With the 20th pick in Pride Of Detroit's 2013 NFL mock draft, the Chicago Bears select Georgia linebacker Alec Ogletree. Lions fan displaced in las vegas is serving as the Bears' general manager, and his reasoning for the pick is below.
As the GM of the Chicago Bears, I feel like there are four positions that need to be addressed this season if the Bears want to have a legitimate shot at making it to the Super Bowl. Those positions, in order, are guard, linebacker, defensive tackle and tight end, with guard being the most urgent.
The Bears' top priority is to upgrade the offensive line. In 2012, the Bears allowed 44 sacks, eighth most in the NFL. The Bears lost Lance Louis to the Dolphins and Chris Spencer to the Titans in free agency. The Bears did sign a couple of solid veterans in left tackle Jermon Bushrod from the Saints and left guard Matt Slauson from the Jets to help improve their O-line. Roberto Garza is expected to be the starting center and J'Marcus Webb is expected to be the starting right tackle. That leaves the right guard position up for grabs. Currently, the Bears have three guys in the mix: tackle Gabe Carimi, tackle James Brown and guard Edwin Williams. If the Bears could land Chance Warmack or Jonathan Cooper, that would be an instant upgrade over the three and the O-line could become one of the Bears' strengths instead of one of their weaknesses.
The Bears lost linebackers Geno Hayes to the Jaguars and Nick Roach to the Raiders in free agency. The Bears also couldn't come to an agreement with future Hall of Famer Brian Urlacher on a new contract. That leaves Lance Briggs as the only returning starter at linebacker for the Bears. They signed James Anderson from the Panthers and D.J. Williams from the Broncos as a short-term fix. It's no secret the Bears have to get younger at the position with Briggs being 32, D.J. Williams being 30 and Anderson being 29. Besides the fact that they are old, they lack depth at the position. It would be scary if one of the starters went down with an injury since all they have is special teams players as backups.
Defensive tackle is the next position of need that has to be filled if the Bears want to be successful. They currently only have three defensive tackles on their roster not including Turk McBride, who occasionally sees some action at the position but is primarily a DE. The Bears need to bring in a guy to challenge Stephen Paea for the starting DT position alongside Pro Bowler Henry Melton. Adding another starting-caliber DT will help keep guys fresh so they can rotate guys in and out more.
The fourth position that needs to be upgraded is the tight end position. The Bears signed Martellus Bennett from the Giants in free agency, and he will be their starter. I think the Bears should add another TE to their passing game who can also block well. In today's pass-happy league, you can never have enough weapons in your passing attack. Kyle Adams, who is currently the backup, isn't a real threat, and new head coach Marc Trestman knows this.
Since Chance Warmack, Jonathan Cooper and Jarvis Jones were already off the board, it was between Alec Ogletree, Arthur Brown and Tyler Eifert for me. Since I feel like linebacker is a more urgent need over TE, I eliminated Eifert out of the discussion. After doing more research on both Ogletree and Brown, I feel like Ogletree has more of an upside, so I went with him over Brown.
Ogletree has had a couple off-the-field incidents, but I believe him when he says he's putting them behind him. Ogletree is 6'3", 242 lbs., and he ran the 40-yard dash in 4.64 seconds at his pro day. His vertical jump was 33.5 inches. Ogletree is probably the best athlete at the position in this draft class. As a freshman he was a safety for the Bulldogs. As he continued to grow, they moved him to LB. He has had some injury issues, but he should be fine. In 2012, Ogletree had 111 tackles, 11.5 for a loss and 3 sacks. He returned a blocked FG for a TD against Alabama and he also had an INT last season. Alec has excellent speed for a linebacker and he can chase players down from behind to make the tackle. He has solid coverage skills covering a running back out of the backfield or a tight end. He is known for being a big hitter when he wants to be, and he's a sure tackler. He will be good at blitzing the QB with his speed, and he is a three-down linebacker. Expect Ogletree to possibly win the starting SLB position from James Anderson during training camp.
Check out the 2013 Pride Of Detroit Community Mock Draft tracker for a look at all of the picks.