Easter Sunday only heightens my awareness that I’ve been in a deeper self-reflection mode for the last week or so, especially when compared to where I would be at another time of year. Happy Easter to all who celebrate. Here’s to enjoying time with those you love and care for if you’re able to do so.
• Kristopher Knox (Bleacher Report) lists every team’s best draft pick of the past decade, and he’ll get no argument from me that Eddie Jackson is the obvious pick to click. I realize the tape from 2020 wasn’t the best. HOWEVA, two Pro Bowl appearances and a first-team All-Pro nod in four years speaks volumes. When he is on his game, Jackson is the best safety in football. Ball-hawking turnover machines don’t grow on trees.
• This would be a tougher call to make had Kyle Long been able to stay healthy. The 2013 first-round pick had three Pro Bowls and a second-team All-Pro nod within his first three seasons. All things considered, the Bears could use a healthy Kyle Long anchoring their line.
• Since he’s on my ind, let’s check out a Mic’d Up Kyle Long from 2016:
• Peak era Kyle Long brought so much to the table. There was an energy in his game that was unmatched among his fellow linemen. An ability to deliver key blocks on multiple levels of the sample play. Knowledge of situational football. I realize a different regime drafted Long, but this one could learn something by following the last one’s lead. Long the blueprint of what they should want in a lineman. That combination of size, skill, strength, athleticism, and intangibles is incredibly difficult to come across. If it can be found on draft weekend, the Bears should immediately jump on the prospect who possesses it.
• A most accurate description of how Chicago’s quarterbacking situation unfolded, via BYCTOM of Bring Your Champions, They’re Our Meat:
“The Bears told their fans they would show them an exciting, romantic space opera and instead sent them a tediously detailed tome outlining the mechanisms of an intergalactic trade dispute.”
• And much like the prequels of the space opera that is alluded to in the passage above, I hope we can find some silver linings in the Andy Dalton era. Or at minimum, some meme content that ages tremendously well. Can we get John Williams to do the music at Soldier Field?
• Rich Eisen sounds like someone who wants to use his platform to give Bears fans an over-the-air hug. And frankly, I appreciate it:
• I admire Ryan Pace’s gumption (even if I don’t wholly agree with his assessment):
#Bears Ryan Pace said of Andy Dalton: Likes his experience. 3 Pro Bowls. Leadership. Decision making. Has won a lot of games. Durable player. Fits style of offense. Can handle drop back game. RPOs. Play Action. Movements. One of more complete QBs evaluated. Excited to have him.
— StaceyDales (@StaceyDales) April 2, 2021
• Then again, you better like all of these things about Dalton if you’re going to hand him the QB1 gig in this manner.
• Ian Wharton (Complex) lists a Sam Darnold-Bears trade as one of 10 that “must happen” by the end of the 2021 NFL Draft. To which my response is simply: Why? Is there a good reason it “must” happen? Are people so desperate for a New York-Chicago trade that would generate more clicks, content, and think-pieces than you can shake a stick at that they need this to happen? If it wasn’t for my own desire to dive into this Draft class, I’d be begging for the fast-forward button because I’m at my wits end with Sam Darnold trade proposals.
• Seriously … for whom must this deal happen? Should the Bears be desperate to trade the 52nd overall pick in this draft and a 2022 fourth-rounder for one year of a player you have to make a decision on his fifth-year option essentially upon arrival. Imagine giving the go-ahead to guarantee a player the two most expensive years of his rookie deal before he takes a training camp snap with your franchise when said player is coming off a career-worst year in the completion percentage, yards/attempt, and passes rating categories. It’s illogical. And while the Bears don’t deal in logic often, going this far off the board would take the cake. But more than that, it’s the kind of move that we’d look back on as sealing Ryan Pace’s fate in Chicago.
• The Bears have their own first two picks in the NFL Draft for the first time since 2018. It’d be awfully annoying for them to use one of those picks on a Darnold trade when it could be better used at a position that makes life easier on whomever the next quarterback is for this team. Any number of offensive linemen and receivers would make better fits.
• It was good to see dingers, but nothing beats Javier Báez manufacturing a run on the bases:
Javy Báez Running Wild to Create the Cubs’ First Run of the Day (VIDEO) – https://t.co/sRTyF2BkKH
— Bleacher Nation Cubs (@BleacherNation) April 3, 2021
• I realize the Bulls could use a point guard, but we’re gonna call dibs on drafting Jalen Suggs:
.@ZagMBB's Jalen Suggs had football skills too 👀
In the 2020 recruiting class, Suggs was ESPN's No. 5 player in the state of Minnesota with offers from Ohio State, Nebraska and others.
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) April 4, 2021
SUGGS FOR THE WIN!
— The Ringer (@ringer) April 4, 2021