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Mullin's 2011 draft capsules: Quarterback

Mullin's 2011 draft capsules: Quarterback

Monday, April 25, 2011
Posted: 10:39 p.m.

By John Mullin
CSNChicago.com
Third in a series

The marquee position in the NFL will be exactly that when the 2011 draft opens. But the Bears do not project as players on the first or even the second day.

The Bears

The Bears used their last two No. 1 picks on quarterbacks, both of them named Jay Cutler. With a contract extension in place, the Bears believe they are as set at this franchise position as the Packers (Aaron Rodgers) and Lions (Matthew Stafford) think they are.

The depth chart consists of Caleb Hanie, a restricted free agent and someone who has not had anything approaching unqualified endorsement from coordinator Mike Martz. The Bears used a late-round pick last year on Dan LeFevour, who wasnt able to play well enough in preseason to win a roster spot outright, and the Cincinnati Bengals grabbed him and pre-empted signing him to the practice squad.

Need: Not a priority in the early rounds but Todd Collins wasnt an answer and the Bears need someone in the pipeline.

The 2011 draft

More than any position in any draft, quarterback is influenced by qualitative as well as any quantitative components of prospects. Leadership is more important at the position than time in the 40-yard dash. Its why one team chooses Peyton Manning instead of Ryan Leaf or perhaps Tim Couch over Donovan McNabb.

That is where the 2011 draft becomes the equal of many for intrigue. Draft analysts project as few as two quarterbacks being selected in the first round or as many as four. Two could go in the top 10.

Its all in what you like in a quarterback. The Carolina Panthers at No.1 overall, the Buffalo Bills at No. 3, any team less than satisfied with its situation at quarterback, all need a quarterback. If you believe theres a franchise QB at No. 3, that need trumps everything else, ESPN analyst Todd McShay said of the Bills. Ryan Fitzpatrick is OK but you need a franchise quarterback.

But when they all look at the available talent, will they see Manning? Or Leaf?

Alex Smith, Jamarcus Russell and David Carr were No. 1-overalls in the past 10 years, and quarterbacks went No. 1 overall in 10 of the last 13 drafts. A miss at the top at this spot can be catastrophic.

The Best Bets:

1. Blaine Gabbert, Missouri He may be the best of class, and at nearly 6-5, 234 pounds, he possesses arm strength and physical stature. A consensus top-10 pick but a franchise-grade leader?

2. Cam Newton, Auburn As many questions as answers perhaps, with doubts ranging from character to fit in an NFL offense. A one-year star with as much upside as anyone in the draft. Carolina has done major background work.

3. Jake Locker, Washington A fall-off from the first two, according to most observers. Projected to go late in the first round, Locker is another very mobile quarterback who needs the right system and mentor.

John "Moon" Mullin is CSNChicago.com's Bears Insider, and appears regularly on Bears Postgame Live and Chicago Tribune Live. Follow Moon on Twitter for up-to-the-minute Bears information.

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Is Teddy Bridgewater too expensive for the Bears?

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USA TODAY

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Is Teddy Bridgewater too expensive for the Bears?

Laurence Holmes, JJ Stankevitz and Mark Grote join Kap on the panel.

0:00 - The pressure continues to mount on Rob Manfred as the Astros scandal lingers. He apologized on Tuesday but should that be enough for him to keep his job?

17:00 - Drew Brees is heading back to New Orleans, so Teddy Bridgewater will be looking for a new home. The guys discuss if he'll be too expensive for the Bears. if he is, who could come to Chicago to join Mitch in the QB room at Halas Hall?

Listen here or in the embedded player below.

Sports Talk Live Podcast

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TE Greg Olsen signed with Seattle Seahawks, previously hoped Bears would contact him

TE Greg Olsen signed with Seattle Seahawks, previously hoped Bears would contact him

Former Bears first-round pick TE Greg Olsen officially signed a one-year, $7 million contract with the Seattle Seahawks. Olsen previously played with the Bears and Panthers over a 13-year NFL career.

After mutually parting ways with the Panthers, the 34-year-old hoped the Bears, the team that drafted him in 2007, would reach out about signing him once he hit free agency. He told ESPN’s Waddle and Silvy that he wanted to come home to Chicago but wasn't contacated by Bears' management.

RELATED: Now that he's retired, what's next for Kyle Long?

One of the Bears biggest needs this offseason is an upgrade at TE and Olsen’s pass-catching experience along with his working knowledge of the Bears' organization makes him a seemingly ideal fit for the team. Ryan Pace disagreed and the chance for a reunion is gone for good. While his age is showing (he appeared in only 16 games in 2017 and 2018 combined), Olsen is still a stronger receiver than anyone currently on the Bears depth chart.

Interestingly enough, one of Olsen's best moments as a Bear came during Chicago's playoff win against the Seahawks in January 2011 when he scored a touchdown after catching a 58-yard pass from Jay Cutler in the first quarter.  

We will see if Pace regrets not giving Olsen a call. It would be the breakup movie of the season. Too bad the Bears would be playing the part of the groveling ex-boyfriend. Until then, Bears’ fans can imagine a scenario where Pace or head coach Matt Nagy chases after Olsen in the rain (which makes perfect sense, seeing as he’ll be in Seattle), holding a boom box over his head, begging him to return to Soldier Field. That’s the sports rom-com we all deserve in 2020. 

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