Potential Rookie Surprises, Trips Down Memory Lane, and Other Bears Bullets

The Bulls were BUSY last night. On NBA Draft night, they selected Arizona’s Dalen Terry to shore up their wing depth. You can watch the moment Terry became a Bull, which is pretty neat. The team is also bringing in Marquette’s Justin Lewis on a two-way contract. Here’s hoping the Bulls draft is a productive one.

  • Answer with your heart or brain, it doesn’t matter to me. I’m just curious as to where you’ll land:
  • Montgomery has gone for just one 1,000-yard rushing season in three years as a pro. And while he was on a pace to eclipse that mark before an injury shortened his campaign, Montgomery enters this year — the final one of his rookie contract, mind you — with a good, but not great label. He could shed it with a strong and healthy season. And it could possibly lead to an extension if everything falls his way. But with Khalil Herbert, Darrynton Evans, and Trestan Ebner vying for carries of their own, Montgomery probably needs to establish himself early and produce a bunch to put up big numbers.
  • Frankly, it is probably too early to prognosticate on what rushing stats could look like for members of the backfield this season. Because not only are there four backs who represent viable options, OC Luke Getsy’s offense is somewhat of a mystery. We can make educated guesses based on similar schemes and ideologies of coaches he’s worked with, but that will give us just a glimpse. Even still … my gut suggests we’ll see some sort of time-share balanced attack that resembles how the Packers deploy Aaron Jones and A.J. Dillon. And if Chicago’s backs can produce like that, then I think we’ll be happy with at least one facet of the offense.
  • Speaking of Chicago Bears ball-carriers:
  • Alyssa Barbieri (Bears Wire) envisions Bears rookie wideout Velus Jones Jr. as a potential pleasant surprise. And after reading this, I can see it, too:
  • “Outside of Darnell Mooney, the Bears don’t have a proven commodity at receiver, which gives Jones an opportunity to make a strong impression. With his blazing 4.31 speed and run-after the catch ability, Jones has the potential to become a dangerous weapon in Luke Getsy’s offense and give quarterback Justin Fields a dynamic option in the passing game.”

  • Having 4.31 speed helps matters. But Jones’ timed speed appears to match his game speed, which is a far more important factor than some would realize.
  • Offensive tackle Braxton Jones is another rookie who could turn some heads for positive reasons. Bleacher Report’s Alex Ballentine lists Jones among rookies who already look like draft-weekend steals. And this quote from Senior Bowl executive Jim Nagy seals it: “The talent is all there,” Nagy said, via Brad Biggs of the Tribune. “He’s a really twitched-up athlete. The pass-set stuff, the redirect, he looked like an NFL left tackle on his junior tape. We were really high on him.”
  • It wouldn’t surprise me if Jones is the Bears’ starting left tackle in Week 1. And even if he doesn’t make it there from the get-go, I’d like to see the Bears use him as an extra lineman in jumbo packages to help clear some running lanes or be additional protection for Fields on pass plays.
  • With that being said, I wonder if the idea of shifting Teven Jenkins inside becomes more plausible. It is an idea Andrew Dannehy explores over at Da Bears Blog. And it is probably worth considering if you’re an offense with a line that has had more questions than answers in recent years.
  • The Bears’ offensive line would still be a work in progress. But I like the idea of having potentially four home-grown offensive linemen in the trenches. Admittedly, it’s not much to hang your hat on — but it’s not nothing. From left to right, we could see draft picks such as Jones (2022), Cody Whitehair (2016), Jenkins (2021), and Larry Borom (2021) in starting roles. Maybe 2022 draft picks Zachary Thomas and/or Ja’Tyre Carter in the mix, too. I’m all for anything that could make the Bears line better than it was last year.
  • I love taking a trip down memory lane:
  • In speaking with TMZ’s candid cameras, Pro Football Hall of Famer Edgerrin James predicts his son will play alongside Arch Manning in the NFL. This came shortly after Manning made his commitment to…
  • Of course, James was teammates with Peyton Manning (Arch’s uncle) during his playing career with the Colts. All in all, this would be cool to see.
  • Wait … Does this mean Texas is back? Again!? I’m no college football big foot, but I feel like landing the most prestigious recruit in recent memory puts Texas back on our scopes.
  • The BN Bears x Jim Cooks Food Good collaboration you’ve all been waiting on:
  • And if you’re curious about making your own pizza, Jim’s recipe has you covered.
  • Positioning yourself to land a disgruntled star from another team isn’t something exclusive to NFL teams:
  • Tab has updates on the NHL coaching carousel.
  • Who needs coffee when you have this?
  • written by

    Luis C. Medina, who you can find on Twitter at lcm1986, has been covering the Chicago Bears at Bleacher Nation since 2017. Since then, he has written about 3 head coaches, 5 play-callers, and 11 starting quarterbacks. Previously, Luis wrote about the Cubs and MLB at BN (2015-16) and worked in the Chicago Tribune sports department (2011-16). He also co-hosted a Cubs postgame show, Outside the Ivy, in 2019.

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