Our annual 2011 NFL Mock Draft, with picks made by each of SB Nation's NFL team bloggers, is in full swing. The latest pick in to the podium: the Chicago Bears, at No. 29 overall.
With the 29th overall pick in the 2011 SB Nation NFL Writers Mock Draft, the Chicago Bears select Stephen Paea, defensive tackle, Oregon State.
Dane Noble of WindyCityGridiron.com explains the choice, and our own Dan Kadar reacts to it, after the jump. Make sure you're grading this pick for the Bears, and checking out Windy City Gridiron for all of your Bears needs.
Dane Noble explains: Two things are for certain when discussing the Chicago Bears and the Draft: The offensive line was terrible again in 2010, and GM Jerry Angelo and HC Lovie Smith love to draft defensive linemen. I spoke with Neil Hornsby, founder of Pro Football Focus, this past December, and he said the Bears OL was by far the worst they’d ever graded. Jay Cutler’s 52 sacks last season would agree.
But also making headlines since the end of the season was the release of the Bears once-dominant DT Tommie Harris. Harris showed a spurt at the end of the season, and will still find work once the labor dispute is worked out, but it was too little/ too late for Lovie Smith, whose defense is predicated on a dominant 3-technique guy on the inside consistently being disruptive. Tommie’s lack of pass rush caused a burden to be placed on the LBs and the DBs, and the defense just won’t work for very long with other guys having to tote that additional load. Henry Melton has some upside potential, but it's still unclear if he can be the guy. John 'Moon' Mullin of CSN-Chicago reported that the Bears would be targeting Cullen Jenkins once free agency starts, but it seems more and more likely that the Draft will happen first.
So, to teeter back and forth between OL and DL with the 29th pick wouldn’t surprise too many people. When the Bears are on the clock, seeing a couple names like Derek Sherrod and Nate Solder still available would be a good thing. Both prospects would need some development, but OL coach Mike Tice would be just the man for the job.
However, seeing DT Stephen Paea still on the board... well, there’s no way Angelo and Lovie could avoid pulling the trigger. Paea has a fast burst off the snap, is very strong, and can man-handle offensive linemen in his pursuit to the QB. He has a non-stop motor, and his "bull rushing" style can quickly wear down interior offensive linemen. Not only is this 3-technique a dominating pass-rusher, but can also cause traffic jams at the point of attack on running plays, and has the strength to make tackles even while being blocked. If Paea is actually available at the 29th pick, you can take it to the bank that he’ll be in a Bears uniform come 2011.
Dan Kadar reacts: It's true that Paea can man-handle offensive linemen. His tape and bench press numbers show as much. Paea actually is pretty similar to Jay Ratliff of the Dallas Cowboys in his style. He'd be fine as a 4-3 three-technique, though, because he can hold the line and move forward pretty well. He's a power rusher from the inside, and that's fine. He moves upfield differently than Harris, but he still gets into the backfield consistently. Good pick. [Stephen Paea Scouting Report]
Mocking the Draft's Top 5 Remaining Prospects
|15||Mikel Leshoure||RB||Illinois||scouting report|
|19||Akeem Ayers||OLB||UCLA||scouting report|
|20||Jon Baldwin||WR||Pittsburgh||scouting report|
|22||Adrian Clayborn||DE||Iowa||scouting report|
|23||Derek Sherrod||OT||Mississippi State||scouting report|
2011 SB Nation NFL Writers' Mock Draft - RESULTS
|1||1||Carolina Panthers||Blaine Gabbert||QB||Missouri||story|
|2||Denver Broncos||Von Miller||OLB||Texas A&M||story|
|3||Buffalo Bills||Patrick Peterson||CB||LSU||story|
|4||Cincinnati Bengals||A.J. Green||WR||Georgia||story|
|5||Arizona Cardinals||Cam Newton||QB||Auburn||story|
|6||Cleveland Browns||Marcell Dareus||DT||Alabama||story|
|7||San Francisco 49ers||Prince Amukamara||CB||Nebraska||story|
|8||Tennessee Titans||Nick Fairley||DT||Auburn||story|
|9||Dallas Cowboys||Tyron Smith||OT||USC||story|
|10||Washington Redskins||Robert Quinn||DE||North Carolina||story|
|11||Houston Texans||Julio Jones||WR||Alabama||story|
|12||Minnesota Vikings||J.J. Watt||DE||Wisconsin||story|
|13||Detroit Lions||Da'Quan Bowers||DE||Clemson||story|
|14||St. Louis Rams||Corey Liuget||DT||Illinois||story|
|15||Miami Dolphins||Mark Ingram||RB||Alabama||story|
|16||Jacksonville Jaguars||Christian Ponder||QB||Florida State||story|
|17||New England Patriots||Gabe Carimi||OT||Wisconsin||story|
|18||San Diego Chargers||Cameron Jordan||DE||California||story|
|19||New York Giants||Mike Pouncey||G/C||Florida||story|
|20||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||Ryan Kerrigan||DE||Purdue||story|
|21||Kansas City Chiefs||Phil Taylor||DT||Baylor||story|
|22||Indianapolis Colts||Anthony Castonzo||OT||Boston College||story|
|23||Philadelphia Eagles||Jimmy Smith||CB||Colorado||story|
|24||New Orleans Saints||Muhammad Wilkerson||DT||Temple||story|
|25||Seattle Seahawks||Ryan Mallett||QB||Arkansas||story|
|26||Baltimore Ravens||Aldon Smith||DE||Missouri||story|
|27||Atlanta Falcons||Justin Houston||DE||Georgia||story|
|28||New England Patriots||Cameron Heyward||DE||Ohio State||story|
|29||Chicago Bears||Stephen Paea||DT||Oregon State|
|30||New York Jets|
|32||Green Bay Packers|