Jenkins With So Much to Prove, Mooney’s Yardage Props, 2019 Draft Blunders, and Other Bears Bullets

The MLB Draft is TONIGHT. And while it doesn’t hold the gravitas that its NFL counterpart possesses, there are a bunch of players and teams whose trajectories will change when the dust settles. Please make some good picks. Unless you’re the Cardinals. Do the exact opposite. Thanks in advance.

  • There are just 11 days until the Bears open Halas Hall to fans for the first open training camp practice of the summer. I’ll want to have eyes on the usual suspects — Justin Fields, Darnell Mooney, Cole Kmet, Roquan Smith, and others of that ilk. But there isn’t a position group I’m looking forward to following more than I am the offensive line. Particularly, Teven Jenkins:
  • As Jacob Infante points out above, we don’t know where Jenkins will line up in Week 1. Even still … Jenkins has everything you’d want out of a starting offensive lineman. The combination of size, strength, and skill should give him an edge over others who don’t have those tools. Plus, because Jenkins plays with a certain edge (as seen above), it will be easy for fans to root for him. But at the stage of the game, everyone fighting for an O-line spot is working with a clean slate. And with a new regime and scheme in place, Jenkins’ prospect pedigree doesn’t hold the weight it otherwise would had Ryan Pace and Matt Nagy come back for another season. Jenkins has so much to prove (and to so many). I hope he is up for the challenge.
  • Bill Belichick is a Hall of Famer and game-changer in football circles. But that 2019 NFL Draft class is a big ole’ nothin’ burger right now. Mike Reiss (ESPN) sorts through the mess in the wake of the N’Keal Harry trade to the Bears. The Pats still have some solid contributors (RB Damien Harris, P Jake Bailey) on the roster, the big picture isn’t all that pretty. Goes to show that even the great ones have off days. In the case of the 2019 NFL Draft, Belichick and the gang had an off weekend.
  • In case you’re curious, the Bears’ 2019 NFL Draft class isn’t faring much better. Not only did the Bears not have much draft capital to work with, the handful of picks they made haven’t done much to bring the Bears prosperity. David Montgomery is a solid, starting-caliber rusher who has exceeded the expectations that generally come with Round 3 picks. And he has certainly outplayed his rookie contract to this point. But fourth-round pick Riley Ridley and seventh-rounder Kerrith Whyte Jr. didn’t even make it through their first contracts with the Bears before being let go. Stephen Denmark, another seventh-round selection, never even made it into a regular-season NFL game. The tag team of missed opportunities and minimal swings really did a number on the Bears’ long-term picture.
  • Considering the Bears’ needs at receiver, I wonder if this is a good time to note that the Bears passed on drafting Terry McLaurin (a two-time 1,000-yard receiver who just signed a mega-extension in Washington) with that 73rd overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. McLaurin went 76th, and the rest is history.
  • As a reminder, having a slew of mid-round picks can be so helpful in the team-building process. And that 2019 class is a good reminder of it. In addition to Montgomery and McLaurin, that third-round featured Steeler stud WR Diontae Johnson (66th), quality rushers who went to the Bills (Devin Singletary) and Pats (Damien Harris), and a solid tight end (Dawson Knox, Bills). Day 3 wasn’t too shabby either. Maxx Crosby (Raiders) and Tony Pollard (Cowboys) were fourth-rounders. Hunter Renfrow (Raiders) was a fifth-round choice. Gardner Minshew II (Jaguars) went in Round 6. It’s almost as if it is important to have a volume of picks in order to make the most of your late-round time on draft weekend.
  • Hey! Let’s not forget about the UDFAs. Ben Levine (PFR) runs down the highest-earning players who went undrafted in their respective classes. There are a bunch of players who spent at least some time with the Bears during their career. Robbie Gould is probably the most notable to make real contributions to the squad. But we should also be dapping up Jason Peters (2021), Chase Daniel (2018-20), and Mario Addison (2011) for their glow-ups after not hearing their names called on draft weekend.
  • Bears fans are expecting big things from Darnell Mooney this season. And the betting market seems to think that another strong year is in the making:
  • That 2018 Bears defense was #elite:
  • It has been a while since Madden’s NFL franchise mode has been worthwhile. These updates have my interest:
  • I have no interest in trying to stop Packers running back AJ Dillon when he gets a full head of steam:
  • Hopefully, someone on the Bears *WILL* have an interest in doing so when they face the Packers in 63 days.
  • Another year of Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews in Chicago would be a welcome surprise for a team rebuilding the way the Blackhawks are after gutting so much of their roster on NHL Draft day:
  • It’s kinda neat to see the Drew League get some love after being one of those “if you know, you know” deals for such a long time:
  • Here is the lineup the Cubs are trotting out in an attempt to avoid going into the All-Star Break on a 10-game losing streak:
  • 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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