NFL Draft: Bears GM Jerry Angelo might get it right this year

Posted: April 26, 2009 in Football, Sports
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Bears land pool jumper, Jarron Gilbert

Jarron GilbertLAKE FOREST – There was certainly cause for concern among Bears fans when General Manager Jerry Angelo let the first day of the 2009 NFL Draft fly by without even attempting to make a selection.

While a number of moves were uncharacteristically made by Angelo & Co. prior to the draft to help fill holes and secure positions with reputable veterans, there were definitely a handful of glaring needs the Bears had to address.

And despite not picking a receiver with their first pick in the third round, the Bears still finished the day with relative success. Of course, the truth won’t be known for at least a year or so – maybe even three. But Angelo just might have ruined his reputation for being a horrible draft-day general by selecting a number of players who, at first glance, should be able to contribute right away.

The two receivers, Juaquin Iglesias (Oklahoma) and Johnny Knox (Abilene Christian), selected in the third and fifth rounds respectively, should be in good position to compete this summer at camp. Given the current state of the Chicago receiving corps., the starting spots should be up for grabs and there for the taking for whichever playmaker shows the most promise heading into the season.

But the draft pick that will likely grab the most attention is on the defensive side of the ball. The Bears made it no secret that they were concerned about the state of their defensive line, and with new DL coach Rod Marinelli taking over, it might not matter who gets the nod to start.

YouTube sensation, Jarron Gilbert, was taken by the Bears with the fourth pick in the third round (68th overall) out of San Jose State. For those that maybe didn’t keep up with San Jose State, Gilbert made himself famous by way of a YouTube video showing him jumping out of a pool. The video was impressive on its own and became an instant hit.

While it might be entertaining to watch, the feat clearly shows his strength and athleticism, and the fact that he’s 6-5, 288 pounds doesn’t exactly hurt his chances of being a force on the line.

“What stands out about Jarron is just an imposing, physical player as far as height, weight, speed,” Bears scout Marty Barrett said in a video interview on the team’s Web site. “He’s 6-5, 288 (pounds). Very strong, athletic, powerful, and he ran in the mid 4.8s. His ability to jump, close, and cover ground is very good.”

According the Barrett, Gilbert has the ability to play both inside and outside. In 2008, he was a team captain, All-American, All-WAC, conference co-Defensive Player of the Year and team MVP. Gilbert started all 12 games for the Spartans at left defensive tackle registering 52 tackles, led the nation with 22 stops for loss and had 9.5 sacks.

Perhaps most impressive is his unbelievable reach and wingspan.

“He’s an imposing guy when you meet him in person,” Barrett said. “His wingspan is really unbelievable. On a normal door, he can touch the floor with one hand and the other hand touch the top of door jam. And on top of that, he’s a very smart kid, well grounded and he’s going to work hard. So, I really think the sky is the limit.”

In all of this, Marinelli might be the biggest winner.

  1. aubreyhef says:

    Jarron Gilbert makes me proud to be associate with San Jose State Football!

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