Thursday, May 5, 2011
The 2011 Draft Was Almost a Thing
For a minute there, they almost had me. For once, the Bears actually stayed in the first two rounds, and used those picks to draft to their actual biggest needs, and for the most part, they did it without the usual ignoring of glaring red flags or attempts at proving nonexistent genius that they're known for. And in the end, they came away from the whole thing without the usual suspects. There was no hopeless project defensive end, no one from a school with a direction in the name, and no pick who came with the justification of "well, he was going to be a first round pick before his terrible and debilitating injury." They almost had a perfect game going for a couple rounds there, and when the Bears went with relatively safe picks of Gabe Carimi and Stephen Paea after years of seeing a lot of Chris Williamses, Dan Bazuins, and Tank Johnsons taken early, good lord, I can't say I was anything but pumped. And then? Fuckin' Chris Conte.
All of a sudden, it was as though after waiting two rounds to assert himself, Jerry Angelo rose from his seat, declared who all that would hear his voice that he was indeed Jerry By God Angelo, swept Lovie Smith, Tim Ruskell, and Rod Marinelli from the room with one wave of his mighty hand, and then used that hand to reeeeeeach. He reached with all his might, over mountain and sea, until he had plucked Conte out of undrafted free agent land and plopped him down in the third round where he didn't belong. The Bears had a pretty bad need for a real wide receiver and even with Carimi, still could have used another offensive lineman or three, and it sure would have been nice to pick up a cornerback who was tall enough to get on carnival rides, but instead, they went for this guy. This fuckin' guy.
Safety was an actual strength on this team for once last year, after Danieal Manning finally learned how to play football and the team finally corrected the error of the Doom of 2007 by bringing secret defensive MVP Chris Harris back to Chicago. So why why go for a safety early? I mean, yeah, Manning wants a ton of money, and the McCaskeys don't want to spend a ton of money, so you've got a potential hole there, but oh yeah - They already drafted Major Wright to replace Manning a year ago when Manning still sucked. So the implications of this pick are nothing but negative. It means that Manning is definitely gone, and it means that they're not very high on Wright any more, so even if Conte pans out, they wasted a pick a year ago. And the sad part of all this is that Danieal Manning was a project that they reached for in 2006 based on athletic ability, and after he was mostly useless for years, the light finally comes on, and then, he's gone almost immediately after. So when one of Angelo's project players finally makes something of himself, not only is some other team going to reap all the benefits, but his replacement is another goddamn project.
What you've got is a guy who only saw significant time for one season of college ball, who sure can jump, , but to date hasn't shown much in the way of actual footballery. He was too small to play linebacker and too slow to play corner, but apparently, he's just right to be a safety for the Chicago Bears. He could take years to groom into a real player - if that ever happens - and he'll probably be gone after his rookie contract runs out, regardless. So after the fantastic highs of Carimi and Paea, the Bears just had to harsh my draft buzz by taking Craig Steltz Junior. We used a valuable-ass third round pick on what's most likely going to just be a special teams contributor, and goddammit, you don't win games that way.
BONUS FEATURE: Top 10 2011 NFL rookies that I wish the Bears had drafted, based on name alone:
1. Prince Amukamara - CB, Nebraska - He has risen from the dead to wreak a terrifying revenge upon those who dared to defile his crypt. Can Brendan Fraser find the secret to defeating his demon army before the world falls under his deadly command? Find out in theaters this summer.
2. Ras-I Dowling - CB, Virginia - Man, with a name like that, I can only imagine that hanging out with this dude would be a lot like hanging out with Little Jacob from Grand Theft Auto IV, just riding around, listening to Shabba Ranks and trying to not get killed by the Russians. If the Patriots can get their friendship with him above 60%, they'll totally be able to buy guns from him, too.
3. Buster Skrine - CB, Chatanooga - I remember back in school-type days, there would always be little jokes going around with made-up names that worked out to mean something dirty, like Betty Fucter or Buster Hymen. I don't know what a "skrine" is, and I don't think I wanna know, but this dude busted it, whatever it is.
4. Da-Rel Scott - RB, Maryland -
5. Anthony Costanzo - OG, Boston College - HEYYYYY, FUHGEDDABOUTIT! THAT'S A SPICY MEAT-A-BALL!
6. Jah Reid - OT, Central Florida - I bet this dude has a whole bunch of funny stories to tell about things that Ras-I Dowling has done when he was high. Someone needs to get those two guys together with some hydro and a DVDR of some ESPN2 coverage of the World Jump Rope Championships. It would probably blow their minds.
7. Sam Acho - DE, Texas - Like, he would say his name, and then I would go "bless you!" and laugh like I had really thought of something awesome and clever. And then, he'd beat the shit out of me.
8. Baron Batch - RB, Texas Tech - Children are cruel, so I know this dude probably had to grow up being called "Baron Bitch" all the goddamn time. What this means today is that he'll probably tear the face off of anyone who even looks at him funny, which is a good trait to have as a football player, but will get you thrown in prison otherwise. Pretty good trait to have in prison, though, come to think of it.
9. Karl Klug - DE, Iowa - That totally sounds like the name you'd see listed as the real name of some random throwaway Marvel Comics villain. Like I bet this dude once tried to kill Spider Man with a rocket-powered jackal costume or something. And Spider Man probably dispatched him pretty easily and used some clever smartass remark in the process, like the kind that this one dude Jacob that I used to work with would try and say all the time, but no one ever laughed, because they weren't funny, so he'd try and get the laugh ball rolling by laughing at them himself. Fuck Spider Man. I hope Rocket Jackal kills that motherfucker.
10. Tyrod Taylor - QB, Virginia Tech - Tyrod, not to be confused with his less successful siblings Manifold, Distributor Cap, and C.V. Joint.