Are the Bears Hinting at Their Draft Plans With Their Recent Prospect Visits?

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Are the Bears Hinting at Their Draft Plans With Their Recent Prospect Visits?

Chicago Bears

‘Tis the season for prospect visits.

And for obvious reasons, we’ve got eyes on any and all potential offensive targets.

On Tuesday, we discussed the Bears hosting a visit with Tyquan Thornton. The Baylor product is the NFL Draft’s fastest wide receiver and is someone who would make for a nice piece of the offensive puzzle. At minimum, Thornton is the type of player who quarterback Justin Fields can yell “go long” and actually channel the type of game-breaking downfield speed that could allow a quarterback to uncork some pretty deep-ball throws. But the Bears weren’t done there, as NFL Draft Josh Norris shared Michigan State receiver Jalen Nailor also paid a visit to Halas Hall.

Like Thornton, Nailor also has big play skills in his bag:

https://twitter.com/BigTenNetwork/status/1446887704659066884

https://twitter.com/BigTenNetwork/status/1446883500397764608

Visits from Nailor and Thornton are notable. Not just because they play positions the Bears need to fill (and could do so) via the upcoming NFL Draft. But also because they both fall under the NFL’s top-30 visits umbrella. NFL teams can bring up to 30 draft-eligible players for interviews, meetings, and physicals. That teams get just 30 such visits, Chicago has used two on similar receivers, feels noteworthy. Maybe these meetings will go a long way toward determining whether or not the Bears want to use a draft pick on either (both?) prospect. However, these top-30 visits make me wonder if the Bears aren’t subtly hinting at their draft weekend plans. Follow me for a moment.

Neither Thornton nor Nailor are highly touted receiver prospects in terms of pre-draft ranking. For instance, ESPN has Nailor as its WR37 and 282nd overall prospect. Meanwhile, Thornton isn’t too far behind Nailor on ESPN’s big board. Thornton is the network’s 39th ranked receiver and 308th overall prospect. But the rankings aren’t why I’m bringing this up. Instead, I see the Bears prioritizing visits with a pair of Day 3 receivers and wonder if the front office is preparing itself to add some late-round draft capital. Or possibly even getting into a position to be aggressive in the post-draft UDFA market. After all, the Bears having a bunch of roster vacancies could lead a prospect to sign with Chicago where they could have a better chance of making the roster without established players ahead of them on the depth chart.

But without going too far down the road on that thought, let’s operate under the idea of the Bears wanting more picks. Remember, GM Ryan Poles is on the record for wanting more picks. And maybe he is preparing to add some much-needed pick capital for the final rounds. If teams have eyes on particular prospects, it would behoove the Bears to leverage that into getting more picks. And if the result is Poles taking more swings at late-round fliers, then Chicago could clean up on Day 3. Or, at minimum, give itself a puncher’s chance at unearthing a late-round gem simply by adding a volume of late-round picks. In any case, let’s see how this shakes out. There has to be a method to this madness.


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Author: Luis Medina

Luis Medina is a Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at@lcm1986.