After reaching the 2011 NFC Championship game only to lose to hated rival and 2011 Super Bowl Champion Green Bay Packers (talk about a double gut-punch) the Chicago Bears are in a strange position this offseason. Thanks to a absolute lack of high draft picks in recent seasons, there is almost no top-level young talent on Chicago’s roster.
This year, the Bears have the No. 29 pick in the first round, not typically a spot where an instant-impact young guy can be had. In addition, Chicago only has six picks in the 2011 draft (Nos. 29, 62, 93, 127, 160 and 195) which means the franchise has to use those selections wisely.
Over the past three years, the Bears have made just one selection in the first round of the NFL Draft, that was offensive tackle Chris Williams out of Vanderbilt with the No. 14 pick in 2008. In 2009 and 2010, Chicago’s first pick came in the third round (2009: No. 68 – Jarron Gilbert, San Jose State; 2010: No. 75 – Major Wright, Florida). The Bears have selected a total of 26 players during the past three drafts, only 15 remain on the roster. Simply put, they have to do better.
Apparently Chicago really likes two players that could last into the 20s in this year’s draft. They would be Illinois defensive tackle Corey Liuget and Wisconsin offensive tackle Gabe Carimi. Dan Pompei of the Chicago Tribune does not see the Bears trading up to get either though, which leaves only one real option for a franchise desperately in need of an influx of young talent: Trade down.
According to most experts, a run on young quarterbacks is expected late in the first round. The Bears would do well to trade out of the 29th spot and get as many picks as possible from a quarterback-hungry team. Then, the only thing left to do is be smart with those picks, something that Chicago hasn’t done for years.
As far as we’re concerned, the Bears should be working the phones as hard as they can, putting in place several trade-down deals and executing the most attractive one come draft day.