Bears Draft Recap
By Benjy Lipsman in News on May 1, 2007 1:30PM
The NFL held its annual draft this past weekend, and the Bears attempted to fill the holes on their roster in the hopes of building a team that can return to the Super Bowl next season. On Friday, we outlined what we felt were the biggest needs for the Bears. How'd they do in filling those areas?
In the first round, with the 31st overall pick, the Bears filled their need for a tight end by drafting Greg Olson from Miami -- the top rated TE on most experts' position rankings. Olsen becomes the latest in a long line of Miami tight ends who've gone in the first round of the draft, including Bubba Franks, Jeremy Shockey and Kellen Winslow Jr. Way to fill what we saw as the top need.
With their desired play gone when their second round pick came up, they traded back down to the end of the round -- picking up two additional picks this year and one more next year -- and selected defensive end Dan Bazuin from Central Michigan. Not exactly the needed defensive tackle, but help across the line will help. There's also talk of bulking up the 264 pounder and moving him inside where the Bears desperately need help. We guess that pretty much fulfills item two on the needs checklist.
With their two third round picks, the Bears checked two more critical needs off their list. With back-to-back picks at 93 and 94, they took Northern Illinois running back Garrett Wolfe and Stanford linebacker Michael Okwo. Wolfe, who put up some pretty gaudy rushing numbers with the Huskies (3rd all time in NCAA history w/ 160.5 yards/game), gets to play for the team he has cheered for since his childhood the Chicago's West Side. Okwo is the prototypical Bears linebacker, fast and intelligent. He'll provide some insurance should Lance Briggs depart.
Sunday's draft action saw the last remaining need checked off the list -- offensive line help. In the fourth round, the Bears selected Josh Beekman from Boston College, a veritable lineman factory for the NFL.
Having addressed all of their biggest need positions, the Bears used their next three picks to bolster their secondary by taking safety Kevin Payne from Louisiana-Monroe; Corey Graham, a cornerback from New Hampshire; and Mississippi cornerback Trumaine McBride. Their final pick was offensive tackle Aaron Brant from Iowa St.
The Bears methodically addressed their biggest needs, solidifying the team's weaknesses as they head into 2007. We're not quite sure why they stockpiled secondary at the end of the draft, but we've learned not to question Jerry Angelo's draft decisions too much. The only question is which unknown player will be the one to have a breakout rookie season. We're going to guess Okwo.