2013 NFL Mock Draft: 5 Players The Chicago Bears Should Consider For the First Round
At the end of the 2011 regular season the Chicago Bears parted ways with GM Jerry Angelo. The move was long overdue in the minds of anyone who takes an interest in the Bears. With this firing came the hiring of now rookie GM Phil Emery who set about immediately addressing depth needs and adding a true number 1 wide receiver in Brandon Marshall in order to safeguard against the abhorrent collapse that stemmed from year of Angelo neglect to this roster.
Although Emery has done a solid job so far as captain of the Bears’ ship, the reason he was brought in ahead of other candidates was due to the perception that he is a solid drafter who has a nose for talent
Taking a look at the current roster, the Bears have some obvious areas of need heading into the 2013 draft. In my opinion with their first round pick the Bears simply can’t afford to draft best available, they must seek to fill their areas of dire need.
Let’s be honest the draft is a difficult time for all teams, but Emery had an okay start by taking Shea McClellin DE/OLB out of Boise state in the 2012 draft. Currently the Bears have only 1 first round draft pick from the whole of the Angelo era on the roster. For the long term stability of the franchise it is so important that Emery picks up the correct guy come the 2013 draft.
Expecting the Bears to go deep into the offseason, here is a list of 5 guys I believe the Bears front office should be taking a look at.
Chance Warmack, G, Alabama
Warmack (6-3, 320) enters 2012 having started two years at guard for the Crimson Tide. He is a powerful road grader who did an excellent job of opening up holes for the Alabama running game in 2011. Warmack played better in the rematch against LSU than he did in the regular season contest.
The senior was dominant in the Crimson Tide's 2012 season opener against the Wolverines. Warmack blasted open holes in the ground game and protected his quarterback well. He had some pass-protection issues against Western Kentucky, but bounced back against Arkansas.
With the emergence of Chilo Rachal at LG and the continued improvement of Lance Louis at RG the Bears may very well decided that it is unnecessary to use a pick for a guard in the first round however.
Barrett Jones, G/C/OT, Alabama
I really like this guy, he has the ability to fill a void right across the offensive line. Long term, depending on the health and ability of C Roberto Garza, I believe Jones has the potential to be the future for the Bears under centre for many years to come.
In the short term if Rachal proves to be another one year wonder ala Chris Spencer, Jones has the capability to play guard, in honesty with the way Gabe Carimi is playing this season he would be an upgrade at right tackle as well.
Last year was about plugging holes, this year’s draft needs to be about safeguarding against future holes in the Bears organisation, Jones has the ability to do this and be an offensive line and locker room leader.
Taylor Lewan, LT, Michigan
I know in the real world Lewan is a top 20 pick, and there is a real probability that he will not be around past the top 10 picks in the 2013 draft, but if he does slip through a poor combine etc. he would be the perfect answer to the J’Marcus Webb frustration at left tackle.
Lewan didn’t even play LT until his senior year of high school, and his rise to one of the top offensive line prospects has been swift.
With good height and length, he looks the part and has the frame to play on the left side at the next level, adding nearly 50 pounds since his senior year in high school.
Lewan is known as a self-starter with a mean streak and nasty attitude on the field, but has also developed into more of a leader as a junior in 2012.
On a line that continues to meander along the murky river of mediocrity, Lewan could be the 8-10 year starter that the Bears always hoped that Chris Williams would be.
Tyler Eifert, TE, Notre Dame
If we are honest the Bears Tight End group is mediocre and that is being optimistic. With the Bears picking late in the draft in this mock, Eifert has the very real possibility of not only being on the board but to be suiting up in a Bears uniform for the 2013 NFL regular season.
Eifert has very good body control and ability to adjust to off-target passes and snatch the ball away from his frame. He is fearless over the middle and does a nice job working in a crowd, showing the quarterback his numbers and shielding defenders from the ball.
Eifert is still growing as a blocker, but has shown steady improvement in this area with flashes of the raw power to put defenders on their heels in the run game. With an extra season in college football, I believe Eifert will project as a late first round/early second round pick. So if the Bears really want him, they better take him in the first round or he will be gone by the time they selected in round 2.
Alec Ogletree, ILB, Georgia
In a perfect world Manti Te’o from Notre Dame will slip into the late first round and the Bears will select Brian Urlacher’s successor to rapturous applause.
In the real world Te’o won’t make it past the top 15 picks, as his stock continues to rise, as well as his leadership qualities continuing to come to the forefront as well.
The Bears absolutely must begin the process of replacing Urlacher, personally if he foregoes his final year at college, Ogletree could be exactly what the Bears are looking for in a replacement.
NFL scouts look at a guy like Ogletree and see the frame, the long-arms, the speed, and the range he has (there’s no denying he’s a sideline-to-sideline player), and they‘re likely willing to overlook his lack of game experience. The only thing that worries me with him is his injury issues.
Assuming that Ogletree forgoes his senior year, and depending on the way the rest of the college season and the NFL combine pan out, will probably dictate whether the Bears could pick this guy up late in the first, or a value pick late in the second round.