I write this in faith that Emery and Trestman will be who they claim they are.
Last year was Emery's 1st as the Chicago Bears G.M. and I think we walked away happy. He will not fail to do the same this year. After last year's off-season i came away thinking i understood Emery's every move. This year he has united with this synergy twin and this addition opens up the flood gates of possibility. There are some obvious moves that will be made by these two, but how they make them happen is where things get a little blurry.
The closer we get to the draft the better I will be able to see into the criminal minds of the cerebral twins. I say criminal because the standard and method in which Emery and trestman are attacking their efforts to improve the Bears we should be killing everyody on the field next year.
Im happy that Trestman will be calling the plays. To me if thats one of the reasons for your hiring why hand those responsibilities to someone else. I was a fan of the possibility of carmichael coaching but i like the addition of Kromer ever better. I like that he will be adding some insight of the what the saints do into Trestman's vision.
QUARTERBACKS: Jay Cutler, Jason Campbell, Josh McCown, Matt Blanchard
Goodbye Jason Campbell. I was not impressed at all by him. I dont know how much money he was making but whatever it was it was too much. This may be one of the most difficult positions for me to analyze at this moment because im unsure of what trestman wants besides the obvious qualities. I jumped on the idea of possibly signing Matt Moore at a back up but dont think it's needed anymore. Because of Trestman's commitment to protect and circle everything around the quarterback i would like to see Josh McCown and Blanchard retained. Josh is a pretty good quarterback when you can protect him. with Trestman's want to protect the qb and Cutlers ability to protect himself we may not have to put such a premium in a back-up.
SAFETY: Chris Conte, Troy Nolan, Anthony Walters, Major Wright, Brandon Hardin, Craig Steltz
We've always dealt with lack of depth at safety, but going into this year i think we make no moves at safety in the draft. If they bring in a free agent it will be to test Walters status on the roster but i dont see him losing his spot. Hopefully Hardin will stay healthy so we can take advantage of his speed and size on special teams. Say goodbye to Troy Nolan who is a free agent, but we will hold onto his number just in case.
DEFENSIVE END: Israel Idonije, Shea McClellin, Cheda Ozuougwa, Julius Peppers, Corey Wooten, Aston Whiteside.
Dont expect to much to change with this group. I think we sign Izzy for one more year, his presence will be needed just in case of injury, and to play a role lined up inside again. I dont expect us to make a move free agency wise but dont be surprised if we pick up an end late in the draft or an undrafted free agent to test the roster position of Whitehead. Two names to look for are Taylor Wyndham out of Kentucky and Bill Schautz our of Virginia. Check out this youtube of Taylor hitting Tebow during his freshmen year.
RUNNING BACK: Armando Allen, Khalil Bell, Matt Forte, Harvey Unga, Micheal Bush
We are about to go into a new realm of running the ball. We will be getting away from the power stuff and going to more sweeps, off-tackles, draws, and screens. I think Bush goes into a true backup role. There will be no more 50-50 or 60-40 percentage of carries. Not to say bush isnt capable but he will be apart of a new beast of an offense that wont need him as much. Im unsure wether Bell will be resigned but he does fit the mold of what Trestman wants in a back. He wants a back that can run and pass protect. With this new offensive system the fear of the passing game will open up our running lanes. An offense that comes to mind is the texas tech offense when Mike Leach was there.
The spread offense was initially built to spread the defense out because the offense lacked size and ability. But when you combine ability with the spread your offense can be dangerous. You also become unpredictable, which will be new for us. What Forte is robbed of in carrys he will more than make up for it in catches.
DEFENSIVE TACKLE: Nick Collins, Henry Melton, Amobi Okoye, Matt Toeina, Stephen Paea
If it were up to me i wouldnt change anything about this group. You could say we have 6 DT's with the addition of Izzy on the roster. I say we re-sign collins, melton and okoye. There is nobody in free agency we can replace these guys with that fit our supposed style of play. I say supposed because we arent sure just yet what Tucker wants to do. I do expect us to draft a DT late in the draft to challenge for a roster spot or someone we can mold on the practice squad. Of course it will be a measurables guy. Three names to watch out for at the combine are Mister Cobble from Kentucky, Larry Black from Indiana, Joe Vellano from Maryland, and Margus Hunt from SMU.
FULLBACK: Evan Rodriguez
We may sign a practice squad fullback just because but i dont see us making to much noise in this department. I think E-Rod will get plenty of opportunity in this new offense. If its a two back set he will be utilized catching the ball out of the back field. I also expect him to get a look at tight end. I think Trestman is more focused on the reliabilty of the Tight end position rather than the overall size. We have to remember he is coming from the CFL where measurables aren't really important.
