I often find myself looking back at what we were doing here at TYL this time last year with regards to NFL Draft prep. Today, I came across a set of Draft Notes that had a really interesting anecdote that put my mind into motion.
Here is a snippet:
Over at Pro Football Weekly, Greg Gabriel believes it is becoming apparent that four quarterbacks will go in the first roundof 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.
If you’ll recall, much of the draft buzz surrounding the Bears at that time had the team connected to Alabama defensive end Jonathan Allen or LSU safety Jamal Adams … and not quarterback.
As it turns out, this trip down memory lane serves as a reminder that things will come into focus in the coming days and weeks. We’ll be on top of all of these rumors that pop up, especially the ones with Bears connections.
- With that in mind, I love the intro to John Mullin’s most recent piece at NBC Sports Chicago, outlining what the stretch run to the draft is going to feel like. “The NFL draft is about misinformation, misdirection, disinformation, disguise and a tsunami of dis- and mis- informational subterfuge that would make Cold War espionage look like a tell-all encounter group or Bill Belichick a talk-show host by comparison.” Nailed it.
- Mullin also shared some observations about some players who the Bears have met individually. That group includes defensive studs such as North Carolina State pass rusher Bradley Chubb, Georgia linebacker Roquan Smith, Alabama defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick, and Iowa cornerback Joshua Jackson, each of whom can land in the top-10. A pair of local secondary products – Northwestern safety Kyle Queiro and Illinois cornerback Jaylen Dunlap – have also received additional attention from the Bears.
- Perhaps Washington defensive lineman Vita Vea is a prospect of interest? We discussed the possibility of the Bears using the eighth pick on Vea on Friday, and the timing couldn’t be better seeing that he is scheduled to visit the Bears today.
- Bleacher Report’s Zach Buckley takes a look at some boom-or-bust draft prospects and provides a mock draft in which the Bears take the safest player on the board in Notre Dame guard Quenton Nelson.
- LSU’s Arden Key pops up as one of Buckley’s boom-or-bust prospects, citing Mike Mayock’s analysis calling Key “as talented a natural edge-rusher as there is in this draft” but also noting his departure from the team in 2017 for “personal reasons” in an offseason that also featured him having shoulder surgery in the summer. Key was a projected top-10 pick entering last year’s college football season, and now he is far from a first-round lock. It’s possible some team lands Key and is an absolute draft day steal.
- Dan Deyoung of The Loop Sports profiles Key, who is a potential Bears target because of his pass-rushing ability. from a Bears perspective, which makes sense considering the team’s need at pass rusher. The negatives (off-the-field concerns, a drop-off in production, issues stopping the run at times) are notable, but the positives show up on tape and even jump off the screen. Key is a polarizing player who teams will either be kicking themselves for not drafting or find themselves relieved for passing on him despite his talent.
- You really can’t have enough receiver prospects to keep an eye on:
Bears met with Virginia WR Andre Levrone, per source. 6-3, 225-pounder averaged 20.3 yards per catch last season and had 7 touchdowns. He ran a 4.47 40 at his Pro Day.
— Kevin Fishbain (@kfishbain) April 7, 2018
- A big-bodied receiver with 4.47 speed and seven touchdowns makes for an interesting receiver prospect to keep an eye on in later rounds or (more likely) as a priority undrafted free agent.
- Kevin Fishbain’s Bears mailbag at The Athletic is equal parts informative and entertaining. Because of the Bears’ spending in free agency on offense, Fishbain sees the Bears as a team that is in a good position to draft “a very good defensive player” in the first or second rounds. After making major financial investments on offense, it would be nice to strike a balance and use the draft to load up on defensive talent. The team could also use one of those two picks on an upgrade to the offensive line. The Bears have options, in part, because of how the team aggressively attacked free agency.