The first of seven rounds in the 2011 NFL Draft is in the books, with action resuming tomorrow night at 6 pm eastern time from Radio City Music Hall in New York City. Heading into this year’s draft, fans and pundits alike believed that the Chicago Bears’ top priority was upgrading the offensive line, particularly at the tackle positions. Well, the Bears did just that on Thursday night by selecting Gabe Carimi with the No. 29 pick.
Carimi, a Wisconsin graduate, was projected to go as high as the early teens, and no later really than the mid 20s throughout the mock draft season. So when his name was still on the board when Chicago was on the clock late in round one, Jerry Angelo and Lovie Smith must have been enormously pleased and quick to pull the trigger on announcing their selection of Carimi. Bears fans were equally ecstatic, going so far as to say that they felt Chicago got the very best ‘steal’ of the first round.
With the team’s biggest need (partially) taken care of after round one, it will be interesting to see which direction the Bears go next in round two. There’s plenty of outstanding talent still to be had on both sides of the ball, that’s for sure. But so far so good for the Bears as they try to bolster their roster and build on the positive momentum established during last season’s run to the NFC Championship Game.
Stay tuned here and at Windy City Gridiron throughout the day tomorrow and all weekend as we continue to bring fans up-to-the-minute coverage and analysis of the 2011 NFL Draft.