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With the 29th Pick in the 2011 Dawgs By Nature Mock Draft, the Chicago Bears Select...

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With the 29th pick in the 2011 Dawgs By Nature Community Mock Draft, the Chicago Bears select...

Benjamin Ijalana, OT, Villanova

This selection and write-up was made by jharbdo:

When I first signed up for this mock draft, I believed it was going to be a walk in the park. I figured the major glaring need of the Chicago Bears was obvious. In my 4 years of living in Chicago and following the Bears, the need for a wide receiver has been looming and they seem in no rush to solve this problem. When the Bears brought in Jay Cutler everyone wondered, "Who is he going to throw it to?" Everyone assumed they would bring in a tall, strong receiver who could stretch the field and catch everything in sight much like Brandon Marshall did for Cutler in Denver. Free agency and last year’s draft came and went and no sight of a dominating WR emerged. Mike Martz was brought in and again the question mark that loomed was the wide receivers. Did Matt Forte, Johnny Knox, Devin Hester, Danny Aromashodu, and Earl Bennett really compare to "The Greatest Show on Turf" with Marshall Faulk, Tory Holt, Isaac Bruce, Az-Zahir Hakim, and Ricky Proehl? I think we can all agree there really is no comparison. However, by the time I got done doing my research and speaking with my friends in Chicago, my feelings were much different.

When you look at the roster, this team got much farther in the playoffs than it should have. The Bears had almost a complete turnover of the offensive line in the offseason, a completely different offensive scheme with Mike Martz, their wide receivers are average at best, and their defense is aging with a significant lack in depth. Taking names and records away, you would think they weren’t much different from the Cleveland Browns, but as we all know, they are different and their needs are a little less severe. Since the Bears only have 1 pick in the first sixty selections of the draft, I decided the best strategy for this selection would be Best Player Available between WR and OL. The Bears also have a need on the defensive side of the ball, particularly the secondary and defensive line, but I think if Tillman stays healthy, the concerns are more depth related and may be able to be addressed in the later rounds.

Interestingly enough, pretty much all "First Round Talent" for WR and OL have been taken already so I am in the "Best of the Rest" category now. My pick came down to Danny Watkins (OG), Stefan Wisniewski (C), Benny Ijalana (OT), Jon Baldwin (WR), and Leonard Hankerson (WR). I believe the second tier of WR after Julio Jones and AJ Green runs pretty deep so I think the Bears can still grab a big and fast receiver later on (e.g. Torrey Smith, Terrance Tolliver, Austin Pettis, etc.) . The Bears need someone to come in and start right off the bat, or sit for a year, learn Martz’s complex system and contribute very strongly next year. The Bears already have 6 Guards on the roster, only one true Center (Olin Kreutz), and 3 Tackles (2 of which were Rookies last year). Kreutz is man-child and in his 13th season (6 Pro Bowl selections) and really has shown no sign of wearing down; however, he can’t outlast the beating he takes in the trenches forever. Last year, the offensive line started to mesh towards the end of the season and sacks started to decline, but Cutler still had limited time. As we all have seen, less time for Cutler is a very bad thing. That is why with the 29th selection of the 2011 NFL Draft the Chicago Bears select Benjamin Ijalana OT from Villanova.

I believe Ijalana can come in and immediately produce for Chicago. Even if he sits for some of the year to learn Martz’s system, I think he will end up starting by the end of the year. He has shown constant improvement throughout his career and the quickness and strength to succeed at the next level. National Football Post has him ranked as 4th best tackle. As a side note, I don’t completely agree, but National Football Post ranks Ijalana ahead of Castonzo and Solder. He lacks the overwhelming size of some tackles in the league standing at 6’4" 320lbs, but I believe he possesses the speed, strength, and bulk that is need to succeed at the position. Ultimately, I believe a higher ranked OT falls to this spot and Ijalana goes in the 2nd round, but with the way this draft is going, I don’t think Chicago can afford to pass him up.

Anything that addresses the offensive line for the Bears is considered a "win." This is really the only route they can go to give Cutler some more time, as I don't think they can improve their line enough through free agency.

The New York Jets are on the clock next (email will be sent to Roger Dorn).

Pos Team Player Pos School Drafter
1 Carolina Cameron Netwon
QB Auburn BrownDawg1409
2 Denver Marcell Dareus DT Alabama Bernie19Kosar
3 Buffalo Da'Quan Bowers DE Clemson discoinferno083
4 Cincinnati A.J. Green WR Georgia macdowellm03
5 Arizona Patrick Peterson CB LSU Browns town
6 Cleveland Cameron Jordan DE California golanbatrac
7 San Francisco Prince Amukamara CB Nebraska rufio
8 Tennessee Von Miller OLB Texas A&M iwearmocs
9 Dallas Nick Fairley DT Auburn Granville74
10 Washington Robert Quinn DE North Carolina Rounds94
11 Houston Aldon Smith DE Missouri rdy
12 Minnesota Blaine Gabbert QB Missouri Simmsinns
13 Detroit Tyron Smith OT USC BuenosAires_Dawg
Bernie19Kosar
14 St. Louis Julio Jones WR Alabama Don'tByBrownsQBJerseys
15 Miami Mike Pouncey OG Univ. of Florida jaws
16 Jacksonville Ryan Kerrigan DE Purdue sleepy042
17 New England J.J. Watt DE Wisconsin Onyx Lightning
18 San Diego Akeem Ayers OLB UCLA Adrock2099
19 N.Y. Giants Kyle Rudolph TE Notre Dame Red-Right-88
20 Tampa Bay Justin Houston OLB Georgia Legoman0721
21 Kansas City Anthony Castonzo OT Boston College Mehouf
OrangeAndBrownFever
22 Indianapolis Nate Solder OT Colorado PaduaDSP
23 Philadelphia Gabe Carimi OT Wisconsin booobs33
24 New Orleans Muhammed Wilkerson DT Temple Buckeye Brad
25 Seattle Jimmy Smith CB Colorado bross09
26 Baltimore Derek Sherrod OT Mississippi State Ecwingen
27 Atlanta Brooks Reed OLB Arizona Clinton Blankenship
28 New England Mark Ingram RB Alabama Onyx Lightning
29 Chicago Benjamin Ijalana OT Villanova jharbdo
30 N.Y. Jets Roger Dorn
31 Pittsburgh
SpecialBrownie
32 Green Bay ScottJC