CHICAGO - OCTOBER 24: Chris Williams #74 of the Chicago Bears blocks Albert Haynesworth #92 of the Washington Redskins at Soldier Field on October 24, 2010 in Chicago, Illinois. The Redskins defeated the Bears 17-14. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Chris Williams; Albert Haynesworth
With the Bears strongly considering drafting an offensive lineman in the first round, the 2008 draft comes to mind.
That year, the Bears drafted Chris Williams out of Vanderbilt in the first round, and followed it up with Matt Forte and Earl Bennett in the following rounds. Though Forte was a gem and Bennett has come on strong, Williams has not.
The Bears need to draft a strong offensive lineman in part because Williams has underperformed.
Williams is still struggling to define his role on the Bears offensive line. He has dealt with injuries, being moved around to accommodate other players and still hasn't developed as the Bears would hope. Still, Bears coach Lovie Smith is confident that he will be an important part of the team.
"We just know that Chris is a part of our future ... once we lock him in to a position, maybe the one he's in right now. [Offensive line coach] Mike Tice did a super job molding an offensive line this past year and I'm anxious to see as we continue to talk on exactly where we end up playing him," said Smith.
Maybe so, but the Bears wouldn't be interested in Gabe Carimi, a tackle at Wisconsin, if they were high on Williams' abilities at tackle.
Though versatility is nice, cohesion is much nicer when it comes to an offensive line, and you could bet that the Bears would prefer a fully developed Williams in one spot over a backup who can play every spot on the line.