Another NFL draft is in the books. The Bears selected a half-dozen players, including Oregon guard Kyle Long in the first round. Sports editor Jon Styf and columnist Tom Musick discuss:
Musick: It’s official: Manti Te’o is not a Chicago Bear. I am perfectly OK with this.
Styf: They had holes at linebacker and offensive line. Those were certainly addressed. Quarterback was not. They could have made a move to get Matt Barkley. They obviously weren’t interested. They were a pick away from having another shot at Landry Jones. But I’m not convinced at this point they would have picked him anyway. On that, I’m mildly confused. Maybe they’re planning on being part of the greatest story ever told, the comeback of JaMarcus Russell.
Musick: Yes, I like the idea of adding JaMarcus Russell. After all, this year’s draft was all about the big uglies, and Russell certainly fits the profile. Plus, imagine how much money Chicago-area restaurants could make if he moved to town. At least Kyle Long appears to have an appetite.
Styf: I set you up for a fake story/Te’o joke there. You didn’t take it. That’s progress. Like the bears made in the middle of their defense. One thing the “experts” are saying is that the Bears got nice value late, especially in Khaseem Greene and Cornelius Washington. They got younger and faster in the middle of the defense, that absolutely needed to happen.
Musick: Definitely. They’re billing Washington as a defensive end, but I think he probably winds up as a special-teams contributor. Greene had a great career at Rutgers and could be the eventual replacement for Lance Briggs, while Round 2 pick Jon Bostic could be the long-term replacement for Brian Urlacher. Maybe next year they’ll target the next-generation Charles Tillman.
Styf: They took who they wanted. They didn’t let how the draft board fell impact how they picked, at least with the first two guys. That’s both to their credit and detriment, in my opinion. They got who they wanted, but it’s hard to say they picked the best players. The reason teams like the 49ers and Ravens are considered to pick so well is that they went with the best player on the board, not their need. Long won’t play early and the only way he starts this season is if things go real poorly or there are a ton of injuries. The Bears had offensive line trouble and now they’ve brought in six new faces already this offseason. If nothing else, you have to feel that issue was addressed.
Musick: And let’s not forget that they didn’t pick Manti Te’o. I (still) am perfectly OK with this.