Today’s the final day of the 2017 NFL Scouting Combine, and with that, teams will get a chance to look at some of the featured defensive backs.
But as the Combine winds down, free agency is just ramping up.
In case you’ve missed it, eligible players will become free agents tomorrow (March 7) at 3pm CT, and are thereafter permitted to sign with new teams as soon as Thursday (March 9th).
With the Combine ending, free agency kicking into gear, and rumors beginning to fly, it’s shaping up to be a pretty crazy week. So to that end, make sure you didn’t miss yesterday’s late-night rumor-mill, which included more Bears connections to free agent quarterback Mike Glennon.
For now, Bullets …
- As you ponder how the Bears will manage to balance their future via free agency, the draft, and the trade market, here’s something interesting to consider:
What interest me about #Bears is that Fox needs to win NOW. Pace, not as much, so how is your roster built? What matters this season?
— Laurence Holmes (@LaurenceWHolmes) March 6, 2017
@LaurenceWHolmes Wrote about that this week, diverging timelines. Makes for a who has the loudest voice/last call in the draft room dynamic.
— dan durkin (@djdurkin) March 6, 2017
- Ideally, you’d like to have the two guys at the top of the ladder working together on the same timeline, but you do get the feeling that the seat for head coach John Fox is warmer than the seat for GM Ryan Pace. Fox is in year three with the Bears, with just nine wins to show for it so far. Meanwhile, Pace, who is also in his third year, is building out the organization at a more foundational level, and his interests in competing in 2017 at the expense of, say, 2018, might not be quite as keen as Fox’s. Hopefully, in the end, they do wind up on the same page throughout free agency and the draft. (And, of course, all else equal, everyone wants to see the Bears win quite a few more games in 2017.)
- As I mentioned earlier, today’s the final day of the NFL Combine, when the defensive backs will be getting a closer look. Given what we know about the Bears needs in the secondary, it wouldn’t be unexpected to see them grab one such player early on in the draft. But might they reach for a safety with the third overall pick? That’s a rare thing so early in the draft, but some believe it’s possible for the Bears this time. LSU safety Jamal Adams, for one example, feels that he’s first overall pick material, and should certainly go within the top ten. According to JJ Stankevitz, there’s secondary value to be had in the third and fourth round (not to mention a fairly robust free agent market opening up this week), but the Bears may look to make a significant change to their 30th ranked secondary. Maybe it’s not such a bad idea, especially with Jonathan Allen’s shoulder issues making waves.
- Of course, going defense at number three would mean the Bears weren’t going for a QB with that first round pick, which goes to show how interconnected all of this really is. Building (or re-building) a well-rounded team is certainly a balancing act.
- But one such way to mitigate that tricky balance, is by drafting a quarterback that will need more time to develop – allowing for the potential free agent signing of someone like Mike Glennon to be a non-issue. At the Chicago Tribune, Rich Campbell takes a look at a few of those sort of QB options available in the 2017 Draft. The names he comes up with are Tennessee’s Josh Dobbs, California’s Davis Webb, Miami’s Brad Kaaya and Pittsburgh’s Nate Peterman. You can read more about each here, but suffice it to say, even if the Bears do sign a Glennon (or trade for a Jimmy Garoppolo), they’d be wise to still target a developmental QB in the middle rounds.
- So we’ve talked plenty about the upcoming draft, particularly quarterbacks and defensive backs. Which leads me to ask where else might the draft be deep and could it affect the Bears? Well, according to Adam Jahns of the Chicago Sun-Times, the tight end pool is shaping up to be especially significant. Some say it’s the best class in years, headlined by Miami’s David Njoku, Alabama’s O.J. Howard, and Mississippi’s Evan Engram, and with several more potential impact guys after that. The Bears will need impact receivers in one form or another going forward, and tight end is a spot where they can certainly look to add.
- Just something random to consider:
- Todd McShay has your Combine Day Three rundown at ESPN, with especially high praise for Stanford defensive end Solomon Thomas, who keeps creeping up boards, and might wind up a top five pick.
- And finally, yowsa …
Myles Garrett at the combine:
Taller than Julio Jones
Heavier than Rob Gronkowski
Quicker than Devonta Freeman
Faster than Jarvis Landry pic.twitter.com/9Dl6GIJt2F
— NFL Research (@NFLResearch) March 5, 2017
- That is one scary dude, who is likely to go first overall in the draft.
Brett Taylor contributed to this post.