There are less than three weeks left before the NFL Draft and now is a good time to press the reset button, take a step back, and survey the Bears’ landscape.
- Frank Cooney helps us do that with a piece at CBS Sports, which gives us an idea of the team’s current situation. With an eye on the draft, Cooney lists the Bears’ three biggest needs as safety, wide receiver, and defensive end. And while the Bears addressed some holes at safety and receiver in free agency, the long-term needs at those positions are still very real – even after signing Quintin Demps, Markus Wheaton, and Kendall Wright.
- Signing Mike Glennon pushes quarterback down on the list of immediate needs, but the long-term picture is still a bit fuzzy. If all goes well with Glennon, he’s under contract only until age 30. In an ideal draft, the Bears would use a mid-to-late-round pick on a quarterback worth developing over the long haul. However, the Bears might not get that because the demand for quarterbacks is what it is right now. Over at Pro Football Weekly, Greg Gabriel believes it is becoming apparent that four quarterbacks will go in the first round of the draft because the demand outweighs the supply. Yes, rebuilding teams like the Browns, 49ers, and Jets seek long-term solutions at quarterback … but so do teams with quarterbacks in their mid-to-upper 30s such as the Chargers, Steelers, and Giants. Thus, lots of QBs going off the board very early in the draft. Even the Bears could make an argument the join that mix, too, with Glennon being on what could turn out to be a one-year deal. In the end, there simply aren’t enough good quarterbacks to go around. So when good teams are looking, it muddies the field.
- But four first-round quarterbacks? When there isn’t one ranked in the top-25? The reaches that could happen on draft night could set some teams back.
- Over at CSN Chicago, JJ Stankevitz writes that Mitchell Trubisky’s teammates at North Carolina think the one-year wonder label that has been casually thrown around in his direction is unfair. To get a better feel for one of the draft’s top-rated quarterback prospects, Stankevitz went to his teammates for some perspective. Running back Elijah Hood and wide receiver Ryan Switzer, who helped power the Tar Heels offense along with Trubisky, vouched for his leadership, preparedness, and skill. If Trubisky lives up to this billing, whichever team drafts him will be getting a valuable asset.
- And for what it’s worth, former NFL quarterback David Carr lists Trubisky as the only “Day 1 Starter” in his evaluation of this quarterback class. He also lists Deshaun Watson, Patrick Mahomes, and DeShone Kizer as “hit or miss” prospects for various reasons.
- Cal’s Davis Webb is the kind of quarterback who could sneak into the higher rounds of the draft. He has the prototypical size and arm strength teams usually value at the position, but needs to refine his mechanics and get accustomed to progressing through the reads of a pro style offense. Webb is out to prove he can do just that, as Josh Dubow writes about how the Texas Tech-turned-Cal quarterback is trying to shed the stigma of being an air raid quarterback. Webb has been working with former NFL quarterback and head coach Jim Zorn on refining his skills ahead of the NFL Draft. Zorn has had Webb work on everything from footwork, to his throwing motion, to charting NFL games, and even learning West Coast offense terminology to accelerate his learning process. Webb didn’t make the most recent update of Pro Football Focus’ top 100 prospects list, but ranks ninth among the site’s draft-eligible quarterbacks.
- PFF also has an updated look at the 15 best wide receivers of this draft class. While the Bears probably aren’t in the market to draft one with the third overall pick, there is depth at this position and value could be had in later rounds. Receivers such as Zay Jones and Cooper Kupp rank in the top-10, and the Bears should be familiar with them for their performance during Senior Bowl week.
- Bob LeGere of the Arlington Heights (Ill.) Daily Herald profiles PFF’s second best receiver prospect Corey Davis, a Wheaton-Warrenville South product who played his college ball at Western Michigan. Injuries could cause Davis’ stock to slide, but four years of game tape on his record could benefit him in the eyes of teams that value production over workout drills.