CORNERS: Zack Bowman, Kelvin Hayden, Tim Jennings, D.J. Moore, Charles Tillman, Isaih Frey, and Shawn McMannis (whatever his name is.lol)
I think we have to resign Bowman and Hayden. Bowman is a special teams standout and he can be lined up outside. Until we draft a worthy nickelback we have to resign Hayden. Though he had a couple bad games his year was still ok. We will definitely be drafting a corner in the 4th or 5th to push Hayden for his spot. I read one of you commenting on making next year the defensive draft. I actually think thats what will be done. I wouldnt be surprised to see a corner drafted in either the first or second round next year. Three names you should keep an eye on in the draft are Tyrann Mathui out of LSU, Brandon McGee from Miami, and Sheldon Price from UCLA. Though there are plenty of Tyrann doubters this kid has some ability. He is exactly what we look for from our nickel position. He would also add some depth in the return game.
Those were the simple Breakdowns. The remaining ones i will display my Top picks to be drafted at the 20th spot. I list them from my first to last choice.
1ST PICK-TAVON AUSTIN
To me this is the best receiver in the draft hands down. Pound for pound he will be the best athlete in the draft. This pick will knock out two birds with one stone. He will not only become a weapon to pair up with Alshon and Marshall he will be our return guy. This is one reason why i hope Hester is done. Because if he decides to retire we have to fill both receiver and return guy. I know we have a need for a tight end but in Trestman's system even he disregarded the importance of a tight end. He put emphasis on attacking the middle of the field no matter who it was with. If this was the draft for Trestman's CFL this would be his pick. This kid is a beast. They compare him to Percy and Cobb but i see even more. This kid can be the next Steve Smith. I expect this kid to set a record at the combine in either the 3cone or the shuttle. Ive never seen an athlete with the decellaration skills this kid has. Two things have to happen if we decide to pick Tavon. We will either have to address our left guard position in free agency or we must be prepared to draft a guard in the second round.
WIDE RECEIVERS: Joe Anderson, Earl Bennett, Devin Hester, Alshon Jeffrey, Brandon Marshall, Eric Weems, Dale Moss, Johnny Knox, Terrance Tolliver
I like our depth at receiver. We have a couple young bodies that will get the opportunity to show us if their worthy for a roster spot. Weems is undersized but actually a decent receiver when given the opportunity. I think Knox has seen his last day in a Bears jersey. I dont expect us to spend any money for a receiver in free agency but if we decide not to draft a guy like Austin then expect us to look for a late round addition. Keep your eyes out for two names. The first guy is Quintton Patton out of Lousiana Tech, which actually may go in the mid rounds. And look out for a Kid named Jasper Collins. If we get a receiver in the late rounds i expect us to be looking for a guy who can run routes and catch rather than tall or fast and thats where Jasper Collins comes in.
2nd PICK: BARRET JONES
Im surprising myself with this one but after careful consideration this is the move we must make if we dont pick up a guard in free-agency. We could pick up a guard in the second round but if our decision is to not get Tavon Austin then this is the guy you get. I dont beleive we can afford to move back and draft him. To me its not a reach if its a need and he is the best at his position. We cant afford to move back because there are a couple centers that plan to retire i think. This guy Jones is another two birds with one stone guy. We could draft him and line him up at LG and when Garza's time is up we can move him over tho center. This guy is so talented he is listed at G,C,and T.
OFFENSIVE GUARDS/CENTERS: Chris Spencer, Edwin Williams, Derek Dennis, Reggie Stephens, Lance Louis, Nick Pieschel, Chilo Rachal, Roberto Garza
I think we can say goodbye to Spencer and Rachal. We must make signing Louis a priority. One thing that i ran across in a description of Trestman's offensive scheme is the fact that he likes to protect the qb from inside out. So with that being said we must solidy that LG position. I wouldnt be surpised if we picked up a guard in free agency and in the draft. There are 3 guards that i would be happy with us getting. The first is Andy Levitre. He deserves a nice pay check and we should give it to him. The next is Louis Vasquiz from the chargers. The last guy doesnt start but he got enough snaps last year to be considered one. His name is Donald Thomas from the Patriots. Anytime you can snag a lineman that protected Brady and did a hell of a job you might wanna jump on it. He doesnt have that many miles and he would be an upgrade compared to what we alread have. Regardless of what we do in free agency i think we should and still may draft a guard. There are a couple names to look out for in the mid to late rounds. Those names to watch out for are Braden Hansen and Blaize Foltz. If we dont go Jones in the first round he definitely wont be available in the second round but we got plenty of options for a center in the later rounds. Those options are T.J. Johnson, Mario Bervido, Dalton Freeman, Matt Stankiewitch, and Sam Schwartztein. Sam is the center that protected Andrew Luck while at stanford. Some of you may not like Garza but Emery pointed out that he had a decent year. So the only concern with him is his age. I think with the line transitioning into major protection mode rather than pass protection and run blocking it will benefit them all.
3RD PICK: ZACH ERTZ/TYLER EIFERT
It is a toss up to me so i dont care which one we get. But i am nolonger sold on the idea that they are even needed. I think the ability of Tavon Austin is needed more than we need these 6'6 tight ends. This could go down a couple ways. If we didnt grab one at pick 20 one may still be available at our next pick but i highly doubt it. If we decided to grab one at 20 then our guard of my choice will still be there in the 2nd round. If we decided to pick up a guard in free agency then we could go Tavon in the 1st and then possibly one these two guys in the 2nd.
