The next scenario explores the possibility of a trade. Obviously, we can't even begin to project who likely trade partners are and what they would be willing to give up especially since we don't know who will be on the board come the 14 pick. For this exercise I decided to use the trade offer that the Tampa Bay Buccaneer's blogger offered us before the idea was nixed. Again in this case I am not looking for anybody disputing the trade, just give me your takes on the picks.
Judging from the results it seems our readers are on the same page. This one is brought to you by whitebearsox23.
The trade was as follows:
After the Bears traded FS Danieal Manning and the #14th pick in the draft for RB Cadillac Williams, the 20th pick, and the 52nd pick, the Bears received an upgrade at the running back position that they desperately needed. Williams may be something very special or a bust coming off of his injury. If he is totally healthy, he will be a Pro-Bowler. If he is injured, the Bears will have a serious problem at the running back position. After this trade, the Bears would have five draft choices in the first three rounds. Here is what the draft should look like for the Bears if this scenario came up…
Round 1: Branden Albert Branden Albert, Offensive Guard/Tackle, Virginia
At the 20th pick, there aren’t too many options here. The Bears could draft a wide receiver here but there isn’t really a standout receiver in the draft or a franchise wide receiver. Brian Brohm or Jonathan Stewart and probably Felix Jones will be there. Offensive tackle Gosder Cherilus will probably be available at this position but if Branden Albert is here, it should be a no brainer. The Bears need an upgrade at offensive line and here he is.
Branden Albert’s draft projection is all over the boards! On some, he goes to the Kansas City Chiefs with the #5 pick, others he goes to the Carolina Panthers at #13, most of them he goes to the Pittsburgh Steelers at #23, and sometimes he isn’t even a first round pick! I think Albert will be available at the #20 pick and a good pick for the Chicago Bears.
Branden Albert is a 6’7”, 315 lbs. monster who can play both offensive guard and offensive tackle. His main position is offensive guard where he started 11 games in 2007 at left guard and two other games at left tackle filling in for an injury. Albert has not had an injury problem at all, starting 37 games in three years at Virginia. In 2007, Albert was an All-Atlantic Coast Conference first team choice and was graded 84% for blocking consistency. Albert only allowed 5.5 sacks on 428 pass plays last year at Virginia and also had 54 knockdowns. At this year’s NFL Combine, Branden Albert ran a 5.17 in 40 yard dash and had 23 225 lbs. bench reps. Albert had only a mediocre combine but his numbers over the years make up for that.
Albert would be a great addition to the Bears’ dismal offensive line. Albert could be plugged right into left guard at the start of the season in front of Terrence Metcalf. The Bears’ offensive line would be getting younger and better.
Round 2, Pick 1: Sam Baker, OT, USC
After the Bears selected OG Branden Albert in the 1st round, an upgrade at offensive tackle is essential to the Bears’ offensive line. Baker may or may not be able at the 44th pick. Some boards have him going late in the 1st and others have him going as late as the 2nd round. I think Baker will be available and a great addition.
Sam Baker has been a four year starter at USC where great stars like Reggie Bush, Matt Leinart, LenDale White, and John David Booty have played behind Baker. That is just one great reason to draft this sensational offensive tackle out of USC. Baker has been known for one of the best pass blockers in college and one of the better run blockers. Last year, Baker helped USC average 435 yards per game and recorded 88 touchdowns and 12 touchdown-resulting blocks. He also finished with an 87% grade for blocking consistency and only allowed two sacks on 460 pass plays in 2007. Another solid stat for Baker is that he had 28 225 lbs. bench reps at the NFL Combine.
Sam Baker would be a great draft choice for the Bears and a future franchise tackle.
Round 2, Pick 2: Joe Flacco, QB, Delaware
We all know probably the most needed position for the Bears is QB. Well, here he is. 6’6” 230 lbs. quarterback out of Delaware. The first thing that I love about this guy is his size. Most QB’s in the NFL are tall guys. The Bears have Grossman who is only 6’1” and can barely see over his line. Flacco has five inches on Grossman and Flacco is also 13 pounds heavier than Grossman, who weighs 217 lbs. Flacco is also known for his cannon of an arm and has the strongest arm in the draft. It is easier to develop accuracy than developing arm strength. We all see Chad Pennington is not much of a QB with his weak arm. A strong arm is the way to go.
