It sure is awesome remembering that you can feel good AFTER a football playoff game:
— Saluki Athletics (@SIUSalukis) April 25, 2021
• If you believe the week begins Sunday, then you can proudly proclaim that the NFL Draft begins THIS WEEK. It’s exciting to think about bringing in new players who can help the Chicago Bears now — and in the future. This thing can go in so many different directions. And while I’m certain we can say this about every NFL Draft, it’s especially true this year.
• Think about the Bears’ different needs. They can pick a receiver, lineman, or cornerback at 20 and I wouldn’t bat an eye. It would be easy to green-light a pick at a position of need. The team could also mortgage other draft capital to move up to take a quarterback. Who the Bears take would be a point of contention for some, but it’s hard to argue against making the climb to fortify that position. The only thing easier would be building an argument for trading back and adding draft picks. Seriously … there are many different options that would be easy to approve from where we stand as of right now.
• And when it comes to quarterback, I’m losing track of how many different scenarios can play out. But to simplify things, let’s put it this way: NFL mock draft gurus have the Bears QB range going from Trey Lance to Davis Mills. If you’re doing the confused head-tilt thing, let me iron this out. In Pete Prisco’s latest mock, he has the Bears taking Stanford QB Davis Mills with the 20th overall pick. Prisco is bold enough to believe that Mills will be better than one or two of the first five QBs taken in this class. I admire his gumption.
• Drafting Mills would be right in Ryan Pace’s wheelhouse. Going off the board to take a QB because he is projectable with traits despite limited experience. Prisco is a self-proclaimed “big believer” in Mills, envisioning a player who can take a year behind Andy Dalton, then take over in 2022. Following the Patrick Mahomes-Chiefs blueprint isn’t the worst idea. But I’m not sure that’s the best way to use the 20th overall pick when Mills isn’t projected to go that high. And I’m not sure Pace would want to make a QB pick he might not be around to see play. Sigh. This is why I pushed for Jalen Hurts to be a Bears pick at some point in the 2020 NFL Draft.
• On the other end of the spectrum is Chad Reuter’s latest mock, a seven-round behemoth that has Chicago trading up to take Trey Lance. The best thing in this mock is that the Bears don’t take Lance over any of the other projected first-round QBs. There’s no: Oh, but you could’ve had Justin Fields instead sentiment to be made with this mock. And for what it’s worth, the draft haul isn’t as hurtful as one might otherwise expect. Reuter projects the Bears trading the 20th and 83rd picks, plus next year’s first-rounder to make the move. That would sting a bit. But the Bears could use the 52nd pick to move around and re-coup some of that draft capital lost. That’s worth keeping in mind.
• I have mixed feelings about how the rest of this mock plays out. Taking a safety (Oregon’s Jevon Holland) makes little sense. Nothing like not backing up your QB pick with a lineman (Jalen Mayfield goes 58th to KC, Quinn Meinerz get 62nd to GB) or receiver (D’Wayne Eskridge goes 60th to NO). Reuter has the Bears taking DT Marquiss Spencer (164th), EDGE Patrick Johnson (204th), OT Landon Young (208th), WR Jonathan Adams (221st), and S Tyler Coyle (228th) in the sixth round. I can get down with depth picks, but two safeties in this class? See why I do’t like using pick 52 to take one? I guess I should be careful when I wish for the Bears to take a QB, OL, and WR in this draft. Perhaps I should be more specific with my requests.
• Eddie Jackson, a fourth-round pick in 2017, is Exhibit A as to why I’m down to wait for a safety:
• Want a reason to be OK with drafting a late-round receiver, check out Darnell Mooney:
• This ESPN report from Mike Fish detailing how Bears QB Nick Foles and Broncos All-Pro pass rusher Von Miller are among the NFL players who have investment money tied into a highly controversial high-interest loan program targeting low-income people that has gone into a bankruptcy case is mind-blowing. No one has been charged with any crimes. And all players have been cleared of criminal activity to this point. But this should serve as a reminder that players should be mindful of where they invest their money.
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