With two key needs locked up for the Chicago Bears in free agency they can do almost whatever they want in the NFL draft. One popular choice is trading down. Is the Houston Texans a good team to talk to?
Jermon Bushrod and Martellus Bennett open Bears up to draft move
Almost every casual local and national football fan knew where Chicago had to go in the NFL draft with their first round pick. For the past three seasons they have fielded bottom-ranked offensive lines that hasn't given up fewer than 40 sacks since 2009. Anyone with eyes knew the Bears had to find more talent, be it at tackle, guard or center. That got thrown for a loop on the first day of free agency. Working a bit of salary cap wizardry GM Phil Emery snagged his team a 28-year old Pro Bowl left tackle in Jermond Bushrod and a multi-skilled tight end in Martellus Bennett. Though not a huge purchase compared to teams like Miami and Indianapolis, the moves could lay the foundation for what Emery has planned in the April draft. He even went so far as to say unless there is a clear cut star waiting for them at pick #20, the Bears are "open for business" for any team interested in trading up. It is a wise idea. Chicago only has five draft picks because of trades last year. Getting one or two extras would grant them more chances to fill out an aging roster with some young talent. The one obstacle is finding a team that will deal.
Texans may look to move up for a Andre Johnson wingman
Brag Biggs of the Chicago Tribune offered a hint when Emery made it known the Bears were interested in trading. He pointed out the Houston Texans, who pick 27th, could have a particular player they like waiting around the 20th spot that may not fall to them. Experts point out their biggest need is at wide receiver. Outside of superstar Andre Johnson they have no real second or third options, which led to them relying on running back Arian Foster and tight end Owen Daniels most of last year. Finding a dangerous second target could put them in a great spot to contend with the other powerhouses in the AFC. Two names that fall in range of where the Bears pick, at least for the moment, is Tavon Austin of West Virginia and Keenan Allen of Cal. Austin became a major player on draft boards after a sensational scouting combine and pro day, displaying rare speed and agility despite standing only 5'8". Allen was the top ranked receiver at the end of the college season but an unfortunate injury has pushed him down draft boards lately. The reason Houston could have interest in calling Chicago is the clear prospect of neither player sliding to pick 27. Three teams in the Vikings, Rams and Colts all pick ahead of the Texans and all have big needs at wide receiver. The best hope Houston has of getting one they want is to leapfrog them to where Chicago sits at #20. In return they could probably afford to part with one or two mid to late round picks.
There is plenty of talent the Chicago Bears can get even by trading down in the NFL draft. The Houston Texans badly need a wingman for Andre Johnson. There is no reason to think a deal can't work for both clubs.
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