Who's Bouncing Back Next? Poles Did a Smart Thing, Eyes on the Secondary, and Other Bears Bullets

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Who’s Bouncing Back Next? Poles Did a Smart Thing, Eyes on the Secondary, and Other Bears Bullets

Chicago Bears

Every once in a while I’ll eat something so good that I need to share it at the top of Bullets. Yesterday, I ate a Pop’s Double Smashburger at Bitter Pops, which was absolutely delightful. I’d recommend it to any and all burger lovers.

  • We’re just 4 days from the NFL Draft and I’m so excited. There are only so many mock drafts a man can put in front of his eyeballs before he goes bonkers. So while I’ll admit that I’m teetering, I’m ready for this final push. And I’m looking forward to hitting the finish line with you guys and gals. It’s so close, I can taste it.
  • Seeing that there are just four days until the NFL Draft has me thinking about the Bears’ No. 4. Think about where we were at this time last year with Eddie Jackson. He was coming off some subpar years and appeared to be one more meh season away from being discussed as a 2023 cap candidate. But that didn’t happen because Jackson turned in his best year since 2018 or 2019. At the time of his season-ending foot injury, Jackson was the NFC’s top Pro Bowl vote-getter among free safeties. But more than that, he was looking and sounding like the Eddie of old. Plus, he was growing into a leadership role — even earning a captain’s patch along the way. The hardware kept coming for Jackson into the offseason. What a remarkable bounce-back. I wonder if the Bears have anyone who can follow in those footsteps in 2023.
  • One name that comes to mind as a player who could have their own revenge tour in 2023: Chase Claypool. Struggling to pick up the playbook after an in-season trade and suffering injuries that slowed him down made for an inauspicious start to his Bears career. But given an offseason of health and time in the playbook, perhaps a Claypool comeback tour is on the horizon.
  • Darnell Mooney can fall into this category of players with something to prove with a bounce back year in 2023, too.
  • It has been 39 days since the Bears made the DJ Moore acquisition officially official. We’ve often talked about the football ramifications of the Moore trade. But we shouldn’t forget about the trickle-down impact. For instance, the Moore trade has us breathing easier when thinking about the receiver position. Imagine going into the draft with a depth chart that went Mooney, Claypool, Velus Jones Jr., Dante Pettis, and Equanimeous St. Brown as the top five receivers. On second thought, don’t do that because it’ll make you twitch. But that is the power of a legit WR1. He pushes everyone down a peg and makes the whole room look better.
  • Let me take a moment to co-sign this thought:

  • It sure is nice seeing the Bears were a head of the curve for a change. Truly refreshing.
  • The pile of nerves that I’d be working through if the Bears were still holding onto the first overall pick. Sure, they could’ve still sent the pick out and gotten something good in return. However, it might not have been as strong of a package coming Chicago’s way. Kudos to GM Ryan Poles for selling the pick at the height of its popularity. Trading the pick after the Combine and before free agency — when pre-draft QB buzz was at an all-time high — was a brilliant move. And it is one we’ll remember for a long time if it turns out to be the first building block en route toward sustained success.
  • I want to briefly circle back to the secondary, where the Bears have been connected to visits with LSU’s Mekhi Garner (private workout, via Aaron Wilson), Oklahoma defensive back Justin Broiles (via Justin Melo), and former Northwestern and Notre Dame standout Brandon Joseph (who confirmed he was visiting the Bears in an interview with The Draft Network). Consider this a reminder that there is no such thing as having too many defensive backs. Not in a pass-happy league such as the NFL. And definitely not when Kirk Cousins, Jared Goff, and Jordan Love could be throwing picks your way on any given snaps.
  • This quote from Joseph makes me want the Bears to snag him at some point on draft weekend:

“I love to tackle. I love sticking my nose in there. I love just understanding that I always know where my gap is. I’m very assignment-sound. I’m always ready to make a play for my team.”

  • Sounds like he is ready to play Matt Eberflus’ brand of football. And if the Bears can snag him in the later rounds, I think he could grow into another useful piece of what already looks like a strong secondary. If only they didn’t have to cover receivers forever.
  • Nico Hoerner is a throwback. And I like it. Not just because he is on my fantasy team (that helps!), but also because his style of play is aesthetically pleasing. Put the ball in play and run the bases hard on offense, play solidly with the glove at second base on defense. Sometimes, baseball gets overcomplicated. But Hoerner is doing the little things well right now. I appreciate that. (BN Cubs)
  • Counting down the days until the most important date of the Chicago Blackhawks’ season:

  • Change is inevitable for the Bulls this offseason:

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Author: Luis Medina

Luis Medina is a Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at@lcm1986.