I think the best thing about this draft as a Bears fan was... the Lions and Packers. They helped the Bears out big time by drafting guys that for value and not need. Williams should be good, but I'm not sure they realize that they have two other WRs plus Joey Harrington as their QB. I don't think they got better. They'll score more points, but that doesn't always mean wins.
The Packers taking Rodgers doesn't help a team who is on the way down as it is. Why did they take him? They don't need a QB, and if you're thinking future, why not take someone in rounds 3-7 and groom that guy? Dumb pick.
The more I read and think about Benson, the more I think the Bears made the right call. Ronnie Brown, for as great as his 40s and other stuff was, I'm starting to worry about. Maybe he'll still be the stud that I thought he was going to be, but maybe he's a flash in the pan who isn't able to do it in the NFL. But I still think he's more Tomlinson than Enis. I'm just not as sure.
As for Bradley, he can fly and as long as he runs the right routes, I don't care how stupid he is (he had a 11 on the test they give the kids at the combine). Kiper loved him because of his addition on special teams next year. Plus he's going to be the #4 or 5 WR as it is: Muhammad, Wade, Barrian, and then Gage is in that mix. If in two years he's starting to do something, yay for the Bears.
Orton was a great pick in the 4th round. He's a bigger Drew Brees who struggled after the Wisconsin game, where prior to the Starks forced fumble, he was looking like a guy that might be winning the Heisman and going in the first round. I'm not sold on Grossman, so Orton should be cool in two years as the backup. Maybe even giving Rex a run for his money in 2006.
I think the Bears D-line is going to blow up this year. If that's the case the rest of the D should be cool with Briggs and Bri-U (I love making up nick-names) and a secondary while not great, but should get the job done for the most part. That means the O's gotta come though, if Grossman shows signs like he did this year and Muhammad can give them a guy that can catch some touchdowns and open up the passing game a bit, it all comes down to Thomas Jones and Benson. Now 1,400 yards out of Benson seems just a bit high (Jones in Detroit lead all rookies with 1,133). That said, there haven't been the number of quality
running backs like Benson, Caddy, and Brown to enter the league in some time:
2004 - Kevin and Julius Jones, S. Jackson
2003 - McGahee, L. Johnson, Musa and O. Smith, Chris Brown
2002 - Duckett, Foster, Portis, Westbrook, Green, Gordon
2001 - Tomlinson, Deuce, Barlow, Bennett, Henry, Rudi Johnson
2000 - T. Jones, J. Lewis, S. Alexander, Droughns, Dayne
As far as that list, only J. Lewis is the sort of runner that Benson is, his rookie year he went 309/1364/4.4/6tds. That would be
fantastic. Duckett is another sort of similar runner, he went 130/507/3.9/4tds, that would be a huge disappointment. Ricky Williams struggled his rookie year (and got hurt) 253/884/3.5/2tds. Ann then there is Edgerrin James, who is a big RB like Benson, he had a the best rookie year of all: 369/1553/4.2/13tds.
So what can the Bears expect from Benson? My guess is 288/1152/4.0/7tds. If that's the case, plus another 400 to 500 yards from Jones, the Bears very well may be looking at the wild card. I say nine wins for the Bears.
Other thoughts.... I like the Colts getting Anthoy Davis in the 7th round, good pick for them... the Ravens just keep reloading every year, it's amazing they don't have more playoff wins...The Raiders might have gotten the steal of the draft in Anttaj Hawthorne, he tested postive for pot a few months ago and that's why he fell so much, but if he can clean up his act, and I see no reason why he won't, the Raiders got a first round talent for sixth round money...If the Eagles didn't get three starters (two years from now) from this draft it's either because of bad luck or having the worst scouts in football...I still can't figure out how the Lions are going to be able to use those three WR and Kevin Jones. Joey Harrington should always have someone open now, but he'll find a way to blow it...Mel Kiper Jr should be just about every male's hero...I think the Browns drafted as if they wanted the #1 pick for next year, they're going to be really bad next year...Is 2005 the year the Bengals make the leep?...I know it's early but I'm penciling in the Eagles, Vikings, Falcons, Seahawks, Cowboys, and Panters for the playoffs in the NFC; in the AFC Patriots, Ravens, Colts, Chiefs, Jags, and Bengals. Super Bowl? Ravens and Vikings. Don't hold me to these picks.