In 2007, Flacco had his coming out year. He threw for 4,263 yards with 23 TD’s and only 5 INT’s. Flacco did not play as a freshman and only had four attempts as a sophomore. In Flacco’s junior season, he threw for 2,783 yards with 18 TD’s and 10 INT’s. He was also sacked 23 times that year and 25 times in 2007. Over his two years as a QB, his completion percentage has been 63.5%, 9% points better than Grossman.
With Flacco’s first season as a Bear, he should be the Bears’ 3rd string QB behind Orton and Grossman. The Bears should not throw Flacco into the Bears offense yet. We are not sure how good this offense is or could be and we are also not sure how much longer Ron Turner will be here. Flacco could be the Quarterback of the Future for the Bears.
Round 3, Pick 1: Red Bryant, DT, Texas A&M
The Bears are weak at defensive tackle and bringing in another young, talented guy would be a great addition to their defensive line. We know Tommie Harris will start at left defensive tackle but there are many possibilities at right defensive tackle. Right now, the Bears’ depth chart says Anthony Adams is starting but I don’t think that will last. Dusty Dvoracek is his backup and a very good player if he isn’t injured. Last year, Dvoracek had a season-ending injury during the Bears’ first game of the season against the Chargers. All I know is, the Bears defensive tackles occasionally have injury problems and Red Bryant is the right pick here.
Red Bryant is 6’4” 318 lbs. defensive tackle that is known for stopping the run with his long arms. Bryant isn’t known for sacks; only registering four sacks in four years at Texas A&M. Bryant was redshirted in 2003 but had a solid year in 2004 recording 34 tackles (3.5 for a loss) in 12 games. He kept up his production the following year with 28 tackles (7.5 for a loss) and three sacks, and again he played in 12 games. The following year, he ran into an injury problem and only had 19 tackles (2.5 for a loss) and one sack. But in his final year last year, Bryant had his best year with 45 tackles (6 for a loss) and one sack.
Bryant is a run-stopper. In 2007, he made 42 plays vs. the run, holding the opponent to only 43 yards on those snaps. He added 7 pressures, a fumble, and a pass deflection to those stats. He also had twelve third-down tackles, two fourth-down stops, and made 12 hits in the red zone. Also, he is a very good special team player after causing a safety and blocking a field goal.
Red Bryant would be a great pickup with the #70th pick and could make an impact next year if he gets some playing time.
Round 3, Pick 2: Tom Zbikowski, S, Notre Dame
After trading away FS Danieal Manning, the Bears need an improvement at safety. Even if the Bears had Manning, they would still probably have to draft a safety because we have no idea if Brown can stay healthy and Archuleta was a huge disappointment last year. I live in the Chicago area and have seen some Notre Dame games in the past couple of years and Zbikowski would be a great pick here.
Tom Zbikowski has started for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish for the past two years and has only missed one game! First of all, he is extremely durable which may be the #1 priority for the Chicago Bears’ safeties.
In Zbikowski’s first season, he did not play in 2003. But he won the starting job for Notre Dame in 2004 and his career blossomed from there. In 2004, Zbikowski had 70 tackles with 1 INT and 2 forced fumbles. In 2005, Zbikowski had 71 tackles with 1 sack, 5 INT’s (2 returned for TD’s) and 1 forced fumble. He also returned two punts for a touchdown. In 2006, he had 79 tackles and a forced fumble. In Zbikowski’s final year, he recorded 80 tackles, had an 8-yard sack, 1.5 stops for losses, recovered two fumbles and forced three others, and had 2 INT’s. Zbikowski has always been very durable and solid on the field. Zbikowski is also a professional boxer. In his professional debut at Madison Square Garden, he faced Robert Bell and TKO’ed him within 49 seconds of the first round.
Another thing is Zbikowski grew up in Buffalo Grove, IL, just outside of Chicago. Maybe he has always wanted to be a Bear?
Zbikowski is a very solid strong safety and from my point of view, he should be ranked higher than the 3rd round. He never gets injured and is a great presence inside the locker room. He has never had an off-the-field issue besides his boxing career. He has also always been praised by his coaches, fellow teammates, and friends. He would be a great addition to the Bears’ defense and could probably start next year with injury problems the Bears’ strong safeties may and probably will have.