A week ago at this time, we were celebrating Brian Urlacher’s first-ballot Hall of Fame selection and preparing for Super Bowl LII. It was a very football-y day for all of us involved.
Today, for the first time since July, there is no football. We’ll make it through together and be better for it in the end. Trust me.
- And while Urlacher and the Hall of Fame is on our mind, the Chicago Bears shared some behind-the-scenes footage from Selection Saturday:
- I can’t believe there was any doubt Urlacher would be a first-ballot Hall-of-Famer. I understand why there was because predicting what voters will do is an impossible task, but that body of work speaks for itself.
- Moving on, the hope is the Bears can find a future star in the upcoming 2018 NFL Draft, though we’re far from finding a consensus pick for the team at No. 8. In Bucky Brooks’ first mock draft at NFL.com, he has the Bears drafting Ohio State cornerback Denzel Ward. It’s not the first time Ward has been mocked to the Bears and certainly won’t be the last, especially if the team’s top free agent cornerback targets sign elsewhere. What’s most peculiar about this draft is the team passing on linebacker Tremaine Edmunds (who goes ninth to San Francisco), guard Quenton Nelson (11th to Miami), and receiver Calvin Ridley (15th to the Cardinals). Brooks has three quarterbacks going in the first six picks, which would leave the Bears in an opportunity to pick the best player available or possibly trade down with a team that would want to make it four quarterbacks within the top-10.
- The Bears could go in another direction to solve their cornerback needs. Brent Sobleski of Bleacher Report recently shared what he believed to be ideal offseason trade scenarios for each of the NFL’s 32 teams, in which he finds a cornerback match for Chicago. Sobleski names New Orleans Saints cornerback Delvin Breaux as a possible trade option for the Bears. If you’re unfamiliar with Breaux, it might be because he didn’t play in 2017 because of a broken fibula, which was originally believed to be a bone bruise. Breaux has a history of bouncing back from injuries, but the Bears have enough issues to worry about before considering taking a flier on a player at that position with his injury history.
- The postseason served as a gentle reminder of how valuable it is to have multiple threats in the backfield. Chicago isn’t in the market for a RB1, but I still found myself intrigued by Lance Zierlein’s scoop on Arizona State running back Kalen Ballage. A Director of College Scouting for an NFC team suggested to Zierlein that Ballage will be a hot name after he gets through the NFL Scouting Combine. WalterFootball.com lists Ballage as the draft’s eighth-rated running back and is projected to be taken anywhere between the second and fourth rounds. Depending on how the Bears attacked other needs in free agency, I could see the Bears using a middle-round pick to fortify their backfield with another reliable back.
- The other prospect highlighted in Zierlein’s piece is Iowa center James Daniels, who he believes will catch the eye of teams like the Giants, Redskins, and 49ers. The Bears don’t necessarily need a center, but if the team felt strongly about Cody Whitehair moving to guard, the front office could conceivably pluck a center in the middle rounds. I wouldn’t count on it (especially if Hroniss Grasu is still on the roster) but wouldn’t rule it out at this point. There is still a lot of time between now and the draft. Frankly, free agency will likely mold the decisions the Bears make in the upcoming draft.
- Hopefully, whoever the Bears draft in 2018 can play well enough to garner inclusion on Gil Brandt’s All-Rookie Team. The NFL Media senior analyst lists the 27 top rookies from the class of 2017, which doesn’t include any Bears players. The most notable possible snubs include safety Eddie Jackson and return man Tarik Cohen, who was Pro Football Focus’ highest-graded rookie returner.
- Jay Cutler is going to be on TV one way or another in 2018. TMZ reports Cutler’s wife Kristin Cavallari is returning to reality TV with a show based on her Nashville-based business and life and Cutler is going to be on the show. Cutler could have some additional time on his hands in the year to come if he isn’t picked up as a free agent, but sources tell the Palm Beach Post’s Daily Dolphin blog that FOX is likely to welcome Cutler’s return to the broadcast booth if that’s the post-NFL route he chooses. I, for one, would welcome Cutler’s insight to the broadcast booth – especially if he can bring what Tony Romo offered to the table without the cartoonish sound-effects.
- Feels like a good time to buy-in on the Bears, right:
— The Ten-Yard Line (@TheTenYardLine) February 11, 2018