Draft Memories, Playing the "What-If" Game, NFC North Battles Ahead, and Other Bullets | Bleacher Nation

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Draft Memories, Playing the “What-If” Game, NFC North Battles Ahead, and Other Bullets

Chicago Bears

It’s Draft Day in the NBA and our friends at BN Bulls are geared up for what could be a franchise-altering night for Chicago’s basketball team. You can follow along with the action on Twitter and Facebook in what might be the most important draft for a Chicago sports team since the Bears’ 2017 draft odyssey.

  • Again, this Bulls draft gives me the same feelings I had before the Bears’ 2017 draft. There is a need to get it right, and do so spectacularly. The bad news is that the Bulls won’t have five picks to work with in order to right the ship. But the good news is that the NBA is a place where you just need one to hit to get things going in the right direction. And while Bears GM Ryan Pace has your trust now when it comes to draft weekend, did he have it before the 2017 draft? Be honest with yourself, because there were plenty of doubters and a few reasons why skepticism was relatively high.
  • I suppose that’s a long way of saying that I think Bulls fans would be more confident if Pace was picking for the Bulls than Gar Forman or John Paxson. Frankly, I can’t blame them for feeling that way.
  • There is some buzz that the Bulls could trade up to take a player like Vanderbilt point guard Darius Garland, which would be a polarizing move. In fact, it would be a move that would mimic the Bears’ decision to swap picks with the 49ers in order to secure the rights to draft Mitch Trubisky. Sure, it’s a risk. But it’s one worth taking for a player your team loves at an important position. So while the lead guard spot isn’t on the same level of importance as quarterback, the NBA is a guard-driven league that needs the point guard to be equal parts leader, scorer, facilitator, and more. That’s a big ask, but the best teams have those players. In short: Good luck, Bulls. You’re gonna need it.
  • Oh, if only there was a kicker draft for the Bears to get someone who could solidify the team’s one weakness. Surely, a kicker draft would give us something else to do other than re-live this what-if scenario:

  • I don’t like playing the what-if game, but I get it. Going to Los Angeles to play a Rams team they already beat could have opened up a different can of worms for the Bears. Maybe something happens in that game that changes how we look at a different player at another position. There is no doubt the narrative of the offseason would have been changed had Parkey made the kick against the Eagles.But without that miss, I can’t help but wonder what the Bears’ rallying cry would have been for 2019. I guess we’ll never find out.
  • The Bears will enter training camp with Elliott Fry and Eddy Piñeiro kicking to win a job on the 2019 team. But still … it’s possible neither is a guy who can secure the gig. There are still free agents (hello, Matt Bryant) available and Chicago still has ample cap space to absorb a multi-million dollar investment in a veteran kicker. However, it looks like the Bears are going to exhaust every internal, low-cost, high-upside prospect before crossing that bridge. And while I am probably in the minority of being OK with the team taking this path, it’s a sound philosophy that has led other teams to their successful kickers. Good process generally leads to good results. Keep pounding, Bears.
  • But don’t waste too much time on new and weird ways to find a kicker, because the NFC North is merciless. NFL.com’s Gregg Rosenthal believes the Bears’ division is the best in football. And why wouldn’t he? Three different teams have won the division title in each of the last three years. And even though the Bears racked up 12 wins in 2018, the Packers and Vikings play with pride and are going to fight their way to get back into contention. This much is to be sure: a repeat championship isn’t going to come say for Chicago.
  • Worth noting: The NFC North hasn’t had back-to-back division champs since the Packers rattled off four straight titles from 2011-14. As if the Bears don’t have enough motivating factors, doing something that hasn’t been done in a hot minute would be fun to follow.
  • WOW! Something other than fixing the kicker position popped up as the Bears’ biggest offseason regret, at least in the eyes of Bleacher Report’s Kristopher Knox. Instead, Knox believes the Bears made a misstep in not bringing back safety Adrian Amos. It’s a move Knox thinks Chicago could come to regret for several seasons moving forward. Because while signing Ha Ha Clinton-Dix to replace Amos looks good on paper, PFF graded Amos as one of football’s best safeties last year. And on the other side of coin, both Green Bay and Washington have passed on bringing back Clinton-dix within the last year. Makes you think…
  • How is this for a Thursday throwback:


  • I can’t relate to it now, but I’m old enough to remember when the Bears were in the Bulls’ situation when it came to free agents:

  • This almost makes you want to run through a brick wall for Nebraska football coach Scott Frost:

Author: Luis Medina

Luis Medina is a Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at@lcm1986.