Opinion column: Bears, Benson don’t fit

By Mike Szwaja

Take a quick look at mock drafts all over the Internet, and you’ll notice 95 percent of them never mention Mike Williams as the Chicago Bears’ fourth-overall pick. Cedric Benson seems to be the favorite among the draft mockers. That pick makes little sense, but before we get to Benson, back to Williams.

He’ll be there when the Bears go on the clock; he should be the pick, and he will be the pick. A combination of Williams’ size and hands doesn’t come around often. So he’s a couple tenths slower in the 40 than the other top receivers in the draft. Big deal.

He’ll get open in the NFL. With his drive and his size, puny NFL corners, handcuffed by the new illegal contact rules, won’t have a chance.

Still, all we hear is, “Cedric Benson is exactly what Ron Turner’s offense needs.” It is, huh? How about his 2002 possession of marijuana charge? Or what about when he broke down someone else’s door in search of his stolen plasma TV, which landed him two days in jail?

“There’s no such thing as perfect,” Benson told the Daily Herald Thursday. “Who makes it through college without anything on their record?”

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Excuse me? Apparently, Benson thinks diplomas come rolled with criminal records. Is this what the Bears need?

Consider the shrinking shelf-life of NFL running backs, and the pick seems more puzzling. And let’s not forget the Vikings, who make the Williams pick more essential for the Bears.

The Vikings aren’t going to trade a big chunk of their draft for Braylon Edwards, mostly because they’re confident Williams will be there at No. 7. Why the confidence? Because everyone is set on the Bears taking one of the three running backs at No. 4.

There has been no indication Bears GM Jerry Angelo has big interest in Williams, which has to be intentional. Angelo wants neither Edwards nor Williams scoring touchdowns to the sound of the Viking horn, and if he plays it right, he’ll get an outstanding receiver and leave his division rival in panic mode at No. 7.

The scenario almost makes too much sense, which makes it hard to believe Angelo will actually execute it. If it doesn’t happen, Angelo will regret it later. Williams will torch his secondary when the Bears and the Vikings play twice a season.

No matter what happens, the Bears’ first pick will be an offensive player, and the same should be true for the second round. J.J. Arrington and Ryan Moats are two possibilities at running back. Arrington was underappreciated on a great Cal team last year. Moats is undersized and played against lower competition at Louisiana Tech, but he has the skills to become a nice complementary running back.

Should Angelo screw up the Williams pick, he’ll have plenty of receivers to choose from in the second round.

Matt Jones, Arkansas, is a project-player that might turn into the definition of a mismatch.

Reggie Brown, Georgia, is known for his physical play out of the blocks but has had injury problems.

Jerome Mathis, Hampton, runs a 4.3-40 and can be a weapon on reverses but will need time to adjust to the big game.

The wild card might be Alex Smith. No, not that Alex Smith. This Alex Smith had a great senior season as Stanford’s tight end. It’s no secret the Bears need a tight end, and if Arrington is gone, Smith might be the second round pick. If Arrington is there, he’s the hands down pick – assuming Angelo picks Williams in the first round.