The NFL Draft is a time of renewal, where teams can hopefully address needs and select players who may develop into the stars of tomorrow. Several years of quality draft picks can build a team into a winner, but unfortunately drafting players can be a difficult process. Research can only go so far, as some players simply do not transition well to the next level. For the Chicago Bears, the 2010 draft was a bit anti-climactic as they did not have a first or second round pick. However, the Bears made their big off-season splash by signing free agent defensive end Julius Peppers from the Carolina Panthers. Still, the draft can always provide value for the future, even in the later rounds. Here are a few thoughts on the 2010 draft class of the Chicago Bears.
The Bears have emphasized defense for a number of years, and their first pick in the draft continued this tradition. Chicago took safety Major Wright from Florida, and they hope that his speed and athleticism will make an impact on defense. There are some concerns about Wright’s ability to make plays off the line and adjust to being out of position, so he may need to grow into a position in the NFL.
In the fourth round, Chicago took Corey Wooton, who is a defensive end from Northwestern. Wooten was injured during the 2008 bowl season, and recovery is always a dicey prospect in football. Corey seems to be healthy, but he may have lost some of his speed off the line. This is not unusual since he tore an ACL. However, he is a solid player and Chicago may have gotten a deal by picking him in the fourth round. If Wooton can stay healthy, he may be a solid end in the future.
Chicago took Josh Moore in the fifth round, a cornerback from Kansas State. Moore is not a top prospect, but playing in the Big 12 will have given him some experience against large programs. Josh may end up on special teams or the practice squad unless he has a great training camp.
Quarterbacks can be difficult to pick, particularly in the first round. Teams do not want to be the franchise that took the latest QB bust. Therefore, picking a quarterback in the sixth round can be a fairly safe pick. The Bears selected Dan LeFevour from Central Michigan, and they now have the opportunity to develop him over a few seasons. Jay Cutler is the signal caller for now, but in a few years things might change.
Finally, the Bears took J’marcus Webb from West Texas A&M in the seventh round. The offensive tackle position is critical on a football squad, so teams may take a chance on certain players and try to develop them over time. Webb is a big body, but he played against smaller schools. However, Chicago is hoping that his raw talent may translate into a payoff down the road. Sometimes the stars come ready to play and other times it may take a few seasons of practicing in the big leagues before individuals are ready tomake an impact on the field.