With the twenty-ninth pick in the 2011 BGN Mock Draft, Qwest selects...
Nate Solder - OT, Colorado
The Chicago Bears are in a terrible position in this draft. Despite winning the NFC North, which most had going to the Packers or the Vikings, their immediate needs read like a laundry list yet they pick at the bottom of the first round. Everyone knows that they need to shore up the offensive line, as that unit was CLEARLY the worst overall unit on the team last year. On the defensive line, the addition of Julius Peppers gave them consistent double teams, leading to Israel Idonije having a career year (tying Peppers for the team lead with 8).
However, they could clearly use an upgrade at DT since they have jettisoned the once-dominant but now oft-injured Tommie Harris. They need a left cornerback to play opposite of Charles Tillman as their proposed starter Zackary Bowman was benched during week 3 and Tim Jennings was abused in the playoff loss to Green Bay. And last but certainly not least, they could use a physical possession receiver to complement the speed at wide receiver they already have.
More after the jump...
With the 29th overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, the Chicago Bears take Nate Solder, OT from Colorado. Solder is the consensus top left tackle in this year's draft and Lovie Smith is ecstatic to see him still available at the bottom of the first round. The Chicago Bears only have two offensive tackles on their roster and even though he played well in limited time, let's face it, the name Frank Omiyale doesn't scare anyone at left tackle.
The Bears gave up 56 sacks last year and still managed to win the division. Their offense only average 20 points per game, but the blame doesn't fully fall on the skill position players. Gaps in the run game stopped run plays before they got started and horrible pass protection destroyed the timing necessary to successfully complete deep passes to speedy receivers Hester and Knox.
Compared by many to Tony Boselli, Solder, a massive (6'8 ¼", 314 lbs) former TE with good feet like our own Jason Peters, would fix all of that on the left side. He followed up a dominating Senior Bowl performance with an outstanding combine, running a 5.05 40-yard dash (tops for offensive tackles) with a 1.63 10-yard split (tops for offensive linemen). He also tied for the third-best vertical jump among offensive linemen (32 inches) and the third-best broad jump (9-2). Though he only managed a disappointing 21-reps @225lbs in the bench press, he clearly has the frame to bulk up quickly.
Cornerback is also a possibility but with the four CB's with first round grades off of the board (Patrick Peterson, Prince Amukamara, Jimmy Smith, Brandon Harris), they would most likely look to address cornerback in the second round, possibly netting Davon House or Curtis Brown. They could easily go defensive tackle with Muhammad Wilkerson, but would probably look to the later rounds in what is generally considered a deep draft at defensive tackle...possibly getting former projected top 10 talent Marvin Austin.
Next on the clock will be EaglesandRavensFan with, ironically, the New York Jets.
Previous Picks: 1 - Nick Fairley 2 - Patrick Peterson 3 - Blaine Gabbert 4 - Cam Newton 5 - Von Miller 6 - Marcell Dareus 7 - Prince Amukamara 8 - A.J. Green 9 - Da'Quan Bowers 10 - Corey Liuget 11 - Robert Quinn 12 - Julio Jones 13 - Tyron Smith 14 - Jimmy Smith 15 - Mark Ingram 16 - Cameron Jordan 17 - Ryan Kerrigan 18 -