One thing I love about baseball is that one game isn’t the be-all, end-all. And Opening Day isn’t always some indicator of how things will go in the year ahead. HOWEVER, when you feel like you’ve been watching the same game since Oct. 1, 2018, and the Opening Day falls flat exactly as you expected, it becomes a drag. Even still … I’m allowing some time to let these things sort themselves out. My long-standing rule is that I’ll have a real feel for a baseball team on my birthday. So, I’ll stand by that, and we’ll see how I feel on July 1.
• Quarterback is at the top of my Bears Draft Weekend shopping list. I’d like some new weapons on the outside, too. And I realize the need and importance of getting a starting-caliber cornerback. But I’m coming around to the idea of wanting to lock in a stud offensive lineman in Round 1. For instance, Oklahoma State’s Teven Jenkins relative athletic scores are bonkers:
Teven Jenkins is a OT prospect in the 2021 draft class. He scored a 9.73 RAS out of a possible 10.00. This ranked 31 out of 1129 OT from 1987 to 2021.
— Kent Lee Platte (@MathBomb) April 1, 2021
• If Relative Athletic Scores aren’t your thing, then maybe these quotes via Windy City Gridiron’s Jacob Infante are:
⇒ “[I’m a] tough, physical, nasty motherfucker,” Jenkins said when asked about the type of player NFL teams will get in him. “A dude who does not shy away from hits; a dude’s who is going to bust his ass.”
⇒ “I had a talk with my o-line coach and strength coach [who told me] if I was going to be the guy this year, I was going to need to be a motherfucker on the field — be a dickhead, be more aggressive than I was. And I took that personally.”
• One thing I believe we can all agree on regarding the Bears’ offensive needs is that there should be a desire to add someone with an edge who can lead in the trenches. Don’t get me wrong. I like what Cody Whitehair and James Daniels bring to the table. Meanwhile, Alex Bars and Sam Mustipher bring usable depth to the line, and I dig that, too. Even the much-maligned Charles Leno Jr. has proven he can hold it down at left tackle better than a good chunk of the league. But it sure would be nice to have a m-f’er setting the tone with attitude up front. At the peak of his powers, it was something Kyle Long did better than anyone else. Olin Kreutz had those vibes, too. Unfortunately, there aren’t a lot of Longs or Kreutzes out there. So it would be neat if the Bears could identify one, bring him on board, and unleash him on the rest of the league.
• Elsewhere along the line, Alijah Vera-Tucker intrigues me:
• Vera-Tucker is a first-round fringe guy by PFF’s standards, with an overall prospect ranking of 34. But over at NFL Network, Daniel Jeremiah has the USC lineman at 15th overall. There’s plenty of fluidity in the offensive line grades in this class. Simply put, it’s because there is a whole bunch of talent throughout the position group. This isn’t the norm, so it would be good for the Bears to take advantage of it early in the draft.
• Let’s break it down like this: There are 11 offensive linemen checking in among PFF’s top-50 prospects. Then, 10 more pop up in between the 53-95 range. Now we’re talking about 21 offensive linemen being within the top 100. And once we get outside of the top-100, there are players such as Deonte Brown (G, Alabama), Spencer Brown (OT, Northern Iowa), Larry Borom (OT, Missouri), Drake Jackson (C, Kentucky), and Alaric Jackson (T, Iowa) who slide into the 101-200 range who are sleepers that could make strong cases for being ranked higher. Perhaps the Bears should try hard to double-dip on offensive linemen in this draft. Just a thought…
• All things considered, I’m surprised Todd McShay’s latest mock draft didn’t have the Bears using either of their first two picks on linemen. More mock draft fun here.
• The exercise in which Kevin Fishbain, Adam Jahns, and Dane Brugler address the Bears’ problem areas at premium positions via the draft is a unique one. Few teams have focused less of their draft capital as the Bears, who simply haven’t dedicated their resources to unearth solutions at need position. In this post at The Athletic, the trio of football minds dive into quarterbacks, offensive tackles, receivers, cornerbacks, and pass-rushers who should be on Chicago’s radars.
• It’s a story like this that makes me thankful the Bears weren’t more active in free agency this offseason:
Every team has its swings and misses in free agency.
But which player is the worst signing in each team’s recent history?
We compiled the list ⤵️https://t.co/9tei29w4Bu
— The Athletic NFL (@TheAthleticNFL) April 1, 2021
• This is an alarming trend:
— Lorin Cox (@CoxSports1) April 1, 2021
• There are some odd factors that play into this. Players like Sims, Gabriel, and Freeman had injuries that halted their time with the Bears, and ultimately, their time in the league. Wright, Unrein, Amukamara, and Wright signed free agent contracts elsewhere, but never amounted to much. And then players like Porter, Demps, and Rolle were just at the end of their respective ropes. But still … I see five players at premium positions and I can’t help but think about the Bears being the end of the line for these important spots stunting what could otherwise be development had they invested in younger players.
• An old friend finds a new home with some old friends:
Can confirm @schadjoe report that the Dolphins are bringing back DT John Jenkins on a one-year deal.
— Adam Beasley (@AdamHBeasley) April 1, 2021
• Adam Schefter did Mina Kimes dirty on April Fool’s Day:
Some Highly Questionable Hijinks… pic.twitter.com/dJkfVzTGWW
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) April 1, 2021
• A heads up: GM Ryan Pace and Head Coach Matt Nagy are scheduled to speak with the media at 10:30 a.m. CT. I’ll be curious to see what’s brought up and addressed here.
• This Dodgers moment sprung a whole bunch of memes:
OOPS! Cody Bellinger Hit a Two-Run Home Run That Counted for One Runhttps://t.co/kIqQiHmUTV
— Baseball is Fun (@flippingbats) April 1, 2021
— lifelong mariners fan (@KenRosenthot) April 1, 2021
— Gavin (@CT2SD) April 2, 2021