Taylor Swift dropping “Mr. Perfectly Fine,” a song originally written in 2008 that didn’t make the original “Fearless” cut got me feeling things. Friday’s release of “Fearless (Taylor’s Version)” is gonna be a thing.
• After digging into mock drafts that are trending toward the Bears drafting a defensive player, it was a bit refreshing to see Peter Schrager’s first mock draft sending Florida receiver Kadarius Toney to the Bears. Was I bummed to see quarterbacks go with the first four picks? A little. And did I feel a hint of annoyance seeing the Patriots trade up from 15 to take Justin Fields at No. 4? You betcha.
• But also … if it takes this year’s first- and second-round picks and next year’s first and thirds, how much more would it take for the Falcons to be willing to move back five more spots? It’s a steep price to pay, to be sure. But the juice could be worth the squeeze for a player with Fields’ talent. Without going too far down the rabbit hole, let me put this out there: If Peter Schrager thinks the Patriots might see it as worth it to trade that much to get Fields, then the Bears — considering their own desperate quarterback needs — should take it into consideration.
• Let’s circle back to Kadarius Toney for a moment, as ESPN’s Matt Bowen pegs him and the Bears as an ideal fit. Bowen concedes Chicago could go offensive tackle or cornerback with its first-round pick, which is something we’ve been discussing for some time. But the Bears’ offensive needs being what they are, using pick No. 20 on Toney is the kind of move that would be sensible and celebrated. Bowen views Toney as an early impact player who can be dropped in the slot and manufactured touches while Darnell Mooney and Allen Robinson II garner the lion’s share of attention elsewhere. But really, it’s this simple: Toney has speed. And because Toney has juice, the Bears can plop him in the offense and be a more layered unit immediately. He doesn’t have to be the crispiest route runner from the jump. Nor does he need to run a complex tree. Toney should be a player who one simply gets the ball to in space and let his athleticism take care of everything else.
• Now, I suppose the counter argument to drafting Toney with the 20th pick is that there are similar athletes who could be found later in the NFL Draft. Fair enough. Sixteen receivers went in the first 100 picks in 2020 and steals were found all over the place. But if the decision hinges on choosing between the better player at No. 20 and hoping to get a similar player later, take the better player when they are available. This is not the draft to over-think things.
• All things considered, drafting Toney would likely feel like a net win for the Bears. So … let’s enjoy some highlights:
Watch every one of Kadarius Toney's touchdowns for Florida. pic.twitter.com/YyOUYFsy9Q
— James Simpson (@JS_Football) April 6, 2021
• That’ll play.
• NFL Network analyst Cynthia Frelund has five receiver fits based on analytics pairings. The Bears aren’t deemed a fit for anyone Frelund lists, although she pairs Toney with the Arizona Cardinals. Grumble.
• I know the Bears’ backfield is filling up, but I still wouldn’t mind them choosing a running back at some point on draft weekend. Especially if it is someone as explosive as Michael Carter:
Michael Carter: 29 runs of 20+ yards over the last two seasons.
More than any player in CFB.pic.twitter.com/fuKyjaQGa4
— PFF Draft (@PFF_College) April 7, 2021
• Want an offense with more explosive plays? Draft more players who make those plays happen (regardless of position).
• I’m glad someone said it:
I don't get all the Matt Nagy hate in Chicago. At all. ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/cs9jo3eipK
— Ross Tucker (@RossTuckerNFL) April 5, 2021
• Look, I get it. Nagy isn’t the most popular kid in school right now. Not after failing to turn Mitchell Trubisky into a better quarterback than what he has shown to this point. But I fall closer to Ross Tucker’s assessment in Nagy not being as bad as some of the loudest voices think. Are there places to be critical? Absolutely. For starter’s, Nagy’s play calling can resemble that of a play collector than a play caller. His stubbornness shows in his commitments to things that look good, but aren’t working in a given situation. And will you please run the dang ball when defensive schemes are more geared toward stopping the pass on a given play. Take the free yards, for crying out loud! Even still … it’s not *ALL* bad. It can’t be. Because, if it was, we’d be re-living the Marc Trestman era again. As a reminder, there is a difference between being “bad” and “not living up to expectations.” Perspective is key.
• Mind blowing:
Full circle! Nate Sudfeld helped the Eagles get the sixth pick, Philly having that pick helped facilitate 49ers getting the third pick from the Dolphins and, now, Niners help Sudfeld (by giving him a job).
A true win/win … /win. https://t.co/rAH85TRZdM
— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) April 7, 2021
• “For now” is doing a lot of the work here:
Our (ok my) long national nightmare of listening to terrible Russell Wilson trade proposals is over. For now, at least. pic.twitter.com/Cg8lXPXnJY
— Mina Kimes (@minakimes) April 7, 2021
• Brian Urlacher’s cashing in after selling property in Arizona:
Chicago Bears legend Brian Urlacher selling Arizona estate for $2.5M https://t.co/RhTME0Ftjk
— Chicago Tribune (@chicagotribune) April 8, 2021