For every Earl Campbell there is a Cedric Benson, and so goes the saying with the two Texas standouts providing an example as it’s proven to be more fact than fiction, especially if you are the proud franchise of the Chicago Bears when truth is, you have had just as many busts drafted in the 1st round (Curtis Enis, Rashaan Salaam, Benson) than stars (Walter Payton) at RB in the Windy City. So who would you select with the 14th pick if you were in the shoes of GM Jerry Angelo in the “war room” April 26th?
Consider you’ve had tremendous success in previous drafts trading down, acquiring extra picks that turned out to be pro bowlers, as you sought out those late-round value picks that made you look like a genius (Charles Tillman, Lance Briggs, Nathan Vasher, Alex Brown, Mark Anderson, Devin Hester, the list goes on…) On the flip side, your team is in disarray on the offensive side of the ball, having a pressing needs to fill at OL, where you’re looking for 2 starters and a left tackle and at RB, where you have the “other” Adrian Peterson (3rd down back), a 5-foot 7 scatback, and an injury-prone bust who is neither reliable nor durable.
You have already been dealt a pair of “kings” with a championship defense and the #1 special teams unit in one hand, though you look over at the other “card” and see a “joker”, a card that exemplifies a “punchless” offense lacking the weaponry needed to become a legitimate championship contender. With this upcoming Draft showing itself more and more like a “Make or Break” seven rounds for the Bears ’08 season and future plans, you are dealt the difficult question of what to do with your 1st round selection when you have so many options and routes to choose from, with one wrong move being the difference between winning the division title and returning to the cellar, having the opportunity to play further into Janaury or watching the postseason at home for the second consecutive year.
So do you trade down passing up a potential featured back or a franchise left tackle, or do you stay put by making a considerable risk, taking a shot at the best player available, realizing that player may end up being a total bust? Either way your back is up against the wall and you need to have a “hit”, not a miss Draft. So you are banking on a draft that you may be exalted for the next 5 years or criticized about for the next decade.
You are now on the clock Bears fans! Read Site Editor Russ Loede’s draft prospects, diving into deep, in-depth scouting reports and the strengths and weaknesses displaying the outlook of the three players Chicago is most likely to target come Draft day.