|NFL DRAFT: Bears take Miami TE Olsen in first round|
|Written by Admin|
|Saturday, 28 April 2007 18:16|
LAKE FOREST, Ill. (AP) -Miami's Greg Olsen will bring size and speed to the Chicago Bears. That's why they picked him at No. 31 Saturday and made him the first tight end they've selected in the first round since Mike Ditka in 1961.|
But Olsen will also be represented by an agent who's currently in the middle of an imbroglio with the Bears.
Olsen, like disgruntled linebacker Lance Briggs, is represented by Drew Rosenhaus. After the Bears slapped a franchise tag on Briggs following their Super Bowl loss to the Colts, the two-time Pro Bowl linebacker has threatened to sit out the season.
The Bears and Redskins had earlier discussed a trade for Briggs, but it did not materialize Saturday during the first round.
General manager Jerry Angelo said Saturday he did not field any calls to trade for Briggs. And he said the situation with Rosenhaus representing Briggs had no bearing on the decision to draft Olsen.
``It really didn't do anything in terms of swaying us,'' Angelo said. ``We're not going to let an agent get in the way of taking a player we felt good about.''
Angelo said he wasn't ruling out a trade of Briggs, even if one wasn't made on draft day. But he said he wasn't looking for one, either.
``The franchise tag does have meaning and I told that to the agent when we went into this. I'm not shopping him to shop him. The spirit of the franchise tag is not to shop a player to get the most you can and then trade him. ... We've talked to one team and it just didn't work out.''
Instead, the Bears kept their pick to snag the 6-foot-5, 254-pound Olsen, who caught 87 passes for 1,215 yards and six touchdowns in his career with the Hurricanes.
``It's always good to get a player from the University of Miami. We like what they do with their program,'' Bears coach Lovie Smith said in reference to last year's selection of the Hurricanes' Devin Hester in the second round.
Hester set an NFL record with six kick returns for TDs - he added another on the opening kickoff of the Super Bowl - and was selected to the Pro Bowl.
The Bears already have Desmond Clark and John Gilmore at tight end, but Olsen's speed could add another dimension to the offense.
Olsen said he wanted to work out a deal and join the team as quickly as possible. Rosenhaus represents several other Bears, in addition to Briggs.
``I think it's important for me to get in there and learn the offense and try to develop as a player. That's something I made clear I'm very interested in and we'll just see from there how things go,'' Olsen said.
``They don't want you to hold out,'' Rosenhaus told Olsen after receiving the call from the Bears.
``I don't want me to hold out,'' Olsen said back.
Olsen, who initially enrolled at Notre Dame before transferring in 2003, caught 40 passes last season.
Olsen's blocking ability is not considered one of his strongest skills.
``I feel like I have already made tremendous gains in strength and technique and that is something that I am conscious of and want to improve on,'' Olsen said.
``You have to compromise things. He's not a great blocker, nor will he ever be,'' Angelo said. ``He will be an efficient blocker in the framework of what we want to do.''
The Bears traded their second-round pick, No. 37 overall, to the San Diego Chargers for the Chargers' second-round selection - No. 62 overall - and also picks in the third and fifth rounds this year and a third-round selection in 2008.
With the 62nd pick, the Bears selected defensive end Dan Bazuin of Central Michigan. Bazuin finished with 10 1/2 sacks as a senior and had 35 1/2 for his career.
Using their first of two third round picks, the Bears went local to strengthen their depth at running back, selecting Northern Illinois running back Garrett Wolfe.
The 5-foot-7 Wolfe finished with 5,136 yards and 52 touchdowns in his career for the Huskies and had 1,900 yards rushing as a senior. During the offseason, the Bears traded leading rusher Thomas Jones to the Jets and handed the starter's job to Cedric Benson, their first-round pick in 2005. Adrian Peterson is Benson's backup.
With their final pick of the first day, also in the third round, the Bears took Stanford linebacker Michael Okwo.
AP Sports Writer Tim Reynolds in Miami contributed to this report.
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