Bears Draft Notes: More RB Visits, Perfect Fits, Prospect Rankings, More

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Bears Draft Notes: More RB Visits, Perfect Fits, Prospect Rankings, More

Chicago Bears News

Admittedly, it’s not easy to get pumped for the NFL Draft when your team doesn’t have picks in the first or second rounds. HOWEVER, Khalil Mack highlights and Anthony Miller hype go a long way toward holding me over.

We, as Bears fans, have survived rougher patches than this before and we’ll do it again … together!

  • Six words that should make every Bears fan smile ahead of the upcoming NFL Draft:

  • The Bears have no glaring need. Those six words should have Bears fans sleeping easy. Yes, we know the Bears have positions that need to be filled and fortified between now and the start of the season, but there isn’t a desperate need for a starter at any position. Remember how we felt about needing a pass-rusher last year? That existential dread is no longer with us. Thank goodness.
  • When it comes to running back visits, the Bears appear to subscribe to “the more, the merrier” concept. Eight of the Bears’ 30 official visits have gone to running backs, according to John “Moon” Mullin of NBC Sports Chicago. The list: Ryquell Armstead (Temple), Myles Gaskin (Washington), Josh Jacobs (Alabama), Alexander Mattison (Boise State), Miles Sanders (Penn State), Devin Singletary (Florida Atlantic), Mike Weber (Ohio State), Trayveon Williams (Texas A&M).
  • That’s a heck of a collection, as far as I’m concerned. Bears scouts have done well unearthing running back gems from prior draft classes, so there is a certain amount of confidence we should have that the powers that be can do it again.
  • For what it’s worth: Hall of Fame NFL executive Gil Brandt views Miles Sanders as a perfect fit for the Bears. Brandt notes that Jordan Howard’s “limited receiving skills” led to him being “expendable” and that Sanders could slide into a role with Tarik Cohen to create a new, more dynamic 1-2 punch. Where do I sign up?
  • Boise State’s Alexander Mattison could be the type of late-round diamond-in-the-rough type who shines in Chicago:

  • Dan Durkin’s profile of Mattison as a prospect and possible Bears fit paints a portrait of a running back who has ample strength and athleticism to be a solid one-cut rusher at the next level and someone who has reliable hands as a pass catcher. Mattison isn’t a perfect prospect. He could use some work in pass protection and his speed would’t be described as blazing. But still … there is considerable upside.
  • Pro Football Focus released its 250-player big board, which you should take some time out of your day, sort through some names, find your favorites, and tweet them at us at @BN_Bears. Because I’m sure you’re curious, here are the players who are ranked 87th, 126th, 162nd, 222nd, and 238th – which happen to be the picks the Bears have in the draft:
    • No. 87: Myles Boykin, WR, Notre Dame
    • No. 126: Preston Williams, WR, Colorado State
    • No. 162: Corey Ballentine, CB, Washburn
    • No. 222: Kris Boyd, CB, Texas
    • No. 238: Trayveon Williams, RB, Texas A&M
  • Without any other context, I’d be pleased if the Bears were able to land Boyd and Williams as part of their draft class. Adding a pair of players with starters upside to the mix of depth at the cornerback and running back positions would help the Bears keep that competitive edge that great teams have. Because while having depth is important, talented depth that minimizes the drop off that generally occurs when you go down the depth chart is what separates pretenders and contenders.
  • Maybe I’m wrong, but Jordan Howard comps should be good:

  • There is certainly value in volume, especially at positions that could provide major impact plays. Depth at running back is key because that position group gets dinged up more than any other, but let’s not rule out the possibilities of the Bears adding more at the edge:

  • The Bears retained edge defender Aaron Lynch, but only on a one-year deal. If they can add another one via the draft who can be a contributor right away, it could help save the team the hassle of trying to find another Lynch in free agency next year and save some cap dollars along the way.
  • How about some tight end competition?

  • Texas A&M tight end Jace Sternberger is projected to be a middle-round pick. And while there isn’t a desperate need, Chicago’s interest in Sternberger could suggest the team isn’t 100 percent happy with its tight end position. But after losing Adam Shaheen for a lengthy amount of time due to injuries and not having Trey Burton available for a postseason game could force the Bears’ hand and push them toward bolstering that particular position group.
  • Knowing how much the Bears brain-trust values speed, it wouldn’t be surprising if a wide receiver pops up on their radar:

  • Ohio State’s Terry McLaurin caught our attention with during Senior Bowl week, while Missouri’s Emanuel Hall ran the 40-yard dash in 4.39 seconds at the Combine and earned a comparison to ex-Steelers receiver Mike Wallace. The idea of a low-volume, high-impact wide receiver who maximizes on his speed, athleticism, and short-area quickness could intrigue a number of teams.
  • An interesting tactic, to be sure. Though I’m not convinced the Bears would trade up into the second round:


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Luis Medina

Luis is the Lead Writer at Bleacher Nation Bears, and you can find him on Twitter at @lcm1986.

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