The Chicago Bears hoped one of the offensive tackles they coveted would be available with the No. 14 pick. Not only did that happen, but also they had a choice of three.
The Chicago Bears hoped one of the offensive tackles they coveted would be available with the No. 14 pick.
Not only did that happen, but also they had a choice of three.
Bears head coach Lovie Smith doesn’t go visit many players. But he did visit Vanderbilt left tackle Chris Williams.
“He saw himself being a Chicago Bear, and I did, too,” Smith said recalling the get-together. “I hoped he could fill that spot.”
General Manager Jerry Angelo had tunnel vision during Saturday’s NFL Draft on tackles — and a left one at that.
He saw Williams, Pittsburgh’s Jeff Otah and Virginia guard/tackle Brendan Albert all available. Albert went next to Kansas City, and Otah went 19th to Carolina.
“We felt good about his play history,” Angelo said of Williams, who allowed two sacks over the past two seasons. “We felt we knew him as well as you can know a player.
“He’s gregarious, intelligent and passionate about football.”
Logic would dictate Williams would stand a reasonable shot to start, as John Tait is expected to be shifted to right tackle.
Williams, though, will begin where all Bear rookies do — “at the bottom,” Smith said. “We will let him tell us when he needs to move from there, and I have a feeling he will move real quickly.”
Williams doesn’t think that will take long.
“I am going to come in and definitely try to start, and I am assuming that is why they picked me in the first round,” he said. “Most teams don’t waste first-round picks on guys that don’t play.”
Adding running back Matt Forte in the second round (44th overall) addressed the team’s other objective for Day One. Angelo said offense again will be emphasized Sunday with nine remaining picks.
“We wanted players with good production, and targeted certain positions we wanted to upgrade or create more competition,” Angelo said of the first day. “Our running game was one of our weak spots.”
Angelo calls Forte “a big back, a three-down back who is able to get outside and break the initial tackle. That’s something we didn’t have, and made us easy to defend.”
Forte said he’s aware of Chicago’s “great history of running backs.”
“And hopefully I can make history just like they did.”
Added Smith: “Waking up this morning, knowing we’d be able to pick these two players, it would be a pretty good day.”
Reed Schreck is the NFL writer for the Rockford Register Star. Contact him at 815-987-1381 or email@example.com.