Alex Mack will not be entering the 2008 NFL draft, instead coming back to Cal for his senior season (as first reported by the CC Times Jonathan Okanes). Fabulous news!
Now for some instant analysis. For that, we turn to our own CBKWit, who wrote this yesterday:
I think Riley’s performance will give him some incentive to return, and don’t rule out the prospect of him moving to left tackle; Cal experimented with this last spring, in an effort to get back-up center Chris Guarnero on the field as well. This year, they don’t have all pac-10 tackle Mike Gibson returning, although Chet Teofilo looked pretty decent in the Armed Forces bowl (Gibson was out with a concussion). If you move Mack to LT, you probably have a stronger starting 5 with Guarnero on the field instead of Teofio, and Mack gets the big left tackle bucks when he graduates the following year. It’s win-win!
Sounds like a good idea to me! Now, let’s see what Okanes had to say on the matter today:
Returning to Cal is both good for Mack and good for the Bears. Obviously, he is Cal’s most skilled offensive lineman and has a complete understanding of the offense. So complete, in fact, that he could probably play guard or tackle, too. That wouldn’t be completely out of the realm of possibility, either. The Bears are losing left tackle Mike Gibson. Could the Bears move Mack to left tackle and insert highly regarded prospect Chris Guarnero at center? It’s something to consider. It would keep the Bears’ line strong, and playing tackle would greatly improve Mack’s draft stock.
Yep yep. I apologize if you felt like you just read the same paragraph twice. Apparently, great minds think alike. Or, at the very least, they use the same research materials, coming to the same conclusions. Is this what it’s like to grade history essays in high school?
Anyway, I like the gist of this idea. The Bears would attempt to maximize the talent on the field, sort of like the Yankees switching Alex Rodriguez to third base because they’ve already got Derek Jeter to play shortstop. Did Cal make such an offer to Mack, inducing him to come back and improve his draft stock? We can only speculate.