This is a question that I am sure several of us have asked ourselves after watching the Bears draft players over the past few years. I know that there are some people, including myself, still scratching our heads over some of the Bears previous selections like quarterback Cade McNown, running back Curtis Enis and much more recently defensive end/tackle Jarron Gilbert.
Not a single one of those draft picks lasted long enough with the Bears and can be considered to be busts. Granted, it’s hard to tell if a player is going to be a bust when you draft them but there are some signs that point to the fact that the player may be a risk including off the field issues as well as past injury issues.
Perhaps the Bears should have paid more attention to the medical reports on offensive tackle and first round draft choice Chris Williams. Williams began his career in Chicago with surgery to fix a problem in his back and missed the first half of his first season. He came into the NFL preinjured and the Bears knew that. So why did they select him?
In order to have success in this draft the Bears have to be wary of all of the problems both on the field, off the field and medically with any prospect that they are interested in. They need to realize that this draft could be the one that puts them over the top and finally gets them back to the Super Bowl and give them a win.
Guys like North Carolina defensive tackle Marvin Austin are guys that the Bears should be wary of. We know that they have a lot of interest in Austin and there are some that feel that Chicago could take him with their first pick in the first round. Remember that Austin is the same guy that lied to NCAA investigators about his dealings with an agent while he was in school and he was suspended for the rest of his senior season as a result.
Do the Bears really want a guy like that on their team? Will talent and ability outweigh the feeling that having high character players on the team is important?
Chicago usually sticks with high character players although they have had some bumps in the road in the past (see Tank Johnson and Cedric Benson) and may not choose to go after someone with character concerns. They can get this draft right and they absolutely have to in order to have success in the near and long term.
Fans and experts know that general manager Jerry Angelo hasn’t had that good of a track record when drafting players. Granted, he has managed to draft some good players during his time in Chicago (such as Devin Hester and Chris Harris) but he just hasn’t been as solid drafting players as he has been in bringing in free agents.
Can he turn things around and have a good draft?
The Bears needs are very obvious. They need a lot of help on both the offensive and defensive lines, at the wide receiver position, at the cornerback position and at the outside linebacker position. They won’t be able to fill all of these needs in the draft but they can get a good portion of them knocked out, especially on the offensive line if they are willing to do that.
So here’s hoping that the Bears have the sense and capability to draft well enough to give this team that final push over the top and get themselves into the Super Bowl (and not just get there but win the game as well). Can they do it in this draft? Do they know what they are doing?
We will soon find out.