The Bears had a successful 2011 NFL Draft. They came away with two very good players in the first and second rounds. They finished off the draft with high energy players, who flashed a lot of potential in college. Some analysts like what Jerry Angelo and Co. did in this year’s draft, others didn’t.
Here’s how they graded:
Carimi is a big run blocker, who played left tackle in college, but is better suited for the right side. He will likely get the shot to start from day one. He isn’t the best with his footwork, but with some practice he will improve. The best thing about him is that he can play almost every position on the line, both guard positions and tackle positions. The Bears were lucky he fell all the way to them at No.29, they need him to play big next year.
Paea is a versatile defensive tackle, who can play the three-technique and nose tackle. A raw football player, playing Rugby before coming to Oregon State. He is a solid run stopper, who doesn’t give up on one-on-one battles. He doesn’t have the elite speed that the best defensive tackles have, but he uses his strength and agility to his advantage. He will get a chance to contribute right away behind Anthony Adams and Henry Melton this season.
Conte has a lot of potential at the free safety position. He showed why he will be capable to translate his game to the NFL last year with Cal. He is a solid tackler, who will be good in run support and has a solid range in the passing game. He will need some time to get used to the Bears system, but we’ve seen in the past where the Bears used rookie safeties early on in the season (Chris Harris, Al Afalava, Kevin Payne, Major Wright). The Bears likely drafted Conte, to give them insurance if Danieal Manning decides to leave in free agency. Look for him to play more special teams than safety this season.
Enderle is a big quarterback, who flashed a lot of potential at the University of Idaho, but could be a project coming into the NFL. He doesn’t have an elite arm and sometimes makes a stupid mistake. The Bears will use Enderle as the third quarterback, behind Caleb Hanie and Jay Cutler this season. Mike Martz will be happy to teach this quarterback his system considering he brought up unknowns like Kurt Warner and Marc Bulger with the Rams. The Bears could have used this pick to bolster their linebackers or even their wide receivers, but it looks like they will fill those needs in free agency.
Thomas is a high-energy player, who is a leader in the locker room. He is a little undersized to be anything other than a weakside linebacker in the NFL. He will likely contribute on special teams this season, but he will have to fight hard to make the team considering the Bears want to bring back more than a couple of their own free agent linebackers.
Overall Grade: B
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