Originally posted: January 30, 2009
Kiper prediction a good fit for Bears, NIU's English not
By Vaughn McClure
Mel Kiper's latest mock draft has the Bears selecting Tyson Jackson (6-4, 295),the LSU defensive end, with the No. 18 overall selection. NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock would call that a good choice.
"The highest-rated, pure defensive end in the draft will probably be Tyson Jackson," Mayock said. "He's a first-round type of guy. I think he's going to go somewhere between 10 and 20."
Defensive end is one of the Bears' priorities. The Bears are coming off a 28-sack season, a rather low number considering NFL sack leader DeMarcus Ware had 20 by his lonesome. The Bears were 29th in the league in sacks per pass play.
True, former Detroit Lions coach Rod Marinelli was hired to help inspire the defensive line, but there's no guarantee Adewale Ogunleye will respond with a great season—although he will be in a contract year. Where one-year wonder Mark Anderson fits into the team's plan remains unknown.
Many are intrigued by local product Larry English (6-2, 254) from Northern Illinois, whose stock continues to rise. But the pass-rush specialist is not the right type of player for the Bears.
"He doesn't really fit what the Bears are," Mayock said. "The Bears are a 4-3. Larry English is going to be a 3-4 rush linebacker."
Those types of players appear to be the new fad.
"When you talk about a 4-3 front, this is not a great year," Mayock continued. "When I listed my top 5 defensive ends, four of them are going to become rush linebackers.
"The disappointment for me was that Michael Johnson from Georgia Tech elected not to play in the Senior Bowl. He probably has as much talent as any kid in the country, but there's a lot of bad tape on him from his senior year. I wouldn't be surprised if someone falls in love with him. The kid's going to blow the combine up. At 6-foot-7, 265, he looks beautiful. He runs beautiful. I just don't like him on tape. And there are some guys out there that are not first-round picks but are good football players."
Mayock singled out Tennessee's Robert Ayers (6-3, 270) as one of those guys.
"He had a great week at the Senior Bowl," Mayock said. "He's a little light for defensive end, but he's a second, third-round player that is explosive off the edge. Very tough.
"Paul Kruger (6-5, 265), the junior from Utah, he's worth watching. And two more names that would fit what the Bears would do are Will Davis (6-2, 262) from Illinois and Michael Bennett (6-4, 271) from Texas A&M."