I wonder if Ryan Poles work up this morning feeling dangerous, because I always do when I wake up on NFL Draft Day. This is our sixth (!) NFL Draft as a site. And before I dive into Bullets, I wanted to take a moment to thank all of you for reading, clicking, sharing, commenting, and being here. We wouldn’t be here without you. And I certainly wouldn’t be thriving as a fan without your presence.
• The NFL Draft is something like 10 hours away from popping off, and it’s already got folks in a tizzy:
One veteran front-office executive this morning: “This is the craziest draft I’ve seen in 30 years.”
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) April 28, 2022
• Down the stretch we come. It is almost time to put the NFL mock drafts to sleep. But before we do that, Alex Shapiro (NBC Sports Chicago) has a doozy. In his buzzer-beating mock, Shapiro has the Bears executing a trade-up into the first round. An absolute shocker of a deal would send the No. 38 pick and a third-rounder in 2023 to the Bills in exchange for the 25th overall pick. And with that choice, Chicago would choose Arkansas receiver Treylon Burks. Wouldn’t that be something?
• I love a good Mic’d Up. Especially when it is a prospect on the Bears’ radar:
• Once seen as a top-15 pick in some circles, Burks has unexpectedly seen his stock slip in recent weeks. And if we see a run on receivers that leads to Burks falling down draft boards, then maybe it isn’t all that difficult to envision the Bears slyly using one of their second-rounders to move up to snag a pass-catcher of their own. It is worth mentioning the Bears met with Burks, where I imagine they did some extensive background work in getting to know one of the draft’s top receiver prospects. Perhaps something in that meeting will nudge them to be a little more aggressive than we’d otherwise expect.
• If the Bears trade up for a receiver, it would send one heckuva message about where this franchise feels it is. And it would be a clear vote of confidence in Justin Fields. But it’s not as if a trade back wouldn’t be a sign projecting no confidence. Neither would early draft investments on defense. We need to not lose sight of what Poles is responsible for moving forward. Obviously, he is in charge of surrounding Fields with talent so he can have the glow-up and become the franchise QB his talent could allow him to be. But more than that, Poles has to build an entire football team. Not just the offense. And not just the defense. But the whole dang thing. Let’s keep that perspective as we head into NFL Draft weekend.
• The thing I love about the unpredictable nature of this specific NFL Draft is that any given team could be a wild card. As an added bonus, the Bears – with their two second-round choices – could be a facilitator in the madness. In the final Kevin Fishbain/Adam Jahns mock at The Athletic, the duo mock up a pair of trades. One deal has the Falcons sliding up to No. 39 in an attempt to draft their next franchise quarterback, with the Bears snagging the 43rd and 114th picks. This isn’t the first time it has come up as a suggestion. And we know Ryan Pace (who now works in Atlanta’s front office) isn’t shy when it comes to dealing future draft capital. Perhaps his former Saints running mate Terry Fontenot will operate similarly if Pace can successfully play the role of enabler.
• As for the players they’re mocking to the Bears, Jahns and Fishbain are getting creative with their Day 2 picks after mock trades:
Auburn CB Roger McCreary (Fishbain)
Baylor S Jalen Pitre (Jahns)
Tulsa OT Tyler Smith (Fishbain)
Houston DL Logan Hall (Jahns)
Cincinnati WR Alec Pierce (Fishbain and Jahns)
• The dueling mock format is always fun to read through. And you’ll want to read their post to get a full grasp of their Bears predictions. But when it features the Bears making extra picks and addressing needs all over the board, it makes the reading that much more interesting. More love for Alec Pierce? I’m digging it. Additionally buzz for Logan Hall as the 3-technique defensive tackle anchor? Sounds cool with me. Speedy receivers in the late rounds? Tyquan Thornton and Velus Jones Jr. are intriguing fits. A punter? Yeah, buddy. Sign me up for locking down a special teams ace that keeps the Bears from hosting a parade of tryout punters throughout the years.
• If you’re curious to what Round 1 might look like, I did an exercise:
Ran the @PFF mock draft simulator for funsies. Round 1 only. Is there anyone you’d want the #Bears to trade up to get? Any surprises of guys falling out of the first who you’d like Ryan Poles to snag? 🤔 #NFLDraft pic.twitter.com/yUaYXLEILo
— Bleacher Nation Bears (@BN_Bears) April 28, 2022
• If the scenario above plays out, I’d love to see the Bears trade down for more picks.
• The lack of quarterbacks going in the first bugs me. I’ve been rooting for a run on QBs to push down first-round caliber talent into a place where the Bears can pick it, but that just might not be happening. Couple that with a bunch of receivers and o-linemen going in the first, and it would be a troublesome start for our rooting interests. This isn’t to say the Bears still can’t have a good draft weekend. But this would take some of the wind out of our sails.
• “It’s good the Bears don’t need a quarterback because this draft class stinks at the position” is the headline accompanying Patrick Finley’s latest at the Sun-Times. Don’t you love it when a header nails it? We said it at the time, and it still stands as true today. Kicking the can down the road last year to draft a QB this year would’ve been disastrous. Especially with a first-year GM running the show.
• A player widely mocked to the Bears in recent weeks is suddenly getting first-round buzz:
— Around The NFL (@AroundTheNFL) April 27, 2022
• I’m gonna need this energy all day, especially with the potential of how wacky things can get:
— Bleacher Nation (@BleacherNation) April 28, 2022
By the way, thank YOU for a fun season.
I'll have daily offseason content, but I just want to let you know I appreciate every click, like, reply, and follow. It's been great to keep BN Bulls growing, and I have you to thank for that.
My goal is only to provide better stuff.
— Bleacher Nation Bulls (@BN_Bulls) April 28, 2022
• If you’ve been looking to get a practice net for your golfing habits, there’s a deal on one today at Amazon. #ad