Happy NFL Draft Week! And Other Bears Bullets
The group chat is raving about last night’s episode of Succession — and with good reason. But I’m very much stuck on how awesome it was to use Jay-Z’s “Takeover” in the opening scene. It works on so many levels.
If you know, you know.
- Words from an anonymous GM who sent this text message to Football Morning in America columnist Peter King: “I do this for a living, and my mock draft will be no more accurate than yours. We all think that we know, but we really don’t.”
- Happy NFL Draft Week to my fellow sickos! We’ve been looking forward to this!
- We’ve finally made it. It took us 105 days after the NFL’s regular season came to an end. But we made it. And being here to discuss it is an accomplishment on its own. Now that we’re here, some wise words from Colts GM Chris Ballard (via BN NFL): “Everybody is lying.”
- This is where the fun begins. One last round of mock drafts is on its way. A fresh wave of rumors will be crashing ashore throughout the week. And just when you think you’ve got things figured out, someone will throw a curveball to throw you off the track. From where I stand, I just want to have fun this week. Let’s not take things too seriously and enjoy the ride while we can. This might be Bears GM Ryan Poles’ most important draft, but it isn’t the end of the world. After all, we’ve still got an off-season to play out, training camp to experience, preseason games to chug through, and an entire regular season. We’ve got so much ahead of us. Consider the NFL Draft to be our first steps into a larger world.
- Technically, our first steps began back in March when Bears GM Ryan Poles sent the first pick to the Panthers in a deal that included the ninth pick in this draft, future pick considerations, and stud wide receiver DJ Moore. Mark Potash (Sun-Times) questions if Poles could’ve gotten more. If I were to write a column on the topic, it would be incredibly short. “Nah.”
- I doubt the No. 1 overall pick would be more valuable now than it was in March. Poles sent that pick out the door at the height of the QB hype machine’s buzzing. Plus, he did so while not dropping out of the top 10 and while adding an impact player in a position of need. Not even your favorite mock draft simulator wouldn’t have come up with that option. And if you were bold enough to try and push it through, it probably would’ve rejected you.
- Mock draft dress rehearsal!
- Hey, now! I suppose we wouldn’t be too mad if the Bears went with an offensive lineman in the first round. OK, so maybe we wouldn’t be all too comfortable drafting a center that high. But for what it’s worth, Jake Andrews is one of the top center prospects in this draft. Perhaps Chicago can take a swing at the position later in the draft. And maybe with Andrews, who was a first-team All-Sun Belt center in 2022 and has experience at guard. That’s exactly the type of profile of a player you’d like your favorite team to take a shot at drafting in order to build offensive line depth and possibly unearth a surprise starter.
- More realistic first-round offensive line options are Paris Johnson Jr. (Ohio State), Darnell Wright (Tennessee), Broderick Jones (Georgia), and Peter Skoronski (Northwestern). NBC Sports Chicago’s Josh Schrock explores the Bears’ early offensive tackle options. I wish it could be as simple as picking the best one. Unfortunately, it isn’t that simple because there is no standout option. Making a case for Johnson, Wright, Jones, or Skoronski to be the first O-lineman off the board is easy. Justifying taking one of those prospects with the ninth pick might not be. Each of them has something that over-thinkers (myself included) might consider a yellow flag.
- Are you willing to use a top pick on someone whose ceiling might be a right tackle? If so, then maybe Wright is your guy. Johnson and Jones are top prospects from college football powerhouses, but is either good enough to move Braxton Jones off left tackle upon their arrival to training camp? That’s a question a team like the Bears has to consider because building an O-line is more about building a unit of five working as one than it is taking the best five singular talents. Drafting Skoronski (local product who played at Northwestern) seems like something out of a movie. But Skoronski’s Hollywood script might have him playing a less prestigious interior offensive line position. And with all due respect to guards, they’re not making movies about those guys.
- All of this is to say that the yellow flags aren’t scaring me off. I’d be OK if the Bears took any of the above-mentioned prospects with the ninth pick. Some options might come with more fanfare than others. But picking a top prospect at a position of need (and of high importance) on Thursday would check a box for me. Plus, it would set up all sorts of different avenues to travel on Days 2 and 3.
- Here’s a draft storyline I wish would wrap up quickly so we can move on with our lives:
- I’m almost at a point where the Jets move on from Aaron Rodgers and make the Packers squirm. Then again, the Jets would definitely be in their own squirmy place since they put all their eggs in the Rodgers basket. All in all, these two sides deserve each other. If only everyone were to get their deserved comeuppance in a hilarious fashion.
- My second favorite part of the draft ending is that we’ll soon get the NFL schedule release. And if you’re an obsessive planner like me, you probably want to start planning your travel plans to see the Bears. With trips to L.A., New Orleans, and Kansas City (or Germany?), I can understand why you’d want to plan accordingly as soon as possible.
- If you’re reading this, it’s because you care. So I’ll share that my favorite part of the NFL Draft ending is the Sunday shenanigans I have mapped out with friends. Self-care is important.
- Brett sorts through an uncharacteristic (and yet, historic!) performance by Sunday’s Cubs starter Marcus Stroman.
- Teven probably should’ve come into the game in relief at some point:
- I felt this tweet in my soul:
- Also, I can’t wait until the Bears are part of the NFL’s postseason fun. Their last run wasn’t all that great. Frankly, it was similar to the Bulls’ appearance in the play-in round of this year’s NBA playoffs. But our day will come. I’m sure of it.
- The Blackhawks have been cooked for quite some time, but at least their prospects are making some postseason noise:
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