Since there is a high likelihood that the top OT prospects in this draft will all be gone before the Bears draft at 18, there is a need to examine who is there to be had after the first rounds. There is a nice group of players who played LT in college who might be better suited for RT in the NFL. They may also be the type of player that needs a couple years of grooming before they’re run out there as starters. John St. Clair resigning would give the Bears the opportunity to groom a mid round prospect to eventually replace him since he is 32.
With this in mind we take a look at some of those prospects who show promise but may not be the type of player you see taken on the first day.
Jamon Meredith 6-foot-5 304-pounds from South Carolina. Meredith was one of the better prospects I noticed at the NFL combine. He was one of the top performers in the 40-yard dash, the bench press and the broad jump. He also performed well in drills showing solid footwork, quickness and technique. Meredith also offers the same level of versatility that the Bears’ scouts crave having played all four line positions but center in college.
It was obvious Meredith came to compete and make himself some money at the combine. He likely did just that and will grab the attention of the Bears’ scouts at his pro-day on March 25th. The Bears have already taken notice of other OT prospects at their pro days, expect Meredith to stand out as well.
William Beatty 6-foot-6 291-pounds from UConn is an intriguing prospect. He’s rated higher than a second day draft pick so he might not be around that late. However his weight seems to be an issue, opposite of what you would usually expect from an O-lineman in that he can’t keep weight on. It likely won’t be a problem for him in the NFL once he gets on the NFL training program and diet.
If the Bears goes WR in round one, Beatty could be had in the middle of round two. He has all the good things you look for but the concern is does he carry enough weight to play RT? For the Bears overlooking this concern may be pretty easy if he needs to be groomed behind St. Clair for a couple years. Beatty’s pro-day also comes on the 25th of March.
Phil LoadholdtOn the flip side of the size and weight concerns is this prospect from Oklahoma. Loadholdt goes 6-foot-8 338-pounds and is working to shed some weight. What I saw at the combine was a player that was determined to lose weight and show up in shape. Loadholdt looked like he was working to control his weight and it helped in his combine performance.
That being said Loadholdt is a lot more big than he is athletic or agile or quick. He didn’t show a lot of flexibility or quickness and look pretty stiff going through the drills. I won’t say the combine necessarily hurt his stock, but it did reaffirm a lot of the concerns scouts had prior to the combine. If the Bears draft him he essentially is a RT only type of prospect who doesn’t offer the desired level of versatility the front office likes. Beyond that it was reported that Loadholdt was one of a few of the prospects the Bears’ staff interviewed at the combine.
Robert Brewster from Ball State is another kid that is intriguing to the Bears. He’s 6-foot-4 325-pounds which would hold up well in the NFL manning the RT side. Brewster had a solid combine performance and scouts out well according to almost all of his evaluations. He’s not the perfect prospect but his value is solid for a second day type pick. The Patriots feel strong enough that Brewster is going to be working out at the Patriots’ team facility in the upcoming days.
Updated: The Bears checked out Phil Loadholdt in person today at Oklahoma’s pro-day in Norman. The Sun Times has this report on it and it represents more proof in how interested in Loadholdt the Bears are.