Bears-Packers to kick off the year is going to be super-lit. I can’t wait to see what prospects get their first taste of the rivalry in September.
- Bleacher Report lists safety, cornerback, kicker, and edge defender as needs that need to be addressed by the Bears during the draft. The Bears signed a safety and cornerback to be starters for 2019, while also adding two fresh faces for an upcoming kicking competition. But (as we discussed earlier) long-term solutions are currently not in place. What better place to find those types of players than the upcoming NFL Draft?
- On the mock draft side of things, Matt Miller has a three-round mock in which he sends Iowa safety Amani Hooker to the Bears. Chicago would be passing on running backs such as Florida Atlantic’s Devin Singletary and Ohio State’s Mike Weber in the process, but I can understand where Miller is coming from with this selection (in part because we have discussed him as someone who has been previously mocked to the Bears by others). Hooker was a do-it-all defender for the Hawkeyes who showed versatility and play-making skills in one of college football’s premier conferences and doing it for a program that churns out pro talent annually. With HaHa Clinton-Dix on a one-year contract and Deon Bush being in the final year of his rookie deal, drafting a safety while thinking of the bigger picture is quite sensible.
- Sticking with the safety first idea, The Athletic’s Dane Brugler has a three-round mock draft in which the Bears select Virginia’s Juan Thornhill, who happens to be a multi-faceted prospect with the potential to wear many hats. Thornill led UVA in tackles (98) and interceptions (6) last year, but has also spent time as a cornerback in addition to his work at safety. There is always room for positional flexibility on the defensive side of the ball, even if we don’t know how someone like Thornhill would specifically fit in to Chuck Pagano’s defense. Then again, simply picking the best player in the third round and fitting him into the system later makes all the sense in the world.
- WGN Radio’s Adam Hoge has a new-look mock draft in which the Bears select Penn State running back Miles Sanders with their third-round pick. And I see that Sanders – who is one of my favorite running back prospects in this class – apparently has the Bears’ attention:
The #Bears are really doing their homework on RBs. Miles Sanders is visiting Chicago today. CHI also met with him formally at the Combine.
— Jordan Reid (@JReidNFL) March 15, 2019
- Of course, he isn’t the only B1G running back who has been targeted by the Bears:
Ohio State defensive tackle Dre’Mont Jones said he has visits planned with the Denver Broncos, Carolina Panthers and Cleveland Browns.
Running back Mike Weber said he has visits planned with the New Orleans Saints, Dallas Cowboys, Pittsburgh Steelers and Chicago Bears.
— Dan Hope (@Dan_Hope) March 20, 2019
I’m told this is Chicago Bears head coach Matt Nagy currently working out former Ohio State running back Mike Weber at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center. pic.twitter.com/6X0nJRLDEk
— Garrett Stepien (@GarrettStepien) March 21, 2019
- Another Big Ten rusher who we’ll need to start doing some background on is Nebraska’s Devine Ozigbo, who DraftAnalyst.com’s Tony Pauline reports has drawn interest from the Bears and others during the pre-draft process. Ozigbo rushed for 1,082 yards and scored 12 times for the the Big Ten’s “other” NU. Even though my mind wants to immediately look at Ozigbo’s receiving numbers (23 catches, 203 yards) because it’s something that clearly matters in this offense, my eyes can’t stop looking at the 7.0 yards per carry average he posted last year.
- The Bears currently have the three tight ends they ended the season with back for more in 2019, but LSU’s Foster Moreau is someone the team could target in order to really push forward with a real competition at the position:
I initially placed Moreau at No. 87 in this mock, but the more I read/hear, the more I think he might be there at 126https://t.co/wGn1ib27Hj
— Arthur Arkush (@ArthurArkush) March 22, 2019
- Moreau has two-way tight end potential, but was primarily used as a block-first tight end for the Tigers. It’s tough to analyze Moreau’s potential as a pass-catcher because LSU’s quarterbacking hasn’t been much to write home about, but perhaps there is some un-tapped potential that can be drawn out at the pro level. The Saints appear to be intrigued by his upside, according to NOLA.com.
- Wide receiver isn’t topping the Bears’ list of draft needs, but someone like Kennesaw State’s Justin Sumpter is going to draw his share of poppin’ eye-balls emojis for what he did at his Pro day:
It’s Pro Day szn! Kennesaw State WR Justin Sumpter met with the Bears today, per source. 6-3, 220-pounder was leading receiver (21 catches for 316 yards) for triple-option team. His vert (39.5), broad (10’5) and 3-cone (7.0) all would’ve been top 10 among WRs at the combine.
— Kevin Fishbain (@kfishbain) March 13, 2019
- When a formal meeting with the Bears results in a player saying he would “love to play for Chicago” then something good must have come from it:
EMU DE Maxx Crosby tells me that he met formally with the #Bears while at the combine. Emphasized that the meeting went really well and he met with every coach on staff. "I would love to play for Chicago."
— Christian Shanafelt (@ChrisShanafelt) March 13, 2019
- Eastern Michigan’s Maxx Crosby picked up 20 sacks, 41 tackles-for-loss, 8 forced fumbles (4 recoveries), an interception, and two defensive touchdowns. in 37 games over three years. Crosby’s last two years were the most impressive, becoming just the third player in school history to earn consecutive first-team All-MAC honors on the defensive side of the ball. His redshirt-sophomore year might stand out more to some because of the sack numbers (11), but Crosby might have been more well-rounded as a junior when he collected 70 tackles, 7.5 sacks, 19 tackles for loss, 4 passes defended, four forced fumbles, and an interception return touchdown. WalterFootball.com has Crosby as the site’s 16th-rated defensive end, believes he is best suited as a 3-4 rush linebacker, and projects him to be a Round 3-5 pick – which should put him squarely on the Bears’ radar.
- Elsewhere in the state of Michigan, Tony Pauline notes the Bears had a one-on-one with Central Michigan’s Xavier Crawford. A talented defensive back who was clocked as fast as 4.36 seconds in the 40-yard dash, Crawford started his college football career at Oregon State before moving on as a graduate transfer. At CMU, Crawford earned All-MAC honors and had an eye-opening, team-leading 12 pass breakups. Crawford has some prospect pedigree to his name, earning All-Pac-12 honorable mention and was a USA Today Freshman All-American in a season in which he started 12 games. Let’s keep an eye on where he goes, as he could fit the Bears’ need to bolster their secondary late in the draft.
- Josh Allen sacking Josh Allen would be fun to watch:
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) March 22, 2019