Theo Epstein knows a thing or two about winning championships and ending lengthy title droughts … and he might just have some advice for Ryan Pace.
In an interview at 670 The Score – which you can read in full right here at our Chicago Cubs sister-site, Bleacher Nation – Epstein implied that the Bears should use the No. 8 overall pick in the draft on one, Quenton Nelson.
He must read The Ten-Yard Line.
- Brad Biggs’ third (and final!) mock draft at the Chicago Tribune has the Bears taking Georgia linebacker Roquan Smith. The Bears have had a storied line of stud inside linebackers and Smith looks like he could fit right in. Teaming strong instincts, sure-handed tackling, and high-end speed has put smith in the conversation for the Bears at No. 8.
- ESPN Chicago’s Jeff Dickerson sees Smith as the kind of player who would bring speed and leadership to a position where those two things have gone hand-in-hand for as long as the Bears franchise has been playing football.
- Mike Mayock also has the Bears taking Smith, in what happens to be the one and only mock draft he has shared this offseason. With Notre Dame guard Quenton Nelson going in the top-5, the Bears are left taking the most well-rounded linebacker prospect available who Mayock believes is a four-down player. For what it’s worth, Mayock projects three quarterbacks going within the first six picks, which includes the Buffalo Bills trading up with the Indianapolis Colts to snag Wyoming’s Josh Allen. If Mayock’s scenario plays out, the Bears could find themselves in a position to trade out of the eighth pick and make a deal with a team that wants UCLA’s Josh Rosen, who drops all the way to the Arizona Cardinals at No. 15.
- WalterFootball.com has put out two mock drafts in 24 hours and the most recent update is something of a doozy from a Bears perspective because it has the team trading out of the No. 8 pick with the Arizona Cardinals. It’s a deal that would allow Arizona to select UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen. WF believes the Bears would want to move down if Notre Dame guard Quenton Nelson is off the board and a trade could help the team add a third-round pick that was lost in last year’s Mitch Trubisky trade.
- Say the Bears stay at No. 8 and Nelson has already been taken, it’s worth noting there are other potential high-impact possibilities. Walter Football lists Ohio State cornerback Denzel Ward and Virginia Tech linebacker Tremaine Edmunds as possible choices should the Bears stick with the eighth pick. But in the mock trade with Arizona, it’s UTSA pass rusher Marcus Davenport who happens to be the pick at No. 15.
- For what it’s worth, Walter Football was ahead of the curve with the Mitch Trubisky love. Just an observation to keep in your back pocket.
- Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio shared the site’s one and only mock draft that comes with “input from people who have experience drafting players” which is fun to think about. PFT’s mock featuring experienced (but anonymous) help sends Ward to Chicago with the eighth pick.
- It seems that a potential run of quarterbacks early could benefit one of the Bears’ biggest rivals:
There are 6 elite D prospects: Chubb, Smith, Edmunds, Ward, James, Fitzpatrick.
For #Packers to get one from that group at 14: 4 QBs have to go before them, plus Barkley & Nelson, plus Vea (to Washington), and finally another prospect has to sneak in top 13 (McGlinchey perhaps).
— Ryan Wood (@ByRyanWood) April 26, 2018
- While Bears GM Ryan Pace might have a “cloud” containing eight names he will be comfortable taking with the eighth pick, the Chicago Tribune’s Rich Campbell breaks down six potential candidates who could be available when the time comes. Last year at this time, Pace was telling folks the team had trimmed their options to three prospects they liked the most before ultimately trading up to get the one Pace truly coveted. Whether a third straight year of trading up happens remains to be seen.
- But seriously, choose wisely:
— Onion Sports Network (@OnionSports) April 26, 2018
- Patrick Finley of the Chicago Sun-Times lays out some different directions in which the Bears can go in the draft. Considering their needs and their GM’s aggressiveness, it feels like possibilities could be endless.
- Credit the Bears’ GM for not tipping his hand publicly, which really goes a long way toward explaining why the team has been connected to so many top-tier prospects and how so many scenarios that won’t happen actually seem like realistic possibilities. Chris Emma of 670 the Score believes Pace has dropped hints on what might go down, but he still leaves Bears fans wondering which direction he’ll travel.
- Now seems to be a great time for folks to make a case for the players they believe the Bears should draft. With that in mind, I enjoyed reading the perspective from JJ Stankevitz as he made a pitch for Notre Dame guard Quenton Nelson. The same can be said about John Mullin’s reasining behind why the team should choose Virginia Tech linebacker Tremaine Edmunds.
- Because I can’t get enough of mock draft fever (I’m going to see a doctor about it, I swear!), Nick Shepkowski of 670 the Score sees Nelson as the safest pick in the draft and a member of the Bears when this draft night is said and done.
- In case you’re curious (and judging by some previous interactions, some of you might be), there are NFL Draft prop bets. I like the UNDER 4.5 linebackers at +250, unless edge defenders are lumped into the mix at linebacker. Then we’re in dangerous territory. Covers.com has you covered with not just one, but two waves of draft-related prop bets for your wagering desires.
- Once the first round is in the books, Roger Goodell will be pushed aside (metaphorically speaking, of course) by a pair of Bears greats announcing the team’s picks:
Mike Singletary will announce the Bears second round pick.
— Mark Grote (@markgrotesports) April 25, 2018
Additionally, previous Walter Payton Man of the Year winners and nominees will announce Round 3 picks. #Bears don't currently own a Rd. 3 selection but Charles Tillman scheduled to announce pick (if they acquire one). If not, he will still be recognized.
— Brad Biggs (@BradBiggs) April 25, 2018