We're Black and Blue All Over:
Good morning and welcome to Draft Week '13. We'll post as much draft material as bloggerly possible over the next six days, but I wanted to start with an important revelation about a current Chicago Bears player.
Place-kicker Robbie Gould had surgery 13 months ago to repair the injury that forced him to miss the team's final three regular-season games, according to Jeff Dickerson of ESPNChicago.com. The Bears have described it as a left calf injury, which is technically accurate but probably overshadows how serious the injury -- a ruptured semitendinosus tendon -- really is. Gould is still about three weeks away from being cleared to kick without restriction, which is why the Bears signed a second place-kicker -- Austin Signor -- for the first time in several years.
There is every expectation that Gould will be ready to resume his full duties later this spring. But it's also fair to note he is entering the final year of a five-year contract, and you can never take any roster spot for granted when a new coaching staff takes over a team.
Continuing around the NFC North:
Matt Bowen reviews the Bears' recent minicamp for the Chicago Tribune.
Even Bears coach Marc Trestman kept a brisk pace at minicamp, according to Adam L. Jahns of the Chicago Sun-Times.
Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press has the Detroit Lions selecting a left tackle at No. 5 overall in his latest mock draft.
Most likely, the Lions won't start looking for a cornerback until later in the draft, according to Chris McCosky of the Detroit News.
Martin Mayhew on Alabama cornerback Dee Milliner, via Anwar S. Richardson of Mlive.com: "Well, you know, he's the elusive, big corner. Everybody's trying to find that guy. You know, we've been here for years talking about these guys and trying to find a guy with some size, and he certainly fits that mold. I hear people, over the years, have always said you need a corner that's big with some speed and some coverage ability who is good at the line and is a smart guy that can play nickel and play outside, and maybe move into safety. Okay, where is that guy? There's like five of them in the history of the NFL. He brings some of those traits to the table, I think."
No matter what they say publicly, the Green Bay Packers know they need to get bigger and tougher this offseason, writes Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Weston Hodkiewicz of the Green Bay Press-Gazette examines the history of the Packers' drafts under general manager Ted Thompson. Of the 76 players selected, 15 have made at least one Pro Bowl.
Jason Wilde of ESPNMilwaukee.com: "It wouldn’t be a surprise if the Packers used the 26th overall pick on a defensive lineman. It also wouldn’t be surprising if he ended up being a disappointment."
Ben Goessling of the St. Paul Pioneer Press speaks with Minnesota Vikings general manager Rick Spielman about his use of analytics.
Patrick Reusse of 1500ESPN.com is convinced the Vikings will draft Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o.
Mark Craig of the Star Tribune examines the Te'o issue further. Said Vikings safety Harrison Smith, a teammate of Te'o at Notre Dame: "There won’t be any problems in the locker room. No doubt, no matter where he goes, guys are going to make fun of him at least a little bit. But I know Manti and I don't think it’ll be a problem. It's not like he did anything malicious or that he's a bad guy or anything. I don’t think he was making anything up. I think he was just a little naïve maybe."