It’s been my own doing, but I’ve struggled to sleep the last handful of nights. But at least I was productive in my struggles last night, taking time to research flights for trips I’d like to take at some point in the near future, then realizing I have unused credits from trips that were canceled in 2020. So at least I went to bed in a good mood.
• Mock Drafts are a dime-a-dozen, I’ll give you that. And at some point, there comes a time where you’ll be sick of them. Or maybe not? After all, this is the first year since 2018 in which the Bears own their own first-rounder. So at a surface level, there’s probably more intrigue in first-round prospects this year than there has been in some time.
• All of that brings me to the latest from Zack Pearson, who shares a full seven-round mock over at Bear Report. I’ll own up to being a mock draft nerd. But also … there’s something about mocks done by folks on the beat that fill me with intrigue. Not to take away from anyone who does a mock, but there’s something about the perspective of someone who follows the team, understands its patterns, needs, and operations that piques my interest. And with that being said, you should give it a full read when possible.
• Pearson’s eight-pick mock has the Bears addressing needs all over the place. Double-dipping along the offensive line (Virginia Tech OT Christian Darrisaw and East Carolina’s D’Ante Smith) and at receiver (North Carolina’s Dazz Newsome and Florida’s Trevon Grimes) is something I can easily see the Bears doing. Plugging holes in the secondary (UCF cornerback Aaron Robinson), in the pass-rush department (Duke’s Chris Rumph II), and at linebacker (Auburn’s K.J. Britt) also fits the M.O. of this front office. And of course there’s a quarterback (Texas A&M’s Kellen Mond).
• Look at it this way, this mock has the Bears checking the boxes on obvious needs that have been long overdue, targeting small school standouts, prospects from places that aren’t perceived as “football schools,” and players from traditional powerhouses who aren’t at the top of everyone’s wish list. In other words, how a Ryan Pace mock draft tends to play out.
• The one thing Pearson’s mock draft doesn’t include is a trade. And because Pace has shown an affinity for dealing up, down, and around on Days 2 and 3, I think it’s something we need to keep in mind as we prepare for this process. To that end, I’m curious as to how the Bears plan on adding more picks. Or, if they’ll package later-round picks to position themselves for a player they like in an earlier round. And as Adam Hoge (NBC Sports Chicago) suggests, it might make sense for the Bears to package Miller as part of a deal that involves Day 2 or Day 3 picks. Miller’s perceived value elsewhere seems to be higher than what it is when chatting on Bears Twitter. And because it takes only one team to get a worthwhile deal, this might be when Miller is dealt. So keep an eye out for that possibility.
• Over at Da Bears Blog, Andrew Dannehy believes the Bears should double-dip at quarterback in the Draft. No arguments here. Although, what happens with Nick Foles? In the grand scheme of things, Foles’ future is small potatoes. Foles doesn’t figure to be in Chicago long term. And if the Bears have Foles and Andy Dalton on the depth chart, it would make for a nice buffer to ensure a developmental QB doesn’t get forced into action earlier than necessary. But if the Bears put this plan into motion, I think I’d rather them do it without using one of their first two picks in this draft. Loading up on best-player-available, then double-dipping with volume and essentially creating a QB competition between projects, is a sensible play.
• More draft stuff for your listening pleasure:
Hoge. Jahns. And @dpbrugler.
A whole lot of draft talk in this podcast today.
Plus, a pick for the Bears.
— Adam Jahns (@adamjahns) April 13, 2021
• Learning toys, sunscreen, humidifiers, bathroom linens, and more are your Deals of the Day at Amazon. #ad
• The ceiling is the roof for Trey Lance:
• I think Aaron Rodgers is good at hosting Jeopardy and am encouraging him to leave football behind in order to follow his dream to become the show’s full-time host:
— Jeopardy! (@Jeopardy) April 13, 2021
• Watching teams zig when others are zagging is one of those things that makes Draft weekend special. But what the Rams are doing is on another level:
"Is that really necessary, or are we only doing it because that’s the way it’s always been?"
The Rams made major changes to their draft process – from player evaluation, to re-assessment of travel and time, to how they view data.
They may never go back: https://t.co/gbpvsymUD7
— Jourdan Rodrigue (@JourdanRodrigue) April 12, 2021
• An NFL and COVID update:
The NFL informed clubs today any team employee who refuses a COVID-19 vaccination without “bona fide medical or religious ground” will be barred from Tier 1 or Tier 2 status, and thus have restricted access within the team facility and not work directly with players, per sources.
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) April 13, 2021
In a memo sent to teams today, the NFL is encouraging players and personnel to get vaccinated. Team facilities were safest place to be in the community. NFL believes it will make it even safer and help return to normalcy – no testing, won’t have to wear a mask or tracking device. pic.twitter.com/DTsOlRmgDk
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) April 13, 2021