One Week From the NFL Draft, Finding the Wright Fit, Respect 48, and Other Bears Bullets
Well, now I have “Sugar We’re Goin’ Down” by Fall Out Boy stuck in my head.
- The NFL Draft is ONE WEEK FROM TONIGHT! Soon, we’ll be putting away the mock drafts, rumors, and pre-draft shenanigans and turn our full attention to teams picking players. I’ve been looking forward to this.
- I’ve also been looking forward to the rollout of this year’s position-by-position preview. Even though the Bears don’t need to drat a quarterback, our QBs preview is up now.
- This is one of my favorite things I do here at BN Bears every year. There are some small tweaks from last year’s preview (which is to be expected because I’m always trying to make it better). And there is some stuff that is streamlined, which I hope makes it easier to read and digest. We’ll be churning through ’em all in the days leading up to the draft. So I hope you read it and share it with your friends.
- No matter who you want the Bears to take (there are so many differing opinions among this fan base!) next week, I think we can all agree that GM Ryan Poles needs to be better than his predecessor Ryan Pace. Because as PFF’s Sam Monson points out, the Bears have been notoriously poor drafters since 2015. For me, it isn’t just about the picks. But instead, it is more about the process. Leonard Floyd had a nice Bears career, but he wasn’t someone the team needed to trade up to draft. Trading up to get your quarterback isn’t “bad process” — but not thoroughly going through your options before making that first pick certainly was. Here’s hoping New Ryan is better than Old Ryan in that regard.
- At a minimum, at least New Ryan is stacking up picks. The Bears have 10 picks in this draft (and could angle to get more). In the 2018 and 2019 drafts, the Bears had 12 picks (in those two years COMBINED). Let’s face it. The NFL Draft is a numbers game. And it is difficult to win a numbers game when you’re limiting your total number of picks. So at least Poles seems to understand that much about the draft. Now, how about picking some winning players!
- I can’t shake the feeling that Darnell Wright is a highly ranking player on the Bears’ draft board:
- That there is so much buzz linking him and the Bears this close to the draft gives me that feeling. Maybe that feeling will be wrong. It wouldn’t be the first time. But it also wouldn’t be the first time that gut feeling was right.
- This picture immediately jumped to mind when I saw that the 49ers could be shopping QB Trey Lance if the price is right:
- There’s Kyle Shanahan. Right there next to Ohio State coach Ryan Day. With his eyes firmly on Justin Fields at his second pro day shortly before the 2021 NFL Draft. Armed with the third pick and the desire to take a top quarterback prospect in that draft, the Niners passed on Fields to take Lance. Injuries and a tough learning curve have slowed Lance’s development. And that stinks. But Fields was right there. Just as Patrick Mahomes was there for the Niners when they had the third pick in the 2017 NFL Draft. Instead, they would go on and take defensive lineman Solomon Thomas. San Fran would eventually trade a second-round pick for Jimmy Garoppolo, pay him a bunch of money, and lose in the Super Bowl to Mahomes. Whoopsiedoodle.
- TL;DR — Be thankful the Bears got some lucky breaks along the way en route to getting their best QB prospect in years.
- Wait … is Justin Fields the best QB prospect the Bears have ever had? Hmm…
- A Bears roster and salary update regarding Dante Pettis’ return:
- Am I the only one looking forward to the punt returner camp competition between Pettis and Velus Jones Jr.? Oh, come on! Don’t give me *THAT* look!
- Hey! The Bears did a cool thing in hiring Darby Dunnagan as Director of Video Operations. Dunnagan, who was the Director of Player Development for Northwestern’s football team last year, will become the first woman to fill this position in franchise history.
- I appreciate Patrick Scales fighting in honor of the No. 48:
- Sure, I’m still partial to 21 and 9 as uniform numbers for my own reasons. But that’s a story for a different day.
- So … who gets their stadium done first, Bears or A’s?
- It’s probably the A’s, right? Building in Vegas is a lot easier (helps when you don’t have to try and build through brutal and unforgiving midwest winters). And the Athletics’ lease with the Coliseum is up in 2024. The Bears’ lease with Soldier Field can be broken in 2026 — but at a reported cost of $83 million. That number is nothing more than a drop in the bucket for an NFL franchise. Particularly one that paid Mike Glennon $18.5 million in guarantees for a handful of starts in 2017.
- Sigh. This is unsurprising:
- Let us end on a high note with something positive via a Blackhawks-adjacent squad:
Let The Rooks Cook, Hopkins Not Chicago’s Best Fit, Wright Plan, Honoring Memorial Day, and Other Bears Bullets