Take 2: Feeling a draft
The Bears own the No. 14 overall pick in the NFL draft, which starts Thursday and continues through Saturday. Sports writers Tom Musick and Jeff Arnold discuss:
Musick: Finish this sentence (this is totally a trap question, by the way). "With the No. 14 pick in the first round of the NFL draft, the Chicago Bears select _____."
Arnold: I always hated trick questions and this is the way you start? I think it's safe from sitting in on Phil Emery's Halas Hall chat that it's not going to be an offensive player. How's that for for avoiding your question? So let's move on from there. The popular choice seems to be Pittsburgh defensive end and pass rusher extraordinaire Aaron Donald. But Emery - in his coy little way – seemed to infer that he didn't think Donald would be there at 14. So I'm going with a defensive back. Now you name which one.
Musick: I like your style. This feels like a game of tennis. Back and forth. Back and forth. In that spirit, I'll say the Bears select Pete Sampras. Hang on a second, I'm now being told that Sampras is old, hairy and doesn't play football. All right, so if it's a cornerback you want, I'll suggest Justin Gilbert out of Oklahoma State. Maybe he can be the next Peanut Tillman.
Arnold: I was more of a Jim Courier guy myself, but now we're really getting off track. I've heard a lot of praise for Gilbert, mostly from our esteemed Chicago Football leader Hub Arkush. But I think if Gilbert is there at 14, the Bears would take him in a heartbeat. I selfishly wouldn't mind Ha Ha Clinton-Dix - another name that has popped up in a lot of Mock Drafts. But I say that because I think any stories we write in the future that feature Ha Ha would just write themselves.
Musick: Every time I see Clinton-Dix's first name in print, I think of Nelson from "The Simpsons," pointing and chirping, "HA-ha!" So, yeah, bring on Ha Ha. Not only does he have an awesome first name, but he plays safety. When's the last time the Bears had a great safety? Like 1936? I also wouldn't mind a stout defensive tackle – think Timmy Jernigan from Florida State – who is willing to spend a few Sunday afternoons making Aaron Rodgers and Matthew Stafford squirm.
Arnold: Emery made it clear that the Bears are going on the defensive in what he called an offensive-oriented draft. I think that's where much of the improvement has to come if they hope to return to the playoffs. The Bears have made a lot of noise in free agency, but Emery likes the idea of open competitions and seemed to infer that only a few players, including linebacker Lance Briggs and I would assume Jared Allen, have locked up starting jobs. Maybe HBO's 'Hard Knocks' would be good to get everything in the open. Emery seems to be up for that right?
Musick: I think he'd rather change his first name to Ha Ha or He He or ROFL. But regardless of whether "Hard Knocks" comes to Bourbonnais, the draft should make for some dramatic TV viewing for Bears fans. Maybe they'll take Jimmy Connors?
Arnold: Just to make life more interesting, they should go after someone who yells at people and throws a tantrum once in a while. Oh wait, Jay Cutler is already on the roster. Guess that settles that.