In this weeks WCG Chicago Bears big board draft, I am modifying my OL rankings from last month. This version is very different from last month as some guys took a big leap up (Gabe Carimi and Stefen Wisniewski) and some guys took a big fall down (Joseph Barksdale and Marcus Cannon). A lot of these changes had a lot to do with me having enough time with the season being over to go over tape, scouting reports, and chat with mock draft analyst about the OL prospects coming out this year.
Here are my top 20 OL prospects the Bears should be strongly interested in for this years NFL draft.
#1 Gabe Carimi OT Wisconsin- In the first offensive line big board post, I stated that Gabe Carimi can't play LT at the next level. Went back and watch a lot of tape of him and had to change my opinion. In my opinion he is the best offensive tackle prospect this year, and it's scary to wonder how great he can be with additional coaching. I doubt he slips all the way to #29, but if he does and Angelo passes up on him he should be exiled.
#2 Derrick Sherrod OT Mississippi State- Physically Sherrod is a top 2 OT talent. Very good size at 6-6 312 pounds, really improve last season on his strength, footwork, and arm extension. Like Carimi, Sherrod is a no brainer at #29 if falls that far.
#3 Stefen Wisniewski C Penn State- The Penn State Center is not only the best Center prospect in the draft, but arguably the best interior line prospect. If you want someone to anchor the middle of your line for 8 to 10 years, Wisniewski is the guy.
#4 Mike Pouncey OG Florida- I've have seen some mocks that has us taking the talented Guard prospect. Some of the hype he is getting is because of his bloodlines, but the guy has tremendous talent and can be day 1 starter at either guard spot.
#5 Tyron Smith OT USC- Might be the best technician in the draft, but 285 pounds tackle is not expected to step in right away. He still will be picked high because of his abilities, and trainers will work to get him in that 300 to 315 pound range.
#6 Nate Solder OT Colorado- Great size and athleticism, but the kid is too raw and over-hype. The Senior Bowl saw edge rushers proving this time and time again. If he's the 1st tackle taken in the draft, he better give Mike Mayock a quarter of his signing bonus for hyping him to be the next Tony Boseli.
#7 Benjamin Ijalana OG Villanova - Best position might be LG at the next level. I can see why teams like the 6-4 320 pound Villanova prospect. He's strong and for his size is pretty quick on his feet.
#8 Rodney Hudson OG Florida State- Small, but is powerful in the run game and has experience at both guard positions.
#9 John Moffitt OG/C Wisconsin- Him and his teammate Gabe Carimi are my favorite OL prospects. I like Moffitt because he can also play Center, and I feel can start for you right away at either Guard position.
2nd round-3rd round
#11 Marcus Cannon OG TCU- I can see Tice being intrigue by Cannon because of his measurables (6-6 360 pounds). Cannon played RT at TCU, but will most likely kick inside at Guard at the next level.
#12 Danny Watkins OG Baylor- He will be 26 years old, but at the same time the Bears offense is in win now mode and need someone to come in right away and make an impact.
#13 Joseph Barksdale OT LSU- After being #2 in my previous draft board rankings, he slips all the way down to #13. I still think he's one of the better pass protectors in this class of OT, but no way he's the 2nd best OL prospect this year.
#14 James Pinkston OT Pittsburg- Pinkston is much underrated and the reason why he's not a 2nd round prospect is because of a previous knee surgery. Pinkston should be on the Bears radar in the 2nd round.
#15 Jake Kirkpatrick C TCU- Just like any late round Center he's a project, but an intriguing one. Kirkpatrick was the 2010 Rimington trophy winner and called all the blocking schemes for them in his first season starting. Not bad for a guy that didn't start playing football until he got to TCU.
#16 Demarcus Love OT/OG Arkansas- After struggling in the senior bowl at OT, scouts will most like come to the conclusion that he's better off as an OG in the NFL.
#17 Marcus Gilbert OG/OT Florida- Versatile offensive lineman that can play both RT and OG.
#18 James Brewer OT Indiana- Brewer would ideally be the perfect project to groom behind a veteran LT. If the Bears want to nab someone like Matt Light in free agency, Brewer should get strong consideration in the 4th or 5th round.
#19 Will Rackley OG Lehigh- Most mock draft sites label him as a sleeper pick in the later rounds.
#20 Derek Newton OT Arkansas State- Like Brewer, Newton would most likely be a pick for a team looking to develop a Tackle behind a couple veterans.
Mock OL pick for the Bears Mike Pouncey OG Florida
Gabe Carimi and Derrick Sherrod should be off the board way before #29 which leaves them most likely with a choice between Tyron Smith and Mike Pouncey. If it comes down to Pouncey or Smith I take Pouncey. The Bears are very weak in the interior of the line, and if they going to re-sign Kreutz to a 2 year extension they better give him as much help as possible at the Guard spots. Pouncey will certainly lessen Kreutz responsibilities to where Kreutz doesn't have to play both Guard and Center.
WCG Chicago Bears Draft Board: Offensive Lineman (update)