Only 19 days seperate us from the NFL Draft that could make or break the futures of Chicago Bears head coach John Fox and general manager Ryan Pace. No pressure.
There are still questions that remain unanswered, even though things are becoming clearer. Moving on to Saturday’s Bullets …
- Dan Wiederer of the Chicago Tribune wonders whether or not Deshaun Watson’s intangibles will be enough to overcome the preconceived notions he has been tagged with prior to the NFL Draft. Inaccuracy, inexperience under center, and ball security are three concerns that conspire to weigh down Watson’s prospect status and potential draft position. However, his personality and work ethic are two traits that should mitigate any questions of whether or not Watson can perservere and work through any issues. Watson is one of the draft’s top quarterback prospects, but where he slots in the draft still remains to be seen. Like every other one in this draft, questions and concerns about how his game translates to the NFL are keeping him (and the others) from being considered with the kind of high draft pick most quarterbacks are on draft day.
- Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly recently walked back his comments about former quarterback DeShone Kizer. Days after expressing disappointment in Kizer’s decision to go pro and saying he wasn’t completely prepared for the NFL challenge, Kelly told the Indianapolis Star that Kizer was the best quarterback in this draft class. Kelly says he believes in Kizer’s character, citing that he made Kizer a captain. And while he doesn’t necessarily regret what he said earlier about Kizer, he seems to be singing a different tune now.
- Pro Football Weekly breaks down the three best secondary targets on the Bears’ radar with the third pick. Drafting a defensive back third overall is very much in play for the Bears, who look to be out of the quarterback market (at least in the first round) and seem to be locked in on drafting a defensive stud. If you can’t beat ’em, stop ’em … right? That’s what the Bears would be trying to do if they drafted Ohio State cornerback Marshon Lattimore, LSU safety Jamal Adams, or Ohio State safety Malik Hooker with the third overall pick. All three are at the top of their class at their position, fit needs, and present a long-term option with upside.
- On the other side of the ball, Chris Emma of CBS Chicago asks who will be Mike Glennon’s top wide receiver targets? Alshon Jeffery’s departure leaves a significant hole on the offense. Because even though Jeffery was out of action from time-to-time, his mere presence was a potential game-changer for the quarterback responsible for getting him the ball and the defenders trying to stop him. The Bears don’t have a traditional go-to guy on the roster. Instead, the team currently has the versatile Kendall Wright on a prove-it one-year deal, Markus Wheaton on a two-year term trying to replicate the success he had as a vertical threat in Pittsburgh, and Cameron Meredith coming off a breakout season (featuring the best double-move in football) as Glennon’s top targets. Emma believes there are as many as 20 wide receivers worth taking in the first three rounds, meaning there could be another target on his way via the draft.
- Over at the Chicago Bears’ official website, Larry Mayer takes a look back at the best trades in Bears history. Among them, a deal that landed the Bears the third overall pick and the opportunity to draft a fellow named Dick Butkus. You might’ve heard of him.
- Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like you’ll see too many first-round trades in the upcoming draft. Pro Football Focus’ Michael Renner explains that this draft class doesn’t have the kind of players teams traditionally move up to get. Draft movement is predicated on players, but if there isn’t much separation between Player A and Player B, or if there are certain positions that are deep, there isn’t much of a point in parting ways with draft picks to move up a couple of spots. This could spell trouble for the Bears, a team with a high pick who would seemingly love the idea of moving down and collecting more picks to rebuild their roster. It turns out that 2016 truly was a bad year to have a bad year.
- I would definitely draft this player based on his name alone:
— Javy Gwaltney (@HurdyIV) April 7, 2017