Ten Thoughts on the NFL: Chicago Bears and beyond

Depending on who you talk to, Tavon Austin is either an overrated smallish draft prospect, or a sure fire top 15 pick. - Streeter Lecka

The NFL Draft starts on Thursday! Three cheers for the NFL Draft! Hip Hip Hooray! Hip Hip Hooray! Hip Hip Hooray! In the mean time enjoy these mostly draft-centric Thoughts on the NFL.

1) The Tampa Bay Buccaneers picked up the best corner back in the league when they dealt their #1 draft pick and a conditional 3rd or 4th rounder next year, for 27 year old Darrelle Revis. Being in a division with Drew Brees, Matt Ryan, and Cam Newton, the Bucs had to improve their secondary. Revis is the kind of player that offenses have to scheme around, and that makes him invaluable.

2) And on a related thought, for some reason I just expect the New York Jets to screw up their draft.

3) OK, if we're to believe all the latest draft "buzz"; Geno Smith will have an Aaron Rodgers type drop on draft day, E.J. Manual may slip into the 1st round, Lane Johnson can't run block, Kyle Long will be a first rounder, Star Lotulelei is back locked in as a top 10 pick, Bjoern Werner might drop to the 2nd round, Tavon Austin and Sharrif Floyd are overrated, the Falcons and 49ers both want to trade into the teens, the Dolphins will acquire Branden Albert from the Chiefs, the Jets will draft a QB in the 1st, and I could go on and on and on... I just love NFL Draft time!

MORE: Blaming Colleges for Low Wonderlic Scores?

4) If you enjoy the excitement and build up of the NFL Draft by watching the commish take the stage and make the announcement, then apparently you're not alone. There is an agreement in place that the reporters and analysts of ESPN and the NFL Network will no longer tip picks on air before they are officially announced. No more spoilers. Just keep those cameras out of the green room.

5) I wouldn't be surprised to see the San Francisco 49ers make a big leap up into the top part of the 1st round, and to be a big wheeler and dealer the entire draft weekend. That team is already primed to be a 2013 Super Bowl contender, so moving up and moving some 2012 picks for future considerations makes sense.

6) A few weeks ago I wrote how rare it is to have two guards picked before #20 in the NFL Draft, but now I don't see any scenario where either falls that far. Both Chance Warmack and Jonathan Cooper will be off the board by #12.

7) Just because one old, out of the league player expresses some interest in returning to the NFL with the Chicago Bears, that doesn't mean the Chicago Bears have any interest in him. Local radio and social media was abuzz with fans chastising the Bears for the latest T.O. news, even though the Bears had nothing to do with the T.O. news.

MORE: Terrell Owens Wants to Return with the Bears? Say it Ain't So...

8) To those Chicago Bears fans that were hoping they would take a chance on linebacker Rolando McClain (you know who you are) he was arrested over the weekend again. This is his 3rd arrest since December of 2011 while visiting Decatur, Alabama. Someone should advise McClain to stay away from Decatur.

Fair warning, if you are all Mock Drafted out, these next two are in that realm...

9) The latest SB Nation mock draft has the Bears taking Georgia linebacker Alec Ogletree at #20, and there is a very good possibility that happens if the Bears stay put. Here's what they had to say;

The Chicago Bears have done a nice job of adding pieces to the offensive line and at tight end. That should allow the team to focus on finding a new middle linebacker. From a potential standpoint, Ogletree is the best option.

10) Three of the six mock drafters at CBSSports.com, have the Bears also going with Ogletree, but the other three are mixed. Rob Rang has the Bears going with Washington corner Desmond Trufant;

With 2012 Pro Bowlers Charles Tillman and Tim Jennings on the roster it might seem unlikely the Bears would draft another cornerback this high but that is precisely the direction the team appears to be leaning. Trufant, the younger brother of Marcus (Seahawks) and Isaiah (Jets) has excellent bloodlines, remarkable athleticism and is a four-year starter who is peaking after strong performances at the Senior Bowl and combine.

Dane Brugler has them taking North Carolina defensive tackle Sylvester Williams;

The Bears aren't shy about taking the best player available on the board, which might be Williams. The North Carolina tackle has intriguing upside and would give Chicago depth on the interior defensive line.

Pete Prisco has them going with Kansas State linebacker Arthur Brown, and here's his in-depth reasoning:

They need to get younger and faster at linebacker.

MORE: Check out our full NFL Draft Section

11) A bonus 11th Thought! Hip Hip Hooray!

According to a source, here are three undrafted free agent type players the Bears are interested in. Wide receiver Mark Harrison from Rutgers, running back / fullback Kendall Gaskins from Richmond, and defensive end / outside linebacker Brandon Copeland from Penn.

Now it's your turn, what are some NFL Thoughts you have as we lead into the draft?

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