The 2012 NFL Scouting Combine began this week, and I thought that this would be a perfect chance to talk about what the Bears need for the 2012 NFL season... The biggest and most talked about need for the Bears is the Wide Receiver position. The Bears first pick will be at #19 and I'm pretty sure that Oklahoma State Receiver Justin Blackmon will be gone by then.
But there are a couple other receivers who could still be around when it's time for the Bears to pick.
Notre Dame Receiver Michael Floyd could very well still be on the board when the Bears pick at #19. Floyd has already proved that he can be the #1 receiver on any NFL team. He also is one of Notre Dame's greatest receivers and holds some of the schools pass catching records. He can beat coverages and his solid hands can catch passes no matter how many guys are covering him.
Georgia Tech's leading receiver in 2011 Stephen Hill will be a sleeper in this years draft.
He is highly underestimated because he comes from the Yellow Jacket Triple Option offense. But he has been GT's leading receiver the past two seasons, he has great speed and is able to beat coverage. He is also a great blocker which is something you don't see in wide outs these days. Take a look how former G'Tech Wide Receiver Demerius Thomas worked out Denver, I think Stephen Hill can do the same for the Bears.
I'm sure Hill will still be available in the later rounds of the draft.
The Bears only weakness on the defensive side of the ball in 2011 was their secondary. Aside from Charles Tillman, D.J. Moore, Corey Graham, and Major Wright, the secondary was terrible and needs a huge overhaul. As far as Corners are concerned, Louisiana State's Morris Claiborne will more than likely be gone before the Bears can get him.
But there still are some good prospects out there. Arizona State's Omar Bolden would be a great #2 0r #3 corner behind Peanut Tillman.
Although he did struggle with injuries during his last couple seasons at ASU, Bolden is still a great cover corner. He can give run support as well. Chances are the Bears could still get him in the 2nd round.
The safety position is where the Bears need the most help. And believe it or not, the Bears have a chance to get a top 10 safety. Notre Dame's Harrison Smith is being projected as a late first round or early second round pick.
With that being said, should the Bears look to pick a safety with their first round pick, Harrison Smith is their best bet. He would be a great strong safetly along side Major Wright. He would be a great fit for Lovie Smith's Cover 2 scheme, run support and zone coverage are his strongest suits.
Stanford's Delano Howell may work out as well. He is actually low on everyone's draft boards so the Bears could grab him in the later rounds.
Another position which has yet to be talked about that the Bears are in dire need of is a backup quarterback. Caleb Hanie let us all down when he finally had his moment to shine. And while Josh McCown did a solid job, I think he would be best suited as the 3rd string signal caller. The following list of quarterbacks that I am about to mention will most likely be available in the later rounds of the draft:
First we have the local product in Northwestern's Dan Persa:
Aside from his youth, his mobility, accuracy, and ability to read a defense would make him a perfect backup to Jay Cutler. My only concern with Persa is durability because of his injuries that he had during his Junior and Senior years at Northwestern. Dan Persa will not be at the combine.
One quarterback that I have been extremely high on is Wisconsin's Russel Wilson.
He showcased his arm and mobility during his days at N.C. State. But Wisconsin gave him the chance to show his accuracy, his ability to read a defense, and his poise in the pocket. I'm bothered by the fact that the "experts" don't even have him as a top 5 and sometimes a top 10 quarterback.
Another great passer is the man who threw all of those touchdown passes to Justin Blackmon at Oklahoma State, Brandon Weeden. He is ranked in the top 10, but there is no guarantee that he will go in the first or second round.
If the ends up the Bears laps, they would be stupid not to take him. Of course, there is always the chance that players at the aformentioned positions that I have not talked about could impress the Bears brass at the combine this weekend. Only time will tell.
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