Happy Bears Draft Week, Current Picks, Trading Up, Strength of Schedule, and Other Bullets

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Happy Bears Draft Week, Current Picks, Trading Up, Strength of Schedule, and Other Bullets

Chicago Bears News

Nothing re-charges the batteries like a day with the family. Couldn’t ask for better timing either because we’ll need every ounce of energy to get through NFL Draft Week.

  • When the Monday before the draft came around in each of the last two years, we were up to our ears in draft stuff when we jumped into the week. The Bears had top-10 picks in each of those drafts and a variety of holes to fill. There were so many different directions the Bears could have traveled and we had to cover them all. Things are different this year. Not just because the team doesn’t have a first (or second) round pick, but also because there are fare fewer holes to fill. Having a ton of picks can be good, but wouldn’t you have fewer picks and a better team? Just a thought.
  • As a reminder, these are the picks the Bears have in their possession for draft weekend:
  • Not having picks in Rounds 1, 2, and 6 stands out for obvious reasons. This year’s first and sixth rounders were sent to Oakland as part of the Khalil Mack trade, so you can think of it as the Bears having used two picks on Mack if your heart desires. And since players like Mack don’t grow on trees and aren’t usually available late in the first round (let alone the sixth), it’s easy to make a case for it being a good use of draft capital.
  • Chicago doesn’t have a second-round pick this year because it sent the selection to New England to move up in the draft to choose Anthony Miller. The jury is still out on Miller, but his upside is unquestionable. Miller was an All-American talent coming out of Memphis and finished his rookie season tied for the team league with seven reception touchdowns – all while playing most of the season with a shoulder injury that needed surgical repair after the season ended. Miller is already hyped about what he can do in 2019 and we can’t wait to see him hit the field again either.
  • So what will the Bears do with the picks they do have? Well, we have until Friday to sort through it all since the team doesn’t have a pick until late in Round 3. Unless GM Ryan Pace pulls a rabbit out of his hat, which can’t be ruled out because we have seen Pace pull off surprises in the past.
  • In fact, Pace has traded up to get players in each of his last three drafts. The Bears moved up to draft Leonard Floyd in 2016, swapped picks with the 49ers to take Mitch Trubisky (and with the Rams to choose Eddie Jackson) in 2017, and jumped into the second round to take Miller last season. With that as our backdrop, we (as a collective) shouldn’t assume the Bears’ first pick will be the 87th overall.
  • Beyond the trend of trading up, it’s worth noting what positions the Bears traded up to fill. Pass-rusher, quarterback, safety, wide receiver – all impact skill positions that can change the game if the right player is selected. With that in mind, history suggests if the Bears are going to trade up, it’s probably going to be for a playmaker. Maybe it’s the running back who rounds out the backfield. Perhaps is an additional pass-rusher to bolster a group that’s strong at the top, but could always use depth. It could even be a cornerback, especially since cornerbacks Prince Amukamara and Buster Skrine are entering their 30s. I won’t even rule out safety because Ha Ha Clinton-Dix is only in Chicago on a one-year deal.
  • So even without picks in the first two rounds, there is worthwhile buzz surrounding the Bears when it comes to this upcoming draft. Neat!
  • Let’s not forget about the players already on the team:

  • The Bears showed up for the first phase of the offseason training program without a peep in terms of off-field drama. There haven’t been any reported holdouts, contract disputes, player-coach-front office beef, or anything else that would otherwise play a role in derailing a season. That’s re-assuring. When offseasons come to an end without a hint of drama, it probably means everyone’s eyes are on a bigger prize. And that feels good.
  • Chicago needs all the positive vibes it can get now, because this could get rough during the season:

  • The early reviews of the Bears’ 2019 schedule are in and they’re facing what is believed to be the fifth roughest schedule. Chicago’s opponents had a .520 winning percentage last season, which puts them near the top of the list of toughest schedules. For what it’s worth, the Bears are tied with the Chiefs for the fifth-hardest strength of schedule. The two teams play each other in Week 16. Get pumped!
  • Satchel Price of the Sun-Times points out attending the season-opening lid-lifter against the Packers is going to cost you a few pretty pennies. The buy-in price (or in other words, the cheapest ticket) for Bears-Packers Week 1 is $352. Only two other games (Patriots-Steelers Week 1, Patriots-Cowboys Week 12) have higher prices just to get in the building. If you were planning to go to any of those games, I hope you’ve been budgeting wisely.
  • Dyson Vacuums, water filters, pressure washers, and … survival food kits(?) are all among your Deals of the Day at Amazon.

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Luis Medina

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