Day 1 is complete but the job for the Chicago Bears is just beginning as the NFL draft moves into Day 2. Here are some key notes.
Timmy Jernigan and Ra’Shede Hageman both still in play
It seems Phil Emery made the right call on waiting at defensive tackle. Thanks to a huge run at defensive back early, as many as four first round graded interior men fell into the 2nd round including Timmy Jernigan, whom many saw going to Chicago at #14. Also in that bunch is athletic specimen Ra’Shede Hageman, massive run plugger Louis Nix and intriguing size-speed man Stephon Tuitt. With a little luck and help from a still strong crop of offensive talent, they have a great chance of landing one of them.
Kony Ealy headlines strong defensive end group
To top it off it’s not just the tackles either. Defensive end got an additional boost when Missouri standout Kony Ealy fell out of the first round, something a lot of people didn’t expect to happen. He’s joined by the likes of Trent Murphy, Kareem Martin and Scott Crichton to form a solid group of potential pass rushers who fit the Chicago Bears scheme and would offer quality young depth behind veteran Jared Allen.
Terrance Brooks and Lamarcus Joyner last of dwindling safeties
Phil Emery no doubt took a calculated risk when he passed up the top two safeties on the board to take a cornerback in the first round. Safety is among the thinnest positions in this NFL draft and got thinner much faster than expected when Arizona took Deone Bucannon and the 49ers took Jimmie Ward near the end of the first. That just leaves FloridaState teammates Terrance Brooks and Lamarcus Joyner as proven players at the position worthy of going on Day 2. The rest like Dezmen Southward and Brock Vereen are considered upside picks with a large element of risk to them.
Carlos Hyde and Bishop Sankey not out of the question
One thing the Chicago Bears seem to do is surprise people every year and this NFL draft is no exception. Despite lingering projected needs at safety and defensive tackle, one could say they have a lingering depth concern at running back behind Matt Forte similar to the situation with Charles Tillman that resulted in the Kyle Fuller pick. That is why it shouldn’t surprise everybody if Emery goes after some help in the backfield early, especially since every top talent is still available including Carlos Hyde of OhioState and Bishop Sankey of Washington, both of who would make great fits in the Marc Trestman offense.