For the last two years, the Chicago Bears haven't had a first round pick, thanks to a trade for a certain quarterback wearing number six. But Dan Pompei thinks the Bears' best move for the 2011 draft might be trading out of the first round. Follow us below the jump for how he sees the situation unfolding.
The first and foremost need that crosses most Bears fans' minds is the offensive line. But none of the top five projected first rounders may be there at #29...
Many Bears fans are praying the team can find an answer at left tackle with its first pick. It remains a possibility, but it appears more likely that every left tackle prospect worth a first-round pick will be gone by the time the Bears are on the clock. ... The good news is there are five potential first-round tackles, so one could slide. The tackles most likely will fall in this order, based on a survey of NFL scouts: Tyron Smith, Nate Solder, Anthony Castonzo Gabe Carimi and Derrick Sherrod. If all five are gone, the Bears would have to reach for a tackle at 29, and that would not be prudent.
Of course, there's always defensive tackle, with the release of Tommie Harris.
The Bears could use a pass-rushing defensive tackle, but their options probably won't be very enticing at the end of the first round. Corey Liuget from Illinois should be chosen in the teens. Phil Taylor and Muhammad Wilkerson are not really the style of tackle the Bears are looking for. They could reach for someone like Marvin Austin, Drake Nevis or Terrell McClain but should have better options elsewhere.
Then there's end, linebacker, and wide receiver.
The Bears also need a defensive end, and the 2011 crop is good. But seven of them are expected to be off the board before the Bears' turn. Cameron Heyward, who is a better fit for a 3-4 defense, Brooks Reed and Justin Houston likely will be left. The latter two could fit in Rod Marinelli's scheme but would be better values later. As for linebackers and wide receivers, the Bears likely would have to reach to take one at the end of the first round. There are some solid second-round prospects at both positions, but none of them has late first-round value.
There's always the option of trading up, but with the amount of needs the Bears have and positions that need a good infusion of talent, one individual player doesn't necessarily help all other aspects of the team. That leaves trading down.
What do you think, Bears fans? Would trading down help the team more than standing pat?