NFL Draft Day is here, and the Chicago Bears should be desperate to get it right:
In 2016 Bears had NFL low snaps for original team draft picks prior to 2015 (pre Pace/Fox). Bears had 2,857. Next: CLE 3,347. NFL Avg: 7,933
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) April 27, 2017
That is far too few snaps for players drafted and developed by this organization. On the bright side, GM Ryan Pace has put together two solid drafts, so here’s to adding another one to his resume.
- While Pace was busy admitting he had narrowed his first-round choice to three players, the Pro Football Focus Analysis Team put together a list of four players the Bears should be interested in drafting this weekend’s middle rounds. Day 3 could be a boon for the Bears, as they can land some players who add depth with some upside. Among them are sleepers on the defensive side of the ball, starting with Michigan defensive lineman Ryan Glasgow (who might not last until the fourth round) and Kent State cornerback Najee Murray, who could join a crowded cornerback mix. Louisiana Tech wide receiver Carlos Henderson could be a value pick. He is on the outside-looking-in at the list of top-10 receiver prospects (he’s PFF’s 12th best) but could be a value pick in Rounds 3 or 4 because of additional kick return skills. Ole Miss quarterback Chad Kelly is listed as a potential late-round quarterback find, but off-the-field concerns probably will keep him off the Bears’ draft board.
- Speaking of quarterbacks, Arizona Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians believes this quarterback class (yes, the one without a consensus top signal caller) features “probably the best group of arms in the last four or five years.” Arians added that up to six are capable of starting in the NFL. There is no doubt that this class has talent at the position, but all of the prospects leave much to be desired with regards to readiness, familiarity with pro style offenses, and the complexity of the defenses they will face at the next level. There is little doubt that a player with Patrick Mahomes’ athleticism or Deshaun Watson’s intangibles could turn into a productive starter. But the road to get from a top quarterback prospect to professional starter – especially if that player joins a team in the midst of a total rebuild like the Bears – is rough.
- While Arians and the Cardinals are publicly plotting to find a quarterback to ensure the team is covered in case of an emergency, it turns out that the Bears kept free agent signee Mike Glennon in the dark to the team’s draft plans regarding a quarterback. ESPN Chicago’s Jeff Dickerson writes that it wasn’t an issue during the team’s chase for Glennon, as Pace said he wasn’t sure what the team was doing with regards to drafting a quarterback during that time. Even if the Bears draft a quarterback, Glennon is entrenched as the Bears’ starter – at least for one season.
- Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune has 10 thoughts on the Bears’ No. 3 pick, while Patrick Finley of the Chicago Sun-Times makes cases for eight players the Bears could select with the pick.
- Mike Mayock’s mock draft has the Bears going with Ohio State CB Marshon Lattimore:
The first round of the Draft@MikeMayock's first & only mock draft of the year!
— NFL Network (@nflnetwork) April 27, 2017
- You can check out the other latest mocks here, with frequent Lattimore mentions.
- Even though retirement is an option and the vibe earlier in the offseason was that he wouldn’t play in 2017, Jay Cutler’s agent says his client wants to play football in 2017. Clarity is on the horizon for Cutler, but only once the NFL Draft is complete. Once teams address quarterback needs in the draft, Cutler (and his agent) will have a better idea of who might be in the market for his services.
- North of the border, the Green Bay Packers improved their offensive line by signing guard Jahri Evans. The five-time All-Pro who has made six Pro Bowls in his career replaces T.J. Lang, who ditched the Packers for the Detroit Lions in free agency. Evans was Pro Football Focus’ 36th best tackle in 2016 with a 76.6 grade. It’s interesting to think about the Packers’ offensive line situation now, when a year ago at this time the team had Lang and Josh Sitton – who ranked as the eighth and 10th best guards, by PFF’s grading scale – projected to anchor the interior of the line.
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