend some time evaluating some of the best offensive talent in the draft and make some decisions about drafting some of these guys in the first two to three rounds of the draft (once again he needs to look at the offensive line first and foremost). The Bears need the help on offense and Angelo has to go for that first.
2. Don’t draft guys that have an injury history-Remember what happened when the Bears drafted Williams? He spent a part of his first season injured with a back problem and the unfortunate thing was they knew about the injury before they drafted him. They cannot make that mistake again.
Chicago needs players, particularly on the offensive line, that can play right away and not sit for a while with an injury. Angelo and his scouting staff will have to do their due diligence to make sure that they don’t draft a player that’s an injury risk.
3. If you have to go defense go for the defensive line-The Bears are probably not going to keep Tommie Harris around for another season so you can expect the Bears to have to look for some additional depth at the defensive tackle position. Chicago may choose to look for someone in the middle rounds of the draft and perhaps they will find someone that can help them keep succeeding on that part of the team.
4. Watch those wide receivers-Chicago really doesn’t have a number one wide receiver so they could be interested in one in this draft. If the Bears do try to draft a wide receiver, they probably need to get one early because they need someone that can start right away and not sit and develop for a season before coming into the lineup.
5. Don’t draft players where they shouldn’t go-Recalling the acquisitions of Okwo and Bazuin, Angelo and his staff have to make sure that they aren’t overvaluing players and making some of the same mistakes that they did with those two players. Remember that this draft is very important and Chicago cannot afford any mistakes in it.
If Angelo could heed these words and pay very careful attention to what he is doing in the draft then he, along with the rest of team will have a successful and productive draft and could see a lot of success (as a result) in the future.