Between my Easter cooking and tonight’s Bulls playoff game, I’ve got plenty on my plate.
May your Sunday be peaceful, joyous, and loving.
• I could do these every day. And if I have time to burn, I could run through several. My latest from PFF’s Mock Draft Simulator:
The @PFF mock draft simulator gave me an “A” for my efforts.
What grade would you give me? pic.twitter.com/kcEN0XJuvo
— Bleacher Nation Bears (@BN_Bears) April 16, 2022
• These mock draft exercises are less about predicting the future, and instead are more about getting a feel for which players will be available when the Bears pick, where positional runs begin, and what kind of value could be available when the team goes on the clock. I haven’t been dabbling in trades just yet. However, I’ve seen the mocks you’ve sent me and I’m as impressed with the willingness to wheel-and-deal as I am with your ability to extract a volume of picks. In an ideal world, the Bears would do something similar. Envisioning a draft weekend where the Bears start the weekend with just six picks and finish it with 8-10 selections would be a wonderful development.
• As for the mock above, I think I did well considering how I decided to play it straight with no trades. I didn’t expect to triple-dip at receiver, but don’t think anyone would mind if that was how the cookie crumbles. All things being equal, adding two offensive linemen, three receivers, ad a cornerback would make for a strong start. Bolstering that group with a solid showing in the UDFA market would make for a wonderful weekend.
• First-year Bears GM Ryan Poles drafting a Zion Johnson, a highly touted Boston College offensive lineman, with his first-ever draft pick would be poetic. And for that reason alone, I’m gonna need it to happen:
— Brian Baldinger (@BaldyNFL) April 16, 2022
• If you’ll recall, Poles was a Boston College offensive lineman before briefly latching on with Chicago as an undrafted free agent long ago. Football symmetry is cool. Also … Johnson is a superb lineman prospect who could be an instant contributor for a team that needs (1) offensive line upgrades and (2) immediate impact from its draft picks. Make it happen!
• Poles was at Saturday’s White Sox win. Surely he was thinking about how #88 playing center field would look catching passes from QB1:
Reppin’ the ⚫️⚪ pic.twitter.com/iXO4jQX0LI
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) April 16, 2022
• Speaking of Fields, he was living it up at his alma mater during Ohio State’s spring game:
— Kevin Lapka (@kevcharles112) April 16, 2022
• Perhaps Jaxson Smith-Njigba is the Ohio State receiver with previous ties to Fields we need to dream on the Bears drafting (in 2023):
Jaxson Smith-Njigba. 👀
INSANE toe touch TD to put Ohio St up 45-17 📈pic.twitter.com/OiRh2AO3JR
— Brendan Duggan 🎙 (@SidelineDuggs) October 24, 2020
• OK, yeah, I know. You need two feet in the pros. But that’s a dang good catch and equally awesome athleticism to get even one foot down. Smith-Njigba has the potential to be WR1 in next year’s draft class. And if the Bears land in a spot to take him, you won’t have to squint to see a reality in which folks are banging down the doors to make it happen. We have a long way to go before we get to that point. But we’d be smart to acknowledge that timeline exists as a possible reality.
• Lotta fútbol fans at Soldier Field yesterday:
— Chicago Fire FC (@ChicagoFire) April 17, 2022
• The USFL has some quarterbacks whose names we are familiar with:
Week 1 USFL Starting QBs:
Panthers: Shea Patterson
Generals: Luis Perez
Stars: Bryan Scott
Maulers: Kyle Lauletta
Stallions: Alex Mcgough
Gamblers: Clayton Thorson
Breakers: Kyle Sloter
Bandits: Jordan Ta’amu
— USFL News (@Newsusfl) April 15, 2022
• It’s playoff time for the Bulls, which means all hands on deck:
— Bleacher Nation Bulls (@BN_Bulls) April 16, 2022
• I didn’t realize the rookie logging 10 games had legitimate, long-term implications:
Lukas Reichel earns his first career NHL point, with the secondary assist on the Kubalík goal. 2-1 Hawks.
Reichel is playing in game No. 10, which has some implications: https://t.co/y4ZXyn4k5F
— Patrick K. Flowers (@PatrickKFlowers) April 16, 2022