Another NFL Draft has come and gone. Most Bears were drafted later than we (and most mock drafts) predicted, but we managed to send four players. Let's take a look at how the Bears fit in with their new teams.
This was one of the biggest surprises of the draft, as Keenan was expected to be a late first round/early second round pick. No one predicted San Diego would pick him, but the Chargers thought he was much too valuable to pass up in the third round.
Allen says his drop into the third round is extra motivation to prove wrong all the teams that passed on him. He speaks to the media after being drafted.
"I'm not sure what happened. I was in the dark, like you guys," Allen said on Friday after being drafted 76th overall by the San Diego Chargers. "I wasn't that worried about when my name was going to be called, but I was just being calm and keeping my head up just waiting for my name to be called."
Players snubbed in the draft, like Tom Brady, love to play with a chip on their shoulder and that sounds exactly like what Allen's going to do, "Being a third-round pick is definitely motivation for me," Allen said. "I want to get out there and show everybody I can play. It pretty much comes down to producing on the field and showing everyone what you can do on the field."
Allen, who holds the career receptions record at Cal, sees himself making an impact right away in San Diego, "I see myself doing well, definitely being a starter," Allen said. "I want to make it a goal to be a Pro Bowl player."
Allen is looking forward to living in San Diego. Hopefully things go better than the last time he played in San Diego...
Dropping to the third round may have disappointed Allen, but he certainly doesn't find his new locale disappointing, "If anyone was going to pick me in California, I was definitely hoping for San Diego just because of the atmosphere and the place that it is with great weather," Allen said. "The San Diego Chargers are definitely a great program, too."
Keenan isn't the only one happy that he ended up in San Diego. ESPN ranks Chargers #1 among its winners in the draft.
Call the Chargers 2013 draft class serviceable -- and their best class in years... Allen could put this class over the top. He's a big receiver, although he doesn't have Vincent Jackson's deep speed. For a third-round choice, though, the Chargers couldn't go wrong.
Mel Kiper agrees and gives San Diego a B+ overall (B for fit, A for value). Kiper expects Allen to make an immediate impact and says Steve Williams will be a solid backup.
If you follow me on twitter (@jkvandal), then you already know I am a huge fan of this pick. This is a player that was ranked as the #2 WR on MANY draft boards. Again, he's a player that may not have some of the elite movement skills like some of the other prospects, but we also don't know for sure that he doesn't since he could not participate in the combine. When you watch his film though (do it, you will get excited), he runs great routes, wins jump balls, can block in the running game, and is great with the ball in his hands after the catch.
That has to be the best value in the entire draft.
Consistently praised as a real physical player, Brian Schwenke was next to fly off the board. He joined Tennessee in the fourth round.
Early in the day on Saturday -- the third day of the 2013 NFL Draft, ESPN analyst Todd McShay said that former California center Brian Schwenke was the "nastiest, toughest," offensive linemen he’d seen this season.
"I think he’s absolutely correct," Schwenke said with a laugh, after being the second former Bear taken in the Draft, going with the10th pick of the fourth round (107th overall) to the Tennessee Titans. "That’s something that I take pride in, in the way I play. I enjoy playing nasty, and I think it makes the game of football fun, and that’s how it’s supposed to be played."
Schwenke has an opportunity to make an immediate impact, as he will compete for the starting center position.
I was talking with them out there, and they definitely need a center next year, and they said that when they hand the playbook to me, there’s a lot of offense to learn, but I’m looking forward to the challenge," Schwenke said. "They compete at center, and they told me that I have a chance to compete and win that starting job ... I’ll be surrounded by two of the best guards in the nation in Andy Levitre and Chance Warmack ... I could possibly be the starting center. It’s there for me to earn."
He also did some great recruiting for the Bears by explaining how well Cal prepared him to be in the position he is today. Sonny Dykes needs to pass this quote along to every recruit in the nation.
My time at Cal, I’ve grown up a lot since I started going to Cal. I feel like I’ve changed, completely, as a person," Schwenke said. "I was pretty young, and I wasn’t always the most organized when I got there, being an athlete, having to do schoolwork and football at the same time. But now, I’m never late to anything. Cal taught me everything I know, and made me who I am today, and I couldn’t be more blessed to have gone there and gotten my degree there in three and a half years ... It could have gone better at the end, but I enjoyed every minute of it. I wouldn’t change it."
