With the 29th pick of Pride of Detroit's 2011 NFL Mock Draft, the Chicago Bears select North Carolina defensive tackle Marvin Austin. The Profiler is serving as the Bears' general manager, and his reasoning for the pick is below.
This was a tough choice since my top two players on the board, Corey Liuget and Mike Pouncey, were already picked. I was leaning heavily toward taking Nate Solder, but I wanted a player of need that could start on day one with no doubts. Torrey Smith was also considered, but I see him more as a project.
With the release of Tommy Harris, the Bears must find a starting defensive tackle this year. Marvin Austin seems like the perfect pick to work under Rod Marinelli, and with the leadership of Brian Urlacher and Julius Peppers I am positive he can mature well as a player and a person.
Austin is a player who tends to have a first-round grade but may sneak into round two. At 6'3" and 305 lbs., he has the size to start in the NFL today and his frame can carry even more weight, so I look for him to get bigger and stronger. Strength and versatility are his strong points, and he excels at collapsing the pocket and rushing the passer while driving the interior linemen backwards. Austin has good hip movement and the speed to run down screens and counters. He is great at slipping through blocks and picking up and defending the run. He is very athletic for his size, and while he is by no means Ndamukong Suh, he is in some ways similar. Austin will be a very good upgrade at DT and should add more speed and power to the Bears' defensive line and hopefully take some pressure off Julius Peppers.
We will look to solidify our secondary and offensive line with later picks, but the Bears now have a defensive line to pressure the great QBs that now reside in the NFC North, allowing their big free agency signing from last season to create even more havoc in the backfield.
Check out the 2011 Pride of Detroit Community Mock Draft tracker for a look at all of the picks.