I’m Mildly Annoyed That the NFC North Got Better in the Draft and Other Bullets

I allow myself to splurge a little on draft weekend and Friday night pizza is a tradition unlike any other around here. But when I’m done stuffing my face after the draft concludes, I’m going to prepare myself to cook up this Sweet & Sour Chicken recipe from Jim Cooks Food Good.

  • Unless the Bears trade out of the No. 87 pick and into the fourth round, they’ll make a pick today. GET PUMPED!
  • The Raiders turned the 2019 first-round pick they acquired from the Bears in the Khalil Mack trade into Josh Jacobs, the Alabama product who was the highest-rated running back of his class by various publications and draft gurus. The irony of the Raiders taking the best player (and someone the Bears liked enough to use an official visit on) at one of the Bears’ biggest positions of need with the Mack pick is not lost on me. But it’s worth noting that Jacobs was the only back taken in the first round, which is one reason to believe Chicago is going to be in a good spot when it goes on the clock later today and chooses to take a running back. Heck, there is a case to be made that the Bears are in a good place no matter what position they have eyes on drafting. A draft loaded with middle-round talent with upside plays to Chicago’s team needs.
  • Alright, so the Khalil Mack trade was worth it. And Mitch Trubisky knows it:
  • There is no doubt the Bears wouldn’t have reached the heights they did without Mack, whose presence changed the complexion of the team and the competitive balance in the NFC North while forcing open the team’s championship window. We know what Mack did defensively in his first year in Chicago, but we probably don’t talk enough about how that defense aided Trubisky and the offense. Good field position helped the Bears offense grow by easing the pressure and burden off the second-year quarterback. And more often than not, Trubisky took advantage of short fields to put points on the board. There is still improvement to be made by Trubisky, but the learning curve isn’t as sharp when your offense can lean on a Mack-led defense.
  • As someone who knows what it’s like to have your favorite team pick a quarterback and get panned for it, I have a sense for what’s going on in the Giants’ world. And yet, I’m still befuddled by the Daniel Jones pick. At least Mitch Trubisky was the top-rated quarterback before the draft and was expected to be the first off the board – even if some didn’t expect him to go No. 2. Jones going to the Giants while Dwayne Haskins and Drew Lock were still available was an eyebrow-raiser, to be sure.
  • This thread. YIKES:
  • https://twitter.com/ScottBarrettDFB/status/1121692636845236226

  • It’s OK, though. At least Jones doesn’t have swag (because, I guess swag is bad now?):
  • Coffee makers being among the Deals of the Day at Amazon today is fitting, especially considering how many cups I’ll need to consume to make it through the next two draft days.
  • Whoopsiedoodle:
  • I’m low-key peeved that the NFC North appears to have improved after Day 1 of the draft.
  • The Packers’ two selections – Iowa EDGE Rashan Gary and Maryland S Darnell Savage – said everything we needed to know about how they feel about the Bears offense. Because if Green Bay wasn’t concerned about slowing down Trubisky and friends, they wouldn’t have prioritized selecting a pass-rusher and a top safety in the first round. Throw in their commitment to re-shaping the pass defense with rushers and defensive backs and you’ll quickly conclude this isn’t a coincidence. What else is there to say but “game recognize game” when discussing the Packers’ picks?
  • Remember when Savage was viewed as a perfect fit for the Bears defense? It doesn’t feel as if January was all that long ago, but Savage’s stock has skyrocketed since then.
  • If it’s any consolation, Lorenzo Reyes (USA Today) lists Gary, as well as the Raiders’ first first-round pick (Clemson DL Clellin Farrell) as two of the most questionable picks in the 2019 NFL Draft’s first round. From a Bears perspective, the hope is the juice isn’t worth the squeeze – especially since both teams appear on Chicago’s schedule in 2019.
  • In theory, the Lions did well with the selection of Iowa tight end T.J. Hockenson. I feel dirty because I liked him as a prospect, but even the best tight end prospects tend to develop slowly. It’s not out of the realm of possibilities that Detroit could repeat the mistakes of the Eric Ebron draft if it doesn’t make significant corrections to the organizational development plan.
  • Because we saw how the Bears wrecked the Vikings’ offensive line last year, it wasn’t a surprise to see them pick an offensive lineman in the first round. But a center prospect? North Carolina State’s Garrett Bradbury was PFF’s second highest-graded interior offensive line prospect, but ranked 41st overall on their big board. That makes the Bradbury pick something of a reach. As Bears fans learned last year, quality offensive linemen can be found in Round 2. This feels like a missed opportunity for the Vikings, but that’s cool with me!
  • At the absolute top of the draft, let’s just say things escalated quickly:
  • Snap-judgment grades for first-round picks at CBS Sports, Pro Football Focus and NFL.com should catch you up on everything you missed in Round 1.
  • written by

    Luis C. Medina, who you can find on Twitter at lcm1986, has been covering the Chicago Bears at Bleacher Nation since 2017. Since then, he has written about 3 head coaches, 5 play-callers, and 11 starting quarterbacks. Previously, Luis wrote about the Cubs and MLB at BN (2015-16) and worked in the Chicago Tribune sports department (2011-16). He also co-hosted a Cubs postgame show, Outside the Ivy, in 2019.

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