The NFL Scouting Combine Is Fast Approaching and Other Bullets

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The NFL Scouting Combine Is Fast Approaching and Other Bullets

Chicago Bears

Only four teams had fewer snaps played by players they drafted than the Chicago Bears in 2017:

And while each of the top three teams in this group missed the playoffs, all but one of the teams that qualified in the playoffs finished in the top half of this list. So if the Bears are going to make good on Jordan Howard’s latest guarantee, their success will start by doing better in the NFL Draft.

  • One potential impact player who will most likely be on the board when the Bears pick is Courtland Sutton, the SMU wide receiver – who at 6-foot-4, 218 pounds looks the part of a WR1 – represents something this offense desperately needs. Bleacher Report’s Chris Roling shares his latest mock draft, which sends Sutton to the Bears with the eighth pick. Sutton is one of the draft’s top receiver prospects, but it’s been a while since he has been viewed as a plausible top-10 pick. His route tree, playing speed, and inconsistencies in his game have dropped him in the eyes of talent evaluators. A dynamite performance at the Scouting Combine could go a long way toward boosting Sutton’s draft stock, though it might not be enough to justify taking him with a top-10 pick.
(Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images)
  • Also at Bleacher Report, Gary Davenport finds a perfect fit for each NFL team at the Combine and connects the Bears to an ultra-talented wide receiver. But it’s not Sutton. Instead, Davenport dubs Alabama’s Calvin Ridley as a perfect fit for the Bears. With the idea of improving the pass-catching options for Mitch Trubisky to target, Davenport sees Ridley as the kind of draft pick who could help Trubisky succeed in his second season under center. And while taking Ridley in the top-10 might seem like a reach, it’s worth noting the Titans arguably reached with their pick of Corey Davis in the top-10 a year ago. Davis didn’t put up great numbers as a rookie, but still projects to be a pro-caliber receiver. Still, Davis and the Titans represent a cautionary tale of reaching for a need instead of taking the best player available.
  • Speaking of taking the best player available, that’s what Patrick Finley does in his first mock draft over at the Chicago Sun-Times. Finley sent Notre Dame guard Quenton Nelson to the Bears with the eighth overall pick, citing the team’s need at the position after not picking up Josh Sitton’s option and Nelson’s potential – which could reach Hall of Fame-caliber levels in the eyes of one draft pundit.
  • Over at, Dane Brugler uses his second mock draft as an exercise to examine how certain scenarios could play out for different teams. In this particular scenario, Nelson is long gone and leaves the Bears in a position to draft Ohio State cornerback Denzel Ward at No. 8. Brugler believes the Bears need playmakers in the secondary, but notes that Ward’s feet, hips, and eyes make Ward a “potentially special cover man” despite not being as tall as some talent evaluators would like.
  • Brugler’s mock only has two quarterbacks coming off the board before the Bears pick, so to still come away with a player believed to be the best at his position would be good thing for the Bears. Of course, having two other top quarterbacks on the board could leave Chicago in a position to move down in the draft. Convincing a team like Buffalo to move ahead of Miami (which drafts Baker Mayfield in this mock) and Arizona (Josh Allen) to be in a position to take a top-tier quarterback would probably be a priority for an organization that could use additional picks to reshape its roster.
  • For the sake of this exercise, let’s say the Bears can work a deal with the Bills for the 21st and 22nd picks. If Buffalo takes a quarterback and the rest of the draft stays true to form, Chicago could be in line to draft a high-end cornerback like Iowa’s Josh Jackson, a top edge rusher such as Boston College’s Harold Landry, or an offensive lineman with a first-round grade who could start and make an impact immediately like Texas tackle Connor Williams or Ohio State guard/center Billy Price. A lot can happen between now and the first day of the draft and so many scenarios are still in play.
  • The Bears aren’t in the hunt for a quarterback, but I’ll still be interested to see where the draft’s top prospects at the position land. So I’ll definitely be intrigued to see what it looks like when Josh Rosen, Baker Mayfield, and Josh Allen throw at the Combine. It’s not often when you see the top quarterback prospects throw at the combine. If you’ll recall, Mitch Trubisky didn’t throw last year, neither did Deshaun Watson, and Patrick Mahomes … so it’s not like that held them back in the eyes of GMs.
  • OK, what kind of degenerate wagers on the NFL Scouting Combine:

Author: Luis Medina

Luis Medina is a Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at@lcm1986.