I want to draft a truly great receiver, a game changer, a speed demon defenses fear. I also want to upgrade the defense: another defensive end, a linebacker of the future to take over for Urlacher when he is ready to hang up his spurs, or another cornerback to help us keep pace with the great receivers in the division.
The Draft is about NEEDs, though, it is not about wants. Our defense is aging, but it is still great. This might sound funny, but if you want to keep the defense great, then keep them off the field. Too many drives end up three and out. That just puts pressure on a great, but aging defense like ours. Last year the Bears were in a three way tie for first with 201 drives defended. This is not a category you want to be first in. The defense was on the field way too much and we were still able to pull a ranking of 6th in the NFL in total defense. We draft defensive players when we WANTto keep the Chicago Bears defense playing at a high level.
We NEED a better offensive line.
I NEED my franchise quarterback protected by a franchise left tackle. Franchise left tackles are impossible to find in free agency and difficult to find with low draft picks. They're generally found in the first three rounds.
The Bears have done well enough in the last six years to pick in the middle of the draft every year, but what we don’t do is trade up. Well, Angelo is kaput, finally. Emery can identify our primary need: offensive line, specifically left tackle.
I know that offensive line is not a sexy position, but the left tackle spot is the second most important position outside of quarterback. A left tackle makes us legitimate contenders and preserves Jay Cutler’s talents for years to come. Offensive line is not by any means our only need, but it is our most pressing one.
If we do not fix the left tackle position, we will not contend in 2012.
In 2010, Jay Cutler took 52 sacks. That’s 12 more sacks than any other quarterback. There were times they just stopped playing in the fourth quarter in 2010. In 2011, they jury rigged the offensive line and what did we get? The number of sacks dropped only from 56 to 49 (tied for the fifth-most in the NFL). Those are David-Carr-territorynumbers. We will create a punch drunk quarterback if we don't fix the offensive line.
If you want an eye opener, check out profootballfocus. In ranking the offensive lines of each team in the league, PFF placed the Bears dead last,
"32. Chicago Bears32. Chicago Bears (31st)
Run Rank 31st, Pass Rank 31st, Penalties Rank 25th
Does this really surprise anyone? The Bears at least attempted to rectify their horrible offensive line by drafting Gabe Carimi, only for the tackle to manage 100 snaps before a dislocated knee ended his year. It left them with a group of individuals who struggle to get much push in the run game, and aren't much better in pass protection. You'd struggle to find a line that performed as badly as the Bears over the years.
Best Player: By default, this was Edwin Williams (+0.5), though this is more of a reflection on the rest of the line which amassed a combined -116.1 grade.
Worst Player: Take your pick. J'Marcus Webb (-26.2) was a failure on the left side, but even he was outdone by Lance Louis (-35.6). Louis should never have moved out to tackle and it really showed down the stretch; in no game more so than when he gave up five sacks to a Chiefs defense that simply destroyed him."
I said the same thing last year. We need new bodies, plural, on the offensive line. The best way to do that is to take the best tackle in the draft.
The closest thing to a lock in terms of left tackles is Matt Kalil. My question to the good folks here at windycitygridiron.com is: If the opportunity arises to trade up and get Matt Kalil would it be worth it to you? And if you would be willing to trade up, what are you prepared to trade?
What are you prepared to do to win a championship this year?
It is not outside the realm of possibility that we could get Matt Kalil, if we really made it a priority.
1. If the Vikings don’t select Kalil with the third pick of the 2012 draft, the Bears could trade with the Cleveland Browns. This isn’t as far-fetched as it would seem. There have been some rumors that the Vikings are kicking around the idea of pursuing a corner, like Morris Claiborne, or a receiver, like Blackmon.
2. The Vikings could trade the third pick with another team who may be willing to deal. The Vikings have made it very clear that they are open to trading down if the right offer comes along.
I am of the opinion that, if structured correctly, a trade up would be worth it. We don’t need to mortgage the future like the Redskins did by trading away three years worth of first round picks
What do we have to work with?
The fourth pick is worth 2,200 pts. How do we get there?
First round: Pick #19 875 pts
Second Round: Pick #50 400 pts
Third Round: Pick #74 220 pts
Pick #80 190 pts
Fourth Round: Pick #111 72 pts
Fifth Round: Pick #142 35 pts
Sixth Round: Pick #173 22.2 pts
Seventh Round: Pick #203 10.2 pts
If you examine the draft value chart, the fourth pick is worth 1,800 points and the third pick is worth 2,200 points. The Bears could get to 1,800 points by a number of avenues, but the preferred one for me would be as follows:
2012 picks: (first round) #19, (third round) #80, plus 2013 picks: first and third. This leaves us with a full complement this year and a decent amount of picks next year. This, to me, is a fair deal with more left to sweeten the deal.
I sincerely doubt that the proposal above would actually do, but it is a starting point. What are you prepared to do?
This is only my second post. I am sure I have made some errors and appreciate those errors being pointed out. I hope this post stirs as much debate and passion as my last post. I thoroughly enjoyed the conversation last time and look forward to your comments.