Round 7: No. 218
West Texas A&M OT J'Marcus Webb (6-8, 325)
About the selection:
Incredibly decorated coming out of high school, the behemoth of a blocker was a Parade All-American, a SuperPrep All-American and also participated in the U.S. Army All-America Bowl. After signing his letter of intent with national powerhouse Texas, but ultimately playing just one season for the Longhorns, he finished his collegiate career at West Texas A&M following a one-year stop Navarro Junior College. His dedication and work ethic have been questioned more than once.
Roster ramifications: General manager Jerry Angelo has developed a yearly habit of drafting offensive linemen in the seventh round, hoping to find a forgotten-about bargain that can develop into a quality player, but he is yet to find a true steal. If Webb can play at all in this league, perhaps last April's seventh rounder, Lance Louis, can get more reps at guard.
For argument's sake: Assuming guard is a higher priority now that Frank Omiyale is kicking out to tackle, Iowa State's Reggie Stephens went 10 picks later than Webb. Webb can't slide inside at 6-8. The 6-3 Stephens is a natural guard.
Angelo's comments: “Obviously, we wanted to come out with an offensive lineman in the seventh [round]. You can't get too excited about any player other than the fact that he does have a fit for you in terms of a need and what you're trying to do from an offensive standpoint. [Offensive line coach] Mike Tice spent a lot of time going out and working out Webb. We spent a lot of time with our scouts. As you know, he started out at Texas. It didn't work out there. He wound up transferring, and we feel good about his traits. We'll just wait and see until we get to camp and get the pads on, what really the kind of quality of player he is. We know this: He's got a lot of good physical traits. I think when you get a chance to see him in our minicamp, you'll see that as well.”
Webb's comments: “I’m ready to play, no doubt about that. I don’t feel like there is anybody who could get in my way. I’m ready to play on the next level, any level.”
Round 6: No. 181
Central Michigan QB Dan LeFevour (6-3, 230)
About the selection:
Even if LeFevour is considered a value pick in Round 6, as area scout Jeff Shiver
had him projected to go as high as Round 2, the Bears taking a passer has to come as a bit of a surprise with Jay Cutler
under contract through the 2014 season. LeFevour was incredibly productive all four years for the Chippewas, throwing for as much as 3,652 yards and rushing for as much as 1,122 yards, but his level of competition has been questioned, his arm strength is average and he is yet to run a pro-style offense.
Roster ramifications: Cutler isn't going anywhere any time soon, even if he was a disappointment his first year in the Windy City, and Caleb Hanie has developed into a quality backup despite coming into the league in 2008 as an undrafted rookie free agent. Brett Basanez, on the other hand, is probably out the door because he is no longer eligible for the practice squad.
For argument's sake: The fact that the Bears haven't addressed their offensive line yet is outrageous, especially since athletic Colorado State guard Shelley Smith went just six picks after LeFevour.
Shiver's comments: “LeFevour is a winner. Big kid. He did not have Steve McNair’s numbers, but they were knocking on his door. Great runner. Great competitor. 13,000-yard thrower. His numbers were just off the mark. Hey, he’s a quarterback. He’s a big one. He’s won a lot of games. He has passed for a lot of yards. A long time ago, I missed a quarterback in the sixth round [Tom Brady]. I think he’s still with the Patriots.”
LeFevour's comments: “It means everything to me. It’s a dream come true, literally. I’ve been watching the Bears for quite a few years now. If you go in my room, it’s decorated with all Chicago Bears stuff. Obviously, it’s just the beginning, and I realize that. It’s a great day for me, and I’m really proud to be part of that organization.”
Round 5: No. 141
Kansas State CB Joshua Moore (5-11, 188)
About the selection:
A below-the-radar prospect and one with some red flags on his scouting report, highlighted by missing his sophomore season due to being academically ineligible, Moore brings a different skill set to the table than the Midway Monsters tend to look for at the corner position. According to defensive backs coach Jon Hoke
, Moore really excelled in man-to-man coverage and showed good instincts out on an island, as opposed to just sitting back in a zone all day long.
Roster ramifications: While Moore isn't going to challenge for a starting job any time soon, not with Charles Tillman and Zack Bowman atop the depth chart, the reserves are far from secure at this point. If Hoke is right, Moore is already better in coverage than D.J. Moore, who disappointed last year as a fourth-round draft pick and made zero impact as a rookie.
For argument's sake: Still looking for some help along the offensive line, Arkansas guard Mitch Petrus proved to be ridiculously strong at the combine but remains light on his feet, as he also played tight end and fullback in Fayetteville.
