Bears Should Leave Marvin Austin on the Board

| April 21st, 2011

Taking a look around the Mock Draft Universe, it seems many football analysts believe the Chicago Bears (with fearless leadership from Jerry Angelo and Lovie Smith) will seriously consider taking North Carolina defensive tackle Marvin Austin with their first-round selection.  PFT breaks down the choice this way:
Austin’s college career left much to be desired (nine career sacks), but talent will keep him in round one. The nation’s former top defensive tackle recruit has rehabbed his stock with an exceptional offseason, dominating at the East-West Shrine and standing out at the Combine and Tar Heels’ Pro Day. 

Yes Austin was an underachiever during his time at North Carolina but that’s not why the Bears should leave him be.  Yes Austin was dismissed from UNC after inappropriate contact with an agent in 2010 but that’s not reason enough for the Bears to look elsewhere.  No the Bears should not even consider selecting Marvin Austin with the twenty-ninth overall pick in the draft because Marvin Austin’s defensive tackle skills would make him terrible at blocking for the quarterback.

The Bears have one glaring need heading into the 2011 season: blockers.  Sure they could use more depth on the defensive line but there current roster is more than capable of being a dominant unit.  They could also use a playmaking wide receiver but they’re not finding a #1 at the back end of the first round without a bit of luck.  The Bears need offensive linemen, plain and simple, and they need a bunch of ’em.
Michael C. Wright Tweeted Angelo’s press conference quote that the Bears are not targeting guards/centers, instead focusing on size.  Please tell me this is posturing to the media and not factual.  The Bears need a new center soon.  They could upgrade at both guard spots (and both tackle spots for that matter).  No position on the offensive line should be deemed safe and the best offensive lineman available at 29 – according to JA, Love-dawg and Rusky – should become a Bear Thursday night.
That is not Mavin Austin.  No matter how deep into his background the Bears look, they’re not going to find Jimbo Covert.