Two players top the list that the Chicago Bears want to make happy. Jay Cutler leads the offense and Julius Peppers fuels the defense. Two players in the NFL draft have caught the eyes of experts that may fall to their pick.
Michael Floyd and David DeCastro both within range of Bears at 19th pick
No two places on a football offense impact a quarterback more than wide receiver and offensive line. That is why Chicago fans have had their ears perked for possible steals in the latest mock drafts. The biggest name to reach the 19th slot where the Bears will pick in the first round is Notre Dame wide receiver Michael Floyd. Late grades put him as the second best receiver in the draft behind Oklahoma State receiver Justin Blackmon. Floyd has expressed interest in playing for the Bears but his draft stock has seen an upswing over the past weeks, leading many to think he'll never fall out of the top 15. If true, another big name that has caused some argument is Stanford guard David DeCastro. Hailed as the best guard in the nation coming out of college, DeCastro presents a big problem for Chicago. Should he fall to them at 19, as many experts predict, the Bears would feel hard pressed not to pick him. It would give Jay Cutler two first round talents for protection with DeCastro joining right tackle Gabe Carimi. The problem is guards normally don't get picked in the first round. Either way, some think the Bears aren't going towards offense anyway.
Bears coaches have major interest in Whitney Mercilus and Chandler Jones
Any team that has Julius Peppers has a pass rush. However, Chicago coaches know they need another rusher to make the Pro Bowl end unstoppable. To that end several NFL draft experts think defensive end is the spot where the Bears will target with the 19th pick. Two names that drew quiet interest are Illinois breakout star Whitney Mercilus and Syracuse workhorse Chandler Jones. Mercilus went through his first two years without much attention before he ripped the NCAA up for 16 sacks and 9 forced fumbles. Jones overcame an injury early last season to win All-Big East honors. His draft stock has raised a lot since March. Many think his natural talent makes him a first round possibility. Either way the Bears know they can't rely on older stars like Peppers forever. A younger talent on the other side could extend his effectiveness by two or three more seasons.
Picking late in the NFL draft is a challenge. There are fewer guarantees. Jay Cutler would love more help on offense, but will Michael Floyd or David DeCastro be available? Julius Peppers needs help too but can fans expect Whitney Mercilus or Chandler Jones to produce right away? Those decisions rest with the Chicago Bears and no one will argue they are tough.