In a pre-draft edition of “Take Two,” Chicago Football writers Kevin Fishbain and Arthur Arkush talk about the unit many are forgetting with the draft on Thursday — the offense. Who could the Bears take on offense? How early is too early to address that side of the ball?
Fishbain: Phil Emery continues to make it clear that the Bears will lean defense in the draft, but he also has reiterated that this draft is deep on offense, which should help a Bears team with depth issues at running back, tight end and wideout. How early, though, should the Bears think offense? I don't think it's that crazy to make an argument for tight end Eric Ebron at 14, if the Bears think he can be verstaile enough to be that third wideout, and some mocks have Carlos Hyde to the Bears in the second. Should the 14th and 51st picks be solely dedicated to defense, or are there exceptions?
Arkush: Dedicating picks to one position – especially early ones teams must hit on – is crazy. Ebron at 14 and/or Hyde at 51 would make the Bears better, period. Guess what else would help them improve immediately? Spending 14 on Taylor Lewan or Zack Martin. The idea that Jordan Mills is entrenched is insane – Aaron Kromer would be the first to admit. You know what didn’t come up at Emery’s presser? Brandon Marshall’s contract. Sustaining their newfound WR success isn’t guaranteed for the Bears; it’s another position they would be silly to ignore, especially in one of the best receiver drafts I can recall. What if Allen Robinson somehow fell to 51?
Fishbain: What's great about this exercise — and Bears, fans, take note — is we're doing a good job convincing ourselves why it would make sense for the Bears and Emery to go offense with an early pick. Sure, Allen Robinson or another second-round wideout could jump into the lead to be the Bears' No. 3 receiver if drafted at 51, but here's the other side of this whole argument: At 14 and 51, wouldn't you prefer a player that can be an immediate contributor? How many carries would Hyde get as the second back vs. how much playing time a safety or defensive tackle could earn if selected in the second? If the Bears stick to the defense-script, like many expect, that means they'll address the offense in the middle-to-late rounds, who are some players they should consider?
Arkush: Despite his study, which reveals that mid-to-late round QB prospects rarely pan out, Emery will surprise me if he doesn’t finally select a quarterback on the second or third day of his third draft. I’ve mentioned David Fales, but just because Trestman has shown the ability to maximize an average QB skill set, why not aim higher? Miami’s Stephen Morris has the kind of untapped potential I’d love to see Trestman get his hands on for the right price – let’s say Chicago’s second sixth-rounder, No. 191 overall. Like quarterback, tailback is a position Emery has yet to spend a pick on. I’m intrigued by the power of Terrance West, a man among boys at the FCS level who could help solve the offense’s one glaring weakness – the lack of a short-yardage hammer. Is Towson too far out of Emery’s major college program comfort zone – and is Round Four a good spot for West or another backup RB challenger?
Fishbain: As much as we'd love to see Trestman work with a rookie quarterback, I'll actually take Emery at his word from Thursday (gasp!) that they won't take a quarterback, especially with depth needs at the skill positions. I like what I've read about West, and the Bears would love a back who could churn out the clock late. Emery has also shown he's not afraid to pluck players from non-BCS schools. I'm very curious to see how early the Bears use a pick — if they do — at running back, a position so many teams are devaluing. The additions at wideout this offseason are far from glamorous, but make me think it lessens the need at the position. I know, Arthur, you've picked out some potential slot receivers with return abilities that the Bears could target. I wonder if and when they use a pick on a tight end. Crockett Gillmore out of Colorado State is a guy I liked at the Senior Bowl, and they could really use a legitimate No. 2 tight end, unless Dante Rosario, Matthew Mulligan or Fendi Onobun is that player. Alright, Arthur, to wrap this, give the readers some other prospects to consider on the offensive side of the ball.
Arkush: Emery said he was giving us information with truth behind it, but I'll let you take that leap of faith. A second, solid pass-catching TE option would certainly look nice alongside Martellus, and none of the three aforementioned Bears really fit the bill. Crockett Gillmore is interesting - not just his name, but his effort as a blocker and power forward size and leaping ability. Gillmore isn't a refined receiver, but I think his hands offer more value than former Bears TE John Gilmore, so that's a plus. I'm intrigued by athletic guys who can play the "move" tight end role, one that lines up all over the formation. Cincinnati's Blake Annen would bring threatening 4.4 speed to an offense that doesn't have a true game breaker. He's raw, but not Fendi Onobun raw, and just might be attainable if the Bears can gain a seventh-rounder. Sticking with the speed dimension, Nebraska WR Quincy Enunwa and Arizona State RB Marion Grice are potential late-round fliers who fit Emery's preference for moldable athletes.
Fishbain: Well, we can agree on this — Emery will do something during draft weekend to surprise us, and that could be in the form of when he takes an offensive player, or who the new addition to Trestman’s offense is.