Judging by the morning forecast, this afternoon might call for grilled meats with the chance of beverage consumption.
Hello, spring? If that’s you, please stick around for a while.
• Only 17 days left of putting together speculative NFL Draft pieces. Not only are we going to get through this, we’ll do it together. And as we sprint to the finish, things tend to become clearer. Sure, we’ll need to remain aware of ther smoke, misdirection, and subterfuge going on right now. But this is a place where we start to see some consensus building. An area we’re starting to see it is at the wide receiver position, where there is a ton of prospect love. Considering the Bears’ needs, this is an encouraging development.
• If you’re looking to bone up on what’s going down in the receiver world, there are so many directions to go in the quest for knowledge. For starters, PFF’s Michael Renner has wide receiver prospect superlatives — many of which are connected to pass-catchers who could be available when Chicago goes on the clock with either of its two picks. Skyy Moore (Best Releases), George Pickens (Best Hands), Christian Watson (Freakiest Athlete), and Calvin Austin (Best Gadget Player) are all real possibilities to be the best receiver on the board when it is time for the Bears to pick. In other words, a receiver-needy franchise is lining itself up to take at least one good swing with a top-tier receiver prospect despite not having a first-round pick. I’m sure Justin Fields likes this development.
• In search of a deeper sleeper? Bleacher Report’s Alex Ballentine lists Cincinnati’s Alec Pierce as the most overlooked receiver prospect in his class. It is easy to look past Pierce, who played collegiately at Cincinnati (not necessarily a traditional football hotbed) and didn’t put up gaudy numbers. But the 6-foot-3, 213-pound pass-catcher ran the 40-yard dash in 4.41 and has enough tape out there that suggests he is willing to get his nose dirty. If the Bears prioritize toughness and physicality at the receiver position, then it is easy to envision Pierce being high on their board. And for what it’s worth, Ballentine lists the Bears as the best fit for Pierce. No argument here.
Alec Pierce is going to be a great Bear pic.twitter.com/3S97ryVsbJ
— DaWindyCity Productions (@dwcprodz) April 11, 2022
• Pierce makes Ryan Fedrau’s list at Bears Wire of 10 receivers the Bears should target on NFL Draft weekend. But let it be known that Pierce isn’t the only physical, big-bodied receiver who should have Chicago’s attention when they go on the clock. Frankly, it might behoove the Bears to do some double-dipping at the position. Sure, that would help with the depth at a position that needs talent and bodies. But it would also help create competition this spring and summer. If you’re like me and believe that steel sharpens steel, then you’ll likely embrace this ideas as much as I do.
• On the other side of the field, the Bears made the Tavon Young signing official. Jeff Hughes (Da Bears Blog) and Alex Shapiro (NBC Sports Chicago) chime in on the signing. Young might be the most interesting addition (among players) the Bears have made to this point of the offseason. At minimum, he certainly checks a bunch of boxes. Young has significant pro experience, a high floor, and probably some room for upside based on the untapped potential that hasn’t been reached due to the time he has missed due to injuries. Admittedly, the injury history (ACL in 2017 and 2020, neck in 2019) is a cause for concern. But a player with his skills at the cornerback position could make it worth the risk if he can put together a second consecutive 17-game season.
• I wonder if GM Ryan Poles has another slick veteran signing up his sleeve:
#Bears had TE James O'Shaughnessy in for a visit. The Naperville North & Illinois State product spent the past 5 seasons with the #Jaguars. Of course, he started his career in Kansas City, so the new regime knows him well. Would be an intriguing depth addition.
— Brad Biggs (@BradBiggs) April 11, 2022
• Maybe James O’Shaughnessy (80 games, 40 starts under his belt) fits the mold of being a solid veteran add. The Bears did employ a pair of vets (Jimmy Graham, Jesse James) to go along with Cole Kmet last year.
• It is also worth noting that O’Shaughnessy was a Chiefs fifth-round pick in 2015, back when Poles was K.C.’s College Scouting Director. So, if anyone should know what O’Shaughnessy brings to the table, it should be the Bears’ first-year GM.
• Don’t put it past the Bears to target another veteran tight end this offseason. And, no, not because it’s a tradition unlike any other to invite any and all available tight ends for a workout at Halas Hall. Only the Miami Dolphins ran more 12 personnel (1 RB, 2 WR, 2 TE) sets than the Packers last year. And I’d contend that stat is true only because Mike Gesicki is a tight end only in name. But with Luke Getsy coming down the interstate from Green Bay, it is easy to imagine him using more sets with two TEs — especially if the wide receivers room doesn’t see an impact draft pick come its way.
• I need Cole Kmet to run with this type of energy all the time:
Thinking back to all the great plays from the #Bears' 36-7 victory over the Texans, Cole Kmet's 11-yard reception in the third quarter was one of the more impressive ones. He gets hit 7 yards short of the first down, but fights with stiff arms and spin moves to move the chains. pic.twitter.com/bFDCyO90aW
— Nicholas Moreano (@NicholasMoreano) December 14, 2020
• This is art:
— Art of Dan Tearle (@VintageGamerArt) April 11, 2022
• I can see why Mike Ditka was willing to risk it all to draft this guy:
‘98 Ricky Williams was UNREAL:
🔸 2,124 rushing yds
🔸 27 rushing TDs
🔸 Heisman Trophy
🔸 Maxwell Award
🔸 Walter Camp Award
🔸 2x Doak Walker Award
🔸 NCAA D1-A career rush leader@TexasFootballpic.twitter.com/cebnEmYJGl
— PFF College (@PFF_College) April 12, 2022
• Toys, tablets, humidifiers, and chargers are among the Deals of the Day at Amazon. #ad
• This was all sorts of wild last night:
— Bleacher Nation (@BleacherNation) April 11, 2022
• I don’t have high expectations for the Bulls as they go up agains the defending NBA champs in their playoff opener. But I do want to see Patrick Williams flash like he can take his game to another level. Let’s see what ya got, young man:
— Bleacher Nation Bulls (@BN_Bulls) April 11, 2022
• This has been a bummer:
— Bleacher Nation Blackhawks (@BN_Blackhawks) April 11, 2022