Scouting the news

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The Bears have set up a private workout with Oklahoma offensive tackle Phil Loadholt. Huh. Someone had the Bears taking taking Loadholt in their latest mock. The Bears' pick is a challenging one to project. By all accounts, the top four offensive tackles could be gone by the time they pick, and a receiver could be a stretch pick.

Former Wisconsin running back P.J. Hill was arrested Saturday on suspicion of drunken driving and leading police on a chase. The question for Hill now becomes whether he'll be drafted or not. He was impressive at the NFL Scouting Combine, showing up trimmed down at 222 pounds. He was at best a fourth round pick and could be completely off some team's boards at this point.

For former LSU wide receiver Demetrius Byrd, the biggest question during 2008 was about his maturity. At the Tigers' pro day, he admitted to being frustrated with the team's quarterback situation. He let that demeanor show in a somewhat disappointing season. However, the damage may be done. Seventeen teams showed up at the LSU pro day, including Saints head coach Sean Payton and Panthers coach John Fox.

Dan Pompei, the great columnist for the Chicago Tribune, weighs in on who should be the No. 1 pick. He says Jason Smith. Of late, that seems to be the consensus after he reportedly impressed members of the Lions front office in an interview.

In other Chicago news, the Bears are going to work out Ohio State's Todd Boeckman. For me, Boeckman looked like an NFL quarterback his junior season. As a senior, he seemed less confident when pressure was on and really struggles passing on the move. He's a sleeper though, for sure. Chicago will also work out North Carolina wide receiver Hakeem Nicks.

Arguably no team this offseason has improved itself more than Detroit. The trade for Julian Peterson is being considered a good one. And don't forget Detroit has picks 1, 20 and 33 in the draft.

Staffers at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch (one of my favorite sports staffs in the nation) weigh in on which direction the Rams might go in the second round.

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