Olsen could reshape Pats' TE outlook

If the Chicago Bears put tight end Greg Olsen on the trade market, what type of player would an interested team be getting?

With the Patriots in mind, that was the question posed to Jeff Dickerson, who covers the Bears for ESPNChicago.com. Dickerson touched on trade rumors surrounding Olsen on his blog.

In a phone conversation today, he was asked more about Olsen and what he believes the Bears would be seeking in a trade:

“He takes a lot of criticism in Chicago for his less-than-stellar blocking ability, but he was never drafted to be a blocker. He’s 6-5, 255 and he can run, and he has pretty good hands. So he’s the perfect mismatch – faster than linebackers and bigger than defensive backs. I like him as a player.

“While I’d say he has to improve his blocking, I also don’t think that should be his major area of concentration. The Bears ran a power offense and tried to make him an H-back with heavy blocking, but that’s not his game. He is a great athlete.

“You could say there are times when he has to be tougher in bracket coverage, but I think he is an exceptional talent. I would be surprised if the Bears gave him up for anything less than a second-round pick. This is a deep draft and the Bears need picks. In the right system, I think he could be a very good player.”

ANALYSIS: Olsen, a first-round draft choice in 2007 (31st overall), would help make the tight end more of a factor in the Patriots’ passing game. If the Bears do make him available, I think it’s something the Patriots should consider, especially given the fact they have three second-round picks. In an uncapped environment, the Patriots would be assured of having Olsen for at least three seasons. Tight end is often a tough position to project a rookie into the NFL, but in Olsen, that projection isn't as much of a factor as he's entering the prime years of his career.