Again the thing that stood out to me was the response Trestman gave in regards to how important a tight end would be in is offense and he dismissed the importance of a tight end because what was important was attacking the middle of the defense no matter who we did it with.
TIGHT ENDS: Kyle Adams, Kellen Davis, Matt Spaeth, Gabe Miller, Fendi Onobum, Evan Rodrigeuz
I have to add E-Rod on there because that is his true postion. As i think about Trestman's words and the tight ends we have i dont see him putting a premium on a position i once thought we needed to upgrade. I dont think we make a move in free agency, but if we do the guy i would go after is Brandon Myers from the raiders. He would be a pleasent surprise and we wouldnt need a tight end in the draft. Though are best catching tight ends are undersized i dont think he cares as long as they are reliable. As much as i would like to see either the kid from Stanford or Notre Dame i dont think its gonna happen. But i would have no complaints if it did happen. Some mid to late round guys to keep your eyes on are Vance McDonald out of Rice, Gavin Escobar, Travis Kelce, and Lucas Reed. You never know Fendi Onobum may turn out to be something who knows. The one guy i dont wanna see playing for someone else is Tavon Austin.
My next pick wouldnt really be a 1st round pick, but picking him in the second round would allow us to draft either Tavon Austin or a tight end in the first. I hear all the hoopla about Warmack and even the kid Cooper who i was high on. But if i had to pick a Guard other than the multi talented Barret Jones i would pick a kid by the name of Larry Warford. Warmack is a grader, we dont need that in Trestman's scheme. Cooper is capable of pass blocking and run blocing, but this kid Warford you would have to consider a pass protection specialist. He didnt give up one sack all year. This is the guy i would want to protecting my qb.
4TH PICK: Manti Te'o/Alec Ogletree
Of course i rather Manti over Alec but after some more research i have determined i dont want either, but if everybody else is gone i want Manti.
LINEBACKERS: Lance Briggs, Blake Constanzo, Dom Decicco, Jerry Franklin, Geno Hayes, Nick Roach, J.T. Thomas, Brian Urlacher, Patrick Trahan
I think we sign all three free agents in Urlacher, Hayes, and Roach. The one guy we have to re-sign is Roach. Everything is up in the air with Lacher but i think he comes back for one or two years. The way i see it is if we dont bring in a for sure guy let us at least maintain some consistency at the position. Guys i would love to replace Urlacher with like Connor Barwin or Paul Kruger just wont happen. Thats something i would do on madden maybe. There are no fitting free agents worth spending money on. One name you might keep an eye on free agency wise is Daryl Smith if Urlacher leaves because he was the leading man under Tucker at Jacksonville.
After extensive reading and film watching i finally found the guy i would love to replace Urlacher and we can probally get him in the 4th or 5th round. I wouldnt wanna risk losing him so i would draft him in the 4th because after the combine i expect his name to be out there a little more. Before i get to him let me go over some other guys. Manti Te'o is having girlfriend issues. Alec Ogletree has no instincts. A.J. Klein just doesnt look ready yet on film. Kiko Alonso looks good in pads but he takes horrible angles to the ball. Michael Mauti from penn state could be a baller if he can stay healthy. Keigth Pough could be a guy we draft in the 6th or the 7th round.
The guy that i think could replace Urlacher is none other than a guy by the name of Tom Wort. His stock is low because they say he shouldnt have left school early though he already has his degree. This kid has everything Manti T'eo has including more speed. He has instincts and he brings the hat. He is only 6'0 but he plays big. He gets off of blocks and he plays the ball and coverage really good. Regardless of wether Urlacher comes back the guy i want to be in a Chicago Bear Uniform is Tom Wort.
LAST PICK: LANE JOHNSON
OFFENSIVE TACKLES: Cory Branden, James Brown, Gabe Carimi, Johnathon Scott, J'marcus Webb
If all of our picks are gone i would take Lane. He is a former tight end and quarterback so i expect his measurables to be off the charts. All the fuss about our tackles this may be the position we dont see any change. Scott is a free agent and I'm almost sure he will be resigned. I wouldnt be surprised if Webb and Scott are the starting tackles next year with Gabe being the swing man. Scott didnt give up a sack last year and Webb improved greatly. With the new emphasis on protecting the quarterback rather than the run game i think it will help all three of these guys. Now if for some reason we miss on the three guards in free agency i would be ok with signing Jake Long, Clady, or Vollmer but not any others. Loadholt, Beatty, and Gosder were tops in the league in penalties. And Brandon Albert has a bad back. We wont have the money to go guard and tackle in free agency so i think we go guard. I think the tackles we have will make do. The guard play will play a bigger role being that Trestman likes to protect inside out. But i would definitely like us to grab a Tackle in the late rounds. There is no way we would be fortunate enough for Luke Joeckel or Eric Fisher to fall to us, and D.J. Fluker is a guy we dont need being that he is a road grader type. The one name i would like to luck up and get in a late round is is Terron Armstead from Arkansas-Pine Bluff. I hope you enjoyed the first part of my offseason analysis. There is definitely more to come.