The Bears selected Vanderbilt tackle Chris Williams with the 14th pick in this year's draft. Their reasoning was that he was the best pure left tackle available and it fit their biggest need.
That sounds fair and is a decent enough justification, but in light of Williams back problems in only the second day of training camp and his subsequent surgery it brings up some questions. Williams was known to have back issues. The Bears claim that this was not a preexisting injury, but some scouts in attendance at the KC game disagree.
The three say they actually removed Chris Williams from their draft board due to injury concerns.
That news was met with skepticism by at least three scouts among the 21 in attendance at the game who claimed their teams had taken the player off their draft board because of medical concerns.
''I heard that on the radio,'' one scout said. ''Why are they lying about it? You know it will all come out.''
Said another: ''Our doctors said the guy would need to do something. I guess they were right.''
The Bears passed up some pretty big names and others who could have filled needed area. Branden Albert, the tackle out of Virginia, was seen as a top 10 talent who could fill two spots on the Bears line. He went one pick later ironically to Kansas City. Rashard Mendenhall, who some thought was the best running back in the draft was also past up. He fell to the Steelers at 23. Other offensive linemen like Jeff Otah, Sam Baker and Gosder Cherilus all went in the next 6 picks.
Did the Bears knowingly overlook an injury? Was the Bears medical staff negligent in their duties? If they did know, why would they still draft him? Were they trying to prove something? Was Williams potential so high that they were willing to overlook others at that position and big names at other skill positions? Or could this all really just be coincidence?