Bears General Manager Jerry Angelo knew coming into the 2008 NFL Draft that their biggest need was at left tackle. He suspected and hoped that Vanderbilt's Chris Williams was available and as it turns out he was. But the trip to his pick was not easy as two other players had caught the Bears fancy. First was Rashard Mendenhall, who was expected to be there at this pick, and second was not expected. When University of Virginia guard Branden Albert was sitting in front of the Bears it gave them cause to rethink their pick. Albert, the best guard on the board, would have been a huge pick up for the Bears considering they have no real studs at that position. Williams however helps the Bears line in more ways than one:
NFL Draft Countdown:
This is basically a safe pick and let me tell you why. They want a left tackle so they can move John Tait to the right side so for all intents and purposes that eliminated Otah. Albert probably has more upside than Williams but you are also projecting him to a new position, which is a risk. In the case of Williams he's a true left tackle and therefore a sure-fire fit for what Chicago was looking to do with this pick.
The biggest knock on Chris Williams is many think he doesn't play nasty, mostly based on one specific incident at the Senior Bowl where he did not engage, but Williams sees it another way.
Obviously, the Bears thought that I did have enough fire and I feel like I have enough fire,’’ Williams said. ``I play hard and I play with intensity. I don’t know where that comes from. I guess if they have to find a knock that would be it, but I’ll continue to play hard and do whatever coach [Harry] Hiestand asks me to do. If that involves being quote-unquote nastier than that will be what it is. Whatever the knocks may be, I feel like they’re easily addressed.
Whether you like Jeff Otah or Rashard Mendenhall more than Chris Williams, this was a pick the Bears needed to make.