Three members of the 2011 Chicago Bears rookie class have been assigned jersey numbers.
Larry Mayer of ChicagoBears.com announced in his ChalkTalk that top pick offensive tackle Gabe Carimi will wear No. 72, defensive tackle Stephen Paea will wear No. 92 and safety Chris Conte will wear No. 47.
The jersey numbers for quarterback Nathan Enderle and linebacker J.T. Thomas are not yet known.
After addressing an offensive concern with the selection of offensive tackle Gabe Carimi with the 29th overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, the Chicago Bears’ focus shifted to defense in rounds two and three.
The Bears selected defensuve tackle Stephen Paea in the second round with the 53rd overall selection.
Jerry Angelo pulled off an uncharacteristic move to get the defensive tackle out of Oregon State. He traded up.
Unlike the non-trade gone wrong with Baltimore on day one, there was confusion with the trade with Washington.
Chicago moved up nine spots in the draft, dealing their second and fourth round picks to the Redskins in exchange.
“We’re real excited about selecting him with this pick,” said Bears director of player personnel Tim Ruskell. “We had an opportunity to work with the Redskins to get up. We thought there were a couple chances for him to go in the next few picks and we did not want to risk that, so we got him.”
Ruskell said that Bears coaches and scouts all preferred Paea to other defensive tackles on the board.
Paea is the real deal, according to the Bears. They admire his technique, his versatility and his quickness off the ball.
Paea is excited to join a storied franchise, and defense, in the Bears.
“I want to say I am blessed to be in this process,” Paea said. “All I know is it takes one team to love me and I feel like the Chicago Bears were the right team for me.
“I see the Chicago Bears playing the same type of defense that I love. It’s the attacking defense and that is what I have been playing at Oregon State. We have a similar type of defense and I was just blessed to get picked by a 4-3 scheme defense and of course Rod Marinelli in there. I am just blessed to be in that organization.”