I sure hope that the addition of Gregg Williams is all this defense needs to make a major improvement from last season because the Titans don't appear to see the need to draft defensive players in this draft. They just made their fourth round pick- Brian Schwenke, C, California. Schwenke is a highly rated player by most of the draft experts, but I have to question the addition after how well Fernando Velasco played last season.
However, Titans fans are delighted with the pick. 93% of Music City Miracles' readers approve of the pick.
Steve Williams' 4.25 heard 'round the world certainly caught the attention of the San Diego Chargers, who drafted him in the fifth round.\ Williams will bring some much-needed speed to the Bolts' secondary.
In an interview, Chargers GM Tom Tolesco praised Steve as a solid cover corner with elite speed. He specifically mentions Steve's 4.25 (unofficial) 40 yard dash at the combine. Tolesco expects Williams to be in the mix outside or as a nickel back.
Chargers.com: So first off, how does it feel to be a San Diego Charger?
Williams: Oh it feels great. They called me right before they were about to pick and told me they were going to pick me, and I was too excited. I was outside playing catch with a friend and got the call. I ran inside the house and told my mom and sister right away.
Chargers.com: How much contact did you have with the Chargers during this whole process?
Williams: I had talked to them briefly before the draft just one time.
Steve was a couple years too late to match up against Desean Jackson during practice at Cal and he looks forward to matching up against him in the NFL. He's also excited to join teammate Keenan Allen in San Diego.
Chargers.com: Is there any wide receiver you are looking forward to covering in the NFL?
Williams: I’d say Desean Jackson. I’d like to cover him. He’s super-fast and people say I’m super-fast. I want to see my speed go against his speed.
Chargers.com: You’re kind of lucky that one of your Cal teammates is coming to San Diego too in
Keenan Allen. What is your relationship like?
Williams: It’s a great feeling that he’s going to be here. He’s a great receiver and I like facing him in practice. We make each other better.
Wlliams vs Jackson--I want to see that.
Anthony was a late 7th round pick to the Baltimore Ravens. The Ravens have plenty of corners, so Anthony will likely spend his first year on special teams or the practice squad.
Anthony was looked at being as high as a third round pick, but remained available until the end of the draft. He has decent size but his speed is lacking so he needs to resort to being a physical cover corner. He will be used mostly on special teams as the Ravens are stocked with cornerbacks, especially if Lardarius Webb makes an expected full recovery to be ready for the 2013 season. Mel Kiper's analysis: "Rare to see a fifth year senior cornerback with this much ability."
The Ravens have no backup free safety penciled in behind Michael Huff, so Anthony will come in and compete with Omar Brown, Emanuel Cook and Christian Thompson. However, all of those players have been in the Ravens' organization for over a year, so Anthony may have a disadvantage there. He could also compete to play as the nickle or dime back, where he won't be responsible for deep coverage as much as an outside corner would be.
Anthony was only a few spots from being Mr. Irrelevant. I would have been shocked if he went undrafted.
C.J. Anderson signed with the Denver Broncos. While he is the only RB to sign with the Broncos, he may have to compete with Montee Ball, Denver's second-round pick, for a roster spot. Despite the looming challenge, Anderson is ready to get to work.
"I'm just glad I have an opportunity to play, and I always have to grind the hard way," Anderson said. "I will make it."
Other than fellow free agent signee Izaan Cross from Georgia Tech, Aaron Tipoti is the only defensive lineman to join the Buffalo Bills this weekend via the draft or free agency.
It sounds like Matt Summers-Gavin will join the Arizona Cardinals. He and fellow tackle Joe Caprioglio of Colorado State join the Cardinals' offensive line via free agency. Those are the only two tackles picked up by Arizona. If MSG is to play guard, he will face stiff competition from first-round pick Jonathan Cooper and fourth-round pick Earl Watford.
Finally, St. Louis signed Eric Stevens. He joins seventh-round running back Zachary Stacy as the only offensive backs drafted by the Rams.
Update (4.29): Josh Hill reports that he will join MSG and the Cardinals. [HT TheScientist019]
While Arizona did not draft any defensive backs, they picked up safeties Javon Harris and Tony Jefferson. Both Oklahoma safeties will likely compete with Hill for a slot on the team.
Four draft picks, five free agents. Despite winning only three games last season, we managed to send nine players to the NFL. One of these days we should send another QB to the NFL...
No matter, these young men proudly represented their university and we're looking forward to seeing what they can do in the NFL!