With the 2011 NFL Scouting Combine complete and in the books, it’s just a little bit easier to get a good feel for what the Chicago Bears may end up doing in the 2011 NFL Draft. The coaching staff got a good look at all of the prospects at the combine and should have some idea of who they are interested in and can spent their time looking at further.
Chicago has a total of six picks in this year’s draft (their seventh round pick was taken away when they used a seventh round selection in the supplemental draft to take BYU running back Harvey Unga). Without any extra picks, Chicago is going to have to do it’s best to maximize each pick’s value or find a way of trading around to acquire additional picks.
So, without further delay, here are some of the possibilities that the Bears could be looking at in the upcoming 2011 NFL Draft.
Round 1, 29th-Mike Pouncey-G/C-Florida-There are a lot of people out there that feel that Pouncey will be long gone by the time the Bears make this pick in the first round. However, hearing it through the grapevine, Pouncey may indeed be there and is indeed someone that the Bears are interested in.
If Chicago could get a guy like Pouncey who can play both the guard and center position, they could break Pouncey in as a guard while long time starter Olin Kreutz continues to play at center (the Bears still have to re-sign Kreutz) they would have a lot of skill on the offensive line in 2011. Once Kreutz is gone then Pouncey could slide on over to Kreutz’ spot and the Bears could slide in another guard next year or the next.
Round 2, Pick 30 (62nd Overall)-Jarvis Jenkins-DT/DE-Clemson-With defensive tackle Tommie Harris out of Chicago the Bears need to add some depth to the defensive line and after having looked good at the combine, Jenkins could be someone that they take into consideration. With the defensive tackle position being a deep one in this draft the Bears would be able to find some great talent late in the second round with Jenkins.
Jenkins has a nice career at Clemson and would be ready to step in and play in a rotation with the Bears with the possibility to start in the next year or two.
Round 3, Pick 29 (93rd Overall) Curtis Brown-CB-Texas-Chicago’s secondary needs some help and perhaps they will be able to realize this and add some depth at the cornerback position in the draft. Brown is just one of there good possibilities for the Bears in the third round (Brown being one, his teammate Chykie Brown is another and Ohio State’s Chimdi Chekwa) so if the Bears want to bolster that secondary then they need to do it here.
Brown has nice speed and with some fine tuning could play the position well as a backup. He could also be a valuable help on special teams which would be of some benefit to the Bears a team that excels on special teams. With the cornerback group needing some help, Brown may be just the guy to give them what they need.
Round 4, Pick 30 (126th Overall) Derek Newton-OT-Arkansas State-Don’t be upset because this guy is a small school prospect. After a pretty decent career in school and a nice combine, Newton could be someone that the Bears choose to develop over a short period of time and then put him in as a starter.
The ideal player for Newton to replace would be current starter Frank Omiyale who, while serviceable to a point, is not what the Bears want to have for a long term solution. With some good tutoring and experience, Newton could become a long time starter for the Bears at the position.
Round 5, Pick 29 *157th Overall) Niles Paul-WR-Nebraska-It would be a good idea for the Bears to take a wide receiver in the 2011 NFL Draft because it’s likely there will be a change or two in the unit this offseason. Paul didn’t play in a strong passing offense in college but he’s well adept at catching the ball and would be a quick learner.
Another nice thing about Paul is that if the Bears end up losing safety Danieal Manning in free agency he can return kickoffs as well so that might help the Bears out. He could definitely help them out and contribute on offense almost right away.
Round 6, Pick 30 (190th Overall) J.T. Thomas-OLB-West Virginia-The release of Hunter Hillenmeyer coupled with the lack of a contract for both Pisa Tinoisamoa and Nick Roach will force the Bears to look at linebackers in the 2011 NFL Draft and may force them to take one at some point in the draft.