Draft Day is only a few days away and while we aren't likely to be making any picks the first day, what happens that day is going to greatly effect our decisions on Day 2. It's incredibly difficult to make a successful mock draft as the draft is a living breathing entity, it changes and morphs while it is in process.
For example, if you see two offensive tackles go it's not uncommon to see a run begin on the position for those with need leading to a depleted position when you get to the third round and later. It's not uncommon to see players taken up to 20 places above their overall ranking due to needs and runs so it becomes very difficult to get a firm grasp of who is actually going to be there for you.
However, we do have one thing going for us when it comes to making the pick. We know what we need as a team, we now know we need a G, and we need a FS, and we need them to start. Follow me below the fold where I'll hedge a few bets and make the call on who I want to see as a Bear come draft day.
Alright, so what kind of field are we going to be looking at in the third round? First and foremost I think it's a given that there is going to be a healthy run on offensive tackles in the first round. I wouldn't be surprised to see the record broken for the number of OT taken on the first day, with close to 11 guys having first round grades. You add to this the bumper crop of around twenty defensive linemen that have first day grades and the star picks at other positions such as Eric Berry, Joe Haden, Earl Thomas, Taylor Mays, C.J. Spiller, Dez Bryant, Jermaine Gresham. Throw in the five QB with first day grades, and you've got an extremely loaded top end of this draft. What does this mean for us?
My best guess is you'll not see a huge run on the FS position due to the large amount of depth. Berry/Thomas/Mays will be taken in the first round by those with needs at the position, with only Mays really having a chance at going for other reasons. Nate Allen will likely be taken in the second by someone with FS as a secondary need, or someone with a vet FS who may be getting put out to pasture. However, there are quite a few teams with SS needs, so while the safeties are going to get culled in the second, other than Allen I don't see it being any of the guys on our board.
Safeties that should be on our board: : Morgan Burnett/Darrell Stuckey/Major Wright/Myron Lewis/
Rashad Jones and Kam Chancellor are mirrors of each other on this one where Rashad Jones has the 40 time of a tweener FS, and Chancellor has the 40 time of a tweener SS. 40 times aren't everything so if you like one of these guys, feel free to make them your fifth safety on the board.
As far as Guard goes, this could be a position that gets nailed, but I doubt it as the league still doesn't place that much value on the guard position compared to tackle. Mike Iupati will go in the late first round. The only other guard I see even having a chance to go before the third round hits is the Illinois product Jon Asamoah. With that said guard is deep on the back end, not the front, and after Iupati there are only about four guys worth taking in the third round. There are a ton of guys that would be a steal in the 6th or 7th, but would be reaches of epic proportions if taken any earlier.
So where does that leave us? I think we're going to be looking at the beginning of the third round with Iupati and Asamoah both off the board, and Allen off as well for those that were looking at him falling like a rock into our laps. There are multiple teams ahead of us that are in need of line help as well, and this isn't a deep class. So if we're looking at getting a starter at LG it'll need to be in this round, and we may even need to trade away our 5th to get a guy we're looking at. My pick is going to be to go Guard for this reason, and my personal player of choice would be Mitch ' Don't Call Me Jon' Petrus. He's extremely athletic, and his only primary knock was a lack of strength, which seems to be negated by his impressive bench score at the combine. That doesn't absolve him of strength issues, it does mean that his strength issue is likely more of a applied strength technique issue, something that should be resolvable by Tice. His athleticism seemed to fit him very well in college though, with his pass blocking being exceptionally good. However, even if Petrus isn't there I think think the pick has to be G if any of the four listed are there as they won't be by the time it comes back around, while one of the four at S is almost guaranteed to be there in the fourth.
My final verdict is guard in the third round, what does everyone else think?