While some have been openly critical of the Bears for not drafting a franchise quarterback, here is a look at what positions the Bears did address and how these rookies can contribute to a franchise on the mend.
Pick 14: OT Chris Williams, Vanderbilt (Scouting Report)
Scout It: Williams brings natural athleticism, length and potential to a Bears offensive line that was in dier need of help. He is a very accomplished pass blocker, with long arms and big hands to re-direct defenders. Williams is a bit soft, calling him a finesse player would be accurate, but he has the ability to be a good run blocker. He'll never be a physical player with a mean streak, but we've seen more and more offensive tackles succeed with a calm demeanor. He compares greatly to Khalif Barnes of Jacksonville.
Pick 44: RB Matt Forte, Tulane (Scouting Report)
Scout It: Forte is a hard-charging, physical runner who can catch, block and punish defenders. His speed is above average for a back of his size and strength. He will take unncessary hits, as he's a high runner, but he does a nice job of absorbing contact and bouncing off of hits. In the passing game he'll be an immediate improvement over Cedric Benson, as his routes will be more crisp and he'll be more alert to the situation. As a blocker they are similar, as are their running styles and tools. The major difference between Forte and Benson is their attitude and love for the game.
Pick 70: WR Earl Bennett, Vanderbilt (Scouting Report)
Scout It: Bennett left Vanderbilt as the SEC's all time leading receiver. His production cannot be ignored. He is a good sized receiver with amazing hands and consistency. He was my favorite receiver in the entire 2008 NFL Draft class. Bennett's combination of athleticism, agility and pass catching will make him an early favorite to win the #1 job in Chicago. The Bears lost their deep threat when Bernard Berrian signed in Minnesota, Bennett will give them a vertical player opposite Rashied Davis, and could move either Marty Booker or Mark Bradley to a third receiver position. This will also free up Devin Hester, should be improve greatly, to play more in the slot.
Pick 90: DT Marcus Harrison, Arkansas (Scouting Report)
Scout It: There are character issues here, and serious ones, but Harrison came on hot as the draft neared. He's a player with day one potential, but a third round past. On the field he can be unstoppable, with a great motor and the size to dominate. In the Cover Two defense Chicago favors, Harrison will fit in as a three-technique tackle who can penetrate and push the line of scrimmage back. He has the size to play the zero technique spot, but has not been an effective lane plugger in the past. This is not to say he couldn't become a nose tackle. He'll fit in nicely behind Tommie Harris, and next to him on passing downs.
Pick 120: SS Craig Steltz, LSU (Scouting Report)
Scout It: The release of Adam Archuleta today was signified with this selection. Steltz is eerily similar to Archuleta, but is much cheaper and better in coverage. He has the consistency to stay on the field all three downs, the speed to cover the deep halves and the toughness to remain healthy. He's better in coverage than most give him credit for, with 11 career interceptions and 23 passes broken up. Teams avoided him during his senior season, which allowed him to play in the box more. He fits what Chicago wants to do in the secondary by being an able run defender and someone who they can trust in coverage.
Pick 142: CB Zack Bowman, Nebraska
Scout It: Bowman was one of my favorite players during his college career. He has the height, speed and skills to become a turnover machine in the NFL. What most people do not know is that Bowman is an extremely intelligent person and will pick up the Bears secondary calls in no time. He is a physical player who has shut down some very good college receivers in the Big 12. He will need work with his press at the line, but he has the tools to become very good. It's important to remember he only played two seasons at Nebraska, he has a lot of room to grow.
Pick 158: TE Kellen Davis, Michigan State (Scouting Report)
Scout It: Davis was being asked by some teams to play tight end AND defensive end, which really speaks to his athleticism. He played some on the defensive line for the Spartans, but his real talent is catching the football. He doesn't have the talent to unseat Greg Olsen, but he's a viable option as a number two tight end. He is a big body and a good receiver, but he'll need work as a blocker. He's physical enough though, and playing defense in the past should prepare him for the angles needed to block well.
Pick 208: DE Ervin Baldwin, Michigan State
Scout It: Baldwin is a potential candidate to contribute as a situational pass rusher. He comes from a defense at Michigan State which was designed to pressure the backfield with an outside attack. He's experienced in charging off the edge and using outside leverage to rush the passer. He's a bit small at 6'2, but he has the speed to contribute.
Pick 222: OG Chester Adams, Georgia
Scout It: Adams fits the mold of a power run guard. He comes from a pro system at Georgia which emphasized man blocking schemes and over-powering the defender. He has great size for a guard, but will need work on his technique. Adams hasn't been asked to move much, he's more of a straight ahead bulldozer.
Pick 243: LB Joey LaRocque, Oregon State
Scout It: LaRocque is an outside linebacker with some skills that project well to the NFL. He's quick enough to drop into coverage in a Cover 2 system and he has the strength to stand up well against the outside run. His greatest asset may be his ability to play immediately on special teams. He is a nice project player.
Pick 247: OT Kirk Barton, Ohio State
Scout It: Barton was a very accomplished right tackle for the Buckeyes at Ohio State. There is a strong possibility he will moev to guard in the NFL, as his height and arm length are not that great. He is an amazing physical specimen, one of the strongest linemen we saw at the Senior Bowl. Barton was a steal in round seven. With his knowledge of the game and experience, he could challenge for a starting job.
Pick 248: WR Marcus Monk, Arkansas
Scout It: Monk was on top of some draft boards before the 2007 college football season. He has great size, decent speed and amazing leaping ability. He did play in a run first, second, third offense that did not expose him to much opportunity. He has talent, but has also been injured throughout most of his career. He'll need a good camp to show he can stay healthy.