The Senior Bowl Was Loaded With the Type of Offensive Talent the Bears Need to Target on Draft Day

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The Senior Bowl Was Loaded With the Type of Offensive Talent the Bears Need to Target on Draft Day

Chicago Bears

The Senior Bowl never disappoints. My favorite pre-Draft college showcase always features a handful of players who catch my eye for the right reasons. This year in particular, a handful of players cooking on offense grabbed my attention. Hopefully, the Bears took notice, too.

Quality efforts from quarterbacks, receivers, running backs, and offensive linemen were on display on Saturday. Let’s run through some of my favorites.

Mac Jones Didn’t Play, So Kellen Mond Got to Shine

Matthew Stafford going off the board means we’re one step closer to putting a hyper-focus on potential first-round quarterbacks. This isn’t to say the Bears can’t sign one or acquire an option via trade. It’s just that each QB who gets snatched up elsewhere means we move closer to a reality in which drafting a quarterback is Chicago’s best option. And if the Bears stick at 20, I think their best bet at the position might be Alabama’s Mac Jones.

Jones didn’t play in the Senior Bowl after tweaking an ankle, but he made a strong impression throughout practice.

Jones practicing his way at the Senior Bowl into becoming a top-10 pick in April is bold. But we’re no strangers to seeing meteoric rises from quarterbacks. If Jones practiced as well as on-lookers suggest, then he is a mortal lock for the first round. And if that turns out to be the case, there’s a chance Bears might need to look elsewhere when it comes to quarterback draft options.

Kellen Mond won the Senior Bowl MVP … and with good reason:

Mond owns some worthwhile tools, athleticism, and moxie worth working with as a prospect. Thriving at Senior Bowl week isn’t necessarily an indicator of great things to come, but it’s a sign that a quarterback can work through some tough situations. If the Bears are looking for depth and competition in the later rounds, then Mond is worth a deeper dive.

Running Backs and Receivers Steal the Show

No, I don’t expect Bears fans to agree on which prospects the team should target in the upcoming NFL Draft. But we can all agree there should be a focus on the offensive side of the ball. Investing in players with speed and play-making ability should be a priority for GM Ryan Pace and his scouting staff. Every year, standout players make a name for themselves at the Senior Bowl. This year was no exception.

As explained in the tweet above, the Bears could use the type of versatile playmaker Demetric Felton has the potential to be at the next level. His experience as a running back and skills as a pass-catcher make him the kind of multi-positional, all-purpose threat Chicago’s offense needs to add. If you’ve watched the playoffs, then you’ve noticed how Andy Reid uses players like Mecole Hardman and Tyreek Hill out in patterns and out of the backfield. It would be neat if the Bears tapped into that line of thinking and usage.

Michael Carter is one of my favorite running backs in this draft class. He has juice, is tough to tackle, and fun to watch in the open field. And while I understand the Bears can lean on David Montgomery as a featured back, good (read: competitive) teams have multi-pronged rushing attacks. Moreover, it’s good to have depth in the backfield. No skill position takes a pounding like the running backs room. And having quality backup options, while seeming like a luxury, really isn’t when you consider the big picture.

Dez Fitzpatrick wasn’t on my radar at all until he made the catch above. That’s the thing about these showcase games. They provide an opportunity to make a name for yourself by making a play. At 6-foot-2 and 202 pounds, Fitzpatrick has the makings of a pro frame. Considering the Bears’ need to upgrade the pass-catchers, Fitzpatrick will be worth a deeper dive come later in the pre-draft process.

The tweet above says everything I’d otherwise want to type here. I thoroughly enjoy watching Amari Rodgers play football. The combination of route-running, play-making, and assertiveness in his game screams future playmaker. Where do I sign up to get someone like him on the Bears?

Offensive Linemen?

Yeah, I liked watching Michael Carter run hard to pay dirt. But I’m all about the push from these offensive linemen:

There’s plenty of uncertainty regarding the future of the Bears’ line. And to that end, they would be wise to give a whole mess of these guys a deep look. Because while this draft has a number of quality players who should be snagged in the first two rounds, there are depth options and potential starters who could be drafted later on draft weekend.

I liked how Alex Bars and Sam Mustipher grew as young starters last year in a pinch. That is a testament to Juan Castillo (and Harry Hiestand before him). Seeing those young players step up and contribute makes me want the Bears to find more diamond-in-the-rough types to bring along for the ride.

Quinn Meinerz (Wisconsin-Whitewater), D’Ante Smith (East Carolina), James Hudson (Cincinnati), Robert Hainsey (Notre Dame), and Dillon Radunz (North Dakota State) were among the players who have some real buzz after Senior Bowl Week.

Author: Luis Medina

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