Hoke's comments: “When you watched him on tape, he played very well. He has excellent cover sense, good zone instincts, has good play speed. You saw him make plays on the ball. He played against good teams, UCLA, and played very well. You saw him on big stages play very well. That’s what kind of intrigued you about the guy. When he was playing big teams he played extremely well.”
Moore's comments: “The reason I left school early was because I just had a kid, which is four months old now. The scholarship money and the things I was looking for, the scholarship wasn't enough to take care of me and my family, so I just decided to come out early.”
Round 4: No. 109
Northwestern DE Corey Wootton (6-6, 270)
About the selection:
Saying again Friday he is always in the market for another defensive lineman, particularly a pass rusher, general manager Jerry Angelo
got himself quite a bargain in the fourth round with Wootton. Still not all the way back from a knee injury, although director of college scouting Greg Gabriel
says he'll be ready in time for training camp, the former Wildcat got a second-round grade from a lot of scouts and looks like an ideal fit at left end in a 4-3 defensive scheme.
Roster ramifications: Julius Peppers is going to be the starter at one of the end positions, and he says he wants to shift back and forth between the right and left side, but the other spot is up for grabs. Look for Israel Idonije and Mark Anderson to get the majority of the snaps, but if he's healthy, Wootton could jump Henry Melton on the depth chart rather quickly.
For argument's sake: If Angelo was looking for a D-lineman to make an immediate impact, Georgia tackle Geno Atkins may have been the way to go because he would have had fewer players in front of him warranting immediate playing time.
Gabriel's comments: "This was a value pick for us. We had him going into the year as a very highly-rated player. I don't think he played as well. He's coming off knee surgery. He had knee surgery in January of 2009, following the '08 season. He wasn't 100 percent when he played this year. This guy was thought of very highly by everybody, not only in our organization but around the league going into the season. He fell, I think, because of the injury but is a good player."
Wootton's comments: "I think everything happens for a reason. I wanted to come back to become a more complete player and work on my skills, get stronger, a year smarter. But I definitely feel like it was a good choice for me, and [I'm] just lucky to have the opportunity to play for a great team in the Bears."
Round 3: No. 75
Florida S Major Wright (6-0, 206)
About the selection:
Wright might not have been the safety general manager Jerry Angelo
was looking for, as higher-rated prospects such as Vanderbilt's Myron Lewis
and Georgia Tech's Morgan Burnett
went just before No. 75, but the Bears had to fill a need and took the top-rated player on their board at that spot. While he wasn't as decorated as fellow Gator defenders like end Carlos Dunlap
or linebacker Brandon Spikes
, Wright has an enviable combination of strength and speed and can also be a plus special teamer.
Roster ramifications: Because the Bears are flooded with strong safety-types, coach Lovie Smith acknowledged, from Craig Steltz to Kevin Payne to Al Afalava, Wright has a chance to start at free safety right away because none of the aforementioned players has displayed any ability to cover downfield and make plays in space.
For argument's sake: There was a run on defensive backs the last dozen picks or so prior to Angelo and Co. finally being on the clock, but with the offensive line also in need of some help, taking free-falling offensive tackle Bruce Campbell from Maryland might have been a pick with a lot of upside on the other side of the ball.
Angelo's comments: "A very good player. He's got very good speed. He's going to be known for his hitting prowess. He wasn't a big interceptor in college, but he started all three years there at Florida. We know what kind of defense they play at Florida, so to come in and play right away at Florida, you've got to be a pretty special athlete, and he was."
Smith's comments: "Major Wright was one of the players that we liked from the start. We spent a lot of time with him. [Defensive backs coach] Jon Hoke went down [to Gainesville] and worked him out within the last week or so. At the combine, every time we had a chance to evaluate him, as a player, we liked what we came back with. A high-character guy, he's going to bring a lot of energy to our defense. A bit hitter, he has good skills as far as coverage is concerned. He's pretty excited, of course, about being a Chicago Bear, and we are, too. We're going to put him at the free safety position and see what he can do."
Wright's comments: "I'm very smart. I communicate on the field. I'm very physical. I can cover. With me, I play within the defense. I never play outside the defense, where I try to do my own thing. I always play the call or whatever the coaches tell me."
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John Crist is the Publisher of BearReport.com, a Heisman Trophy voter and a member of the Professional Football Writers of America. To read him every day, visit BearReport.com and become a Chicago Bears insider.