Did you ever have that situation where you tried something the first time and you thought it was great, but the next time you tried it just wasn't that good?
For instance, you go to get some pizza from around the corner and afterwards you swear to your friends that you never had better pizza, but when you all go back there the pepperoni pizza actually tastes like your college roommate's old sweaty sock? And trust me, my college roommate didn't do his laundry often, so his sweaty sock was pretty darn nasty. At one point, I think I had to fight his old sweaty sock for a beer since it kept drinking everything in our fridge. And it really fought dirty. No pun intended of course. Aw, who am I kidding, that pun was totally intended. But I digress…
Just like some food tastes good the first time and taste terrible when you go back, the same thing is true for evaluating football players. Sometimes you get caught up in the hype, sometimes you get blinded by the numbers, and sometimes you're just darn wrong. Well, not me, but some people can be wrong. Now that the draft is around the corner, it's time to reassess who the Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers will be taking in the first round.
The Chicago Bears
The Bears have been quite active during free agency filling lots of needs with mostly secondary players. They picked up two quality linebackers (D.J. Williams and James Anderson -- see my breakdown here LINK - http://www.footballextrapoints.com/2013/03/vegas-baby-vegas-bears-compensating-for.html). They picked up a serviceable left tackle in Jermon Bushrod and a similarly serviceable tight end in Martellus Bennett. In my opinion, this doesn’t completely fill all the needs the Bears had before free agency [LINK - http://www.footballextrapoints.com/2013/03/are-we-there-yet-da-bears-and-da-draft.html], but it certainly gives them more flexibility in the draft. So who will the Chicago Bears pick in the 1st Round - (20th Overall Pick)? Here are my top three choices:
1) Manti Te’o, ILB, Notre Dame
Manti Te’o is a tough player. He’s put up with a lot on and off the field, including the entire invisible girlfriend thing. I admit to a little homerism in that I’m a Notre Dame fan, but Te’o has demonstrated that he has leadership skills and potential to be one of the better linebackers in the NFL. I’ve watched him play a lot, and although he’s not quick to get in front of passes, he does have knack for being able to quickly adjust to intercept tip drills. And he’s generally good to the gap. The Bears could do a lot worse. Williams and Anderson are short term solutions, they need some long term development and Te’o can be it.
2) Alec Ogletree, ILB, Georgia
I like Alec Ogletree a lot. He’s an amazing run defender. And you can probably tell that I believe the Bears should get some long term solution at linebacker before anything else. The reason I put him behind Te’o are his off the field issues. He was arrested this last February and charged for DUI in Arizona. In 2012, he suspended first four games for violating unspecified team rules. And in 2010, he was suspended a game following a misdemeanor arrest for theft-by-taking. But if those issues can be eliminated, there’s no doubt he can be a great linebacker in the NFL.
3) Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Tennessee
He’s not the best wide receiver out there, but I think he has the right size, height and speed to fit as a number three in a West Coast offense. He was a monster in college and with a little coaching and leadership, he could be a great long term addition to Marshall and Jeffery.
The Green Bay Packers
Unlike the Bears, the Packers have done, as per usual, absolutely nothing during free agency. So the same needs apply. I stand by my original assessments in terms of priorities (LINK - http://www.footballextrapoints.com/2013/03/riggs-does-care-about-murtaugh-what.html), but there could be a surprise in the midst. Who will the Green Bay Packers pick in the 1st Round - (26th Overall Pick)? Here are my top three choices:
1) Eddie Lacy, RB, Alabama
As I said before, Eddie Lacy is amazing. I watched in horror as he ran all over Notre Dame at the BCS Championship Game in Miami. I also watched him do the same all year long. He was particularly crazy against Georgia in the SEC Championship game. In short, I still believe the Packers need a long term solution at running back, and has needed one for several years. I think this would be an ideal fit.
2) Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Tennessee
Everything I said about Patterson above applies here as well. I know every Packer fan has learned to take their amazing aerial corps for granted, but I for one know what it’s like when the well dries up. Patterson would be a good fit and may someday be a great primary target for Aaron Rodgers.
3) Matt Elam, S, Florida
Alright, I admit it. I didn’t really consider safety as important for the Packers as I did defensive end and defensive tackle. But Matt Elam can be very good for a sorely abused secondary. He’s not the best in coverage, but he certainly knows how to go up and break up passes and rarely finds himself out of position. He’s also terrific in containing the box against the big run.
Disagree with me? Let me hear it! Just don’t throw your old sweaty socks at me. I’ve had enough of that. And at the end of the day, it’s not worth it. It can have my beer.
By Ha Kung Wong (Twitter: @Rhihan)