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Making The Case: Solomon Thomas, Edge, Stanford

| April 19th, 2017

Editor’s Note: Solomon Thomas is my favorite player in this year’s draft. And it’s not close.


Solomon Thomas has the potential to be one of the best pass rushers in the entire league.

Physically, he has everything you could want: size, speed, length, strength, quickness, agility and explosiveness. His SPARQ score was in the 93rd percentile, tied with T.J. Watt for fourth-best in this class and two percentage points better than Leonard Floyd tested last year.

Thomas really burst onto the scene with a dominant performance against North Carolina. When everyone was trying to watch Mitch Trubisky, Thomas kept exploding onto the screen. It was impossible to not notice him. In all, he had 61 tackles — 14 for a loss — 8.5 sacks and one forced fumble.

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Making the Case: Malik Hooker, S, Ohio State

| April 14th, 2017

Any pass thrown in Malik Hooker’s general direction has a good chance to be intercepted. Do I really need to say more than that?

He has better range than any safety I’ve seen coming out of the draft and showed incredible hands in his one season at Ohio State. According to Pro Football Focus, 41 passes were thrown to guys he was covering. He either intercepted or defended 11 of them. He returned three interceptions for touchdowns while only giving up one score himself. His interception against Clemson was one of the best plays you will ever see a safety make.

For the Bears, that could be huge. They play in a division where two of the quarterbacks — Sam Bradford and Aaron Rodgers — avoid putting the ball in harm’s way at all costs. With Hooker on the field, the ball would almost always be in harm’s way if they threw near him.

Injuries & Inexperience

Hooker played only one season at OSU and had two surgeries, including one for a torn labrum in his hip. Perhaps he’ll recover 100 percent, but he’s on the small side so I don’t think it’s irrational to be concerned about his ability to hold up.

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Making The Case: Jamal Adams, S, LSU

| April 13th, 2017

The Bears haven’t had a good safety in so long. So so long. Jamal Adams is a pretty sure thing.

Adams fits what the Vic Fangio and John Fox have looked for out of the position because he can play in coverage and drop down in the box. Pro Football Focus rated him as among the five best safeties in the country at both disciplines.

The Bears three primary decision makers – Pace, Fox and Fangio – have all put a lot of value in the safety position with past teams and have a very good opportunity to do so with the Bears, early in the 2017 draft.

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Making The Case: Jonathan Allen, DL, Alabama

| April 12th, 2017

Editor’s Note: I hate writing about the draft. Andrew does not. Hence, Andrew will writing a shitload about the draft for the next few weeks.


You’d be hard-pressed to find a player in this draft who was more dominant in college than Jonathan Allen. And the ways he dominated translate to the next level.

Allen beat blocks over and over and over.

He had nearly perfect technique.

His ability to use his hands is already as good as anyone who is in the NFL.

Over the last two years he’s had 30.5 tackles for loss and 22.5 sacks, despite spending the 2015 season in Alabama’s deep defensive line rotation. In 2016, he showed he could handle a full-time load, finishing with 69 tackles, 16 for loss and 10.5 sacks. He’s considered by most to be a better prospect than either of the top defensive linemen the last two years, Leonard Williams and DeForest Buckner.

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Finding A Quarterback: The Other Guys

| April 7th, 2017

Over the last few weeks I have profiled the top four quarterbacks in the draft but the Bears are not likely going to get any of them.

The praising of Mike Glennon has been universal to the point where I don’t think the Bears are going to spend the third pick on a quarterback. I also think all four of the top guys will be gone before the Bears pick in the second round.

So, where does that leave them? With one of these guys…

Jerod Evans, Virginia Tech

Evans is my Jordan Howard of this year’s draft.

I really liked Howard last year and thought his value was going to be the best of any of the running backs, and that was when I thought he’d be a third-round pick.

Evans, like Howard, has only one year of major college experience and, like Howard, he was really good. His resume is pretty much the same as Mitch Trubisky and, physically, he’s pretty much the same as DeShone Kizer.

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Finding A Quarterback: There’s Something Special About DeShaun Watson

| April 5th, 2017

When you really think about the things that make quarterbacks great, you end up pinpointing traits Clemson’s DeShaun Watson has already displayed.

Being great in college doesn’t mean a player will be great in the NFL, but it’s the closest league we have to an apples-to-apples comparison and Watson was the single best player in that league last year.

Alabama was supposed to have one of the greatest defenses in the history of college football each of the last two years. They couldn’t stop Watson. His performance in the National Championship Game two years ago was impressive. And it pissed Alabama off. With one of the greatest defensive minds in the sport designing their game plan and a roster full of future NFL stars, Alabama was determined to stop Watson last year.

They couldn’t.

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Finding A Quarterback: Can DeShone Kizer Hit the Mark?

| March 30th, 2017

If  the Bears can fix whatever it is that causes DeShone Kizer to be so damn inconsistent with his ball placement, they just might have a franchise quarterback.

When I watched Kizer, I never knew what I was going to get from throw-to-throw, a scary thought for a guy the Bears may be considering with the third pick in the draft. But I can’t tell if it’s an issue that can easily be fixed or one that will dog him throughout what would then be a short NFL career.

A lot of people love Kizer. I respect the opinions of some of those who do. But his inaccuracy is undeniable and when you factor in occasionally-puzzling decision making, it makes him a scary prospect.

Some like to say Kizer’s struggles were only a problem this year and there’s something to that. In 2015 he had just 2 games in which he completed less than 55 percent of his passes, compared to 5 last year.

What happened?The talent around him dropped significantly and his coach was a jackass.

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Finding A Quarterback: Patrick Mahomes Might Be The Next Brett Favre

| March 28th, 2017

I don’t think the Bears can risk using the third pick on a quarterback who needs as much work as Patrick Mahomes. But I also don’t think they can let a quarterback with this much talent get past them in the second.

It’s hard to watch the Texas Tech QB and not be reminded of Brett Favre, but that doesn’t mean he’s going to be a reincarnation of the old gunslinger.

Everybody talks about the arm and it’s every bit as good as they say. He can toss the ball 50 yards with a flick of the wrist and makes throws that most quarterbacks won’t even consider. (I’d go as far as saying he has the strongest arm in football.)

He’s more than just an arm. He also has adequate accuracy and moves around pretty well. But my favorite Mahomes trait? Instincts.

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Finding A Quarterback: No Interest in Mitch Trubisky?

| March 22nd, 2017

(Author’s note: Last week I wrote I didn’t think the Bears would draft a quarterback third. Forget that, they can’t possibly think Mike Glennon is the answer.)

There has been almost nothing to link the Bears to North Carolina quarterback Mitch Trubisky, which is exactly why I think they really like him.

After sending a team of people, including Ryan Pace and John Fox, to Clemson for Deshaun Watson’s workout, the Bears didn’t send anyone of note to see Trubisky this week. There were also no reports of Pace going to watch Trubisky during the season. Really, nothing has connected Pace and the Bears to Trubisky other than a standard interview at the combine.

Hell, we even have Pace talking specifically about having a problem with what is perceived as Trubisky’s biggest flaw, experience:

“Yeah, it carries a lot of weight. I think there’s nothing that can really substitute that,” Pace said at the Senior Bowl. “It’s already a big jump from college to the NFL as it is, so the more of that you have, the more beneficial it is.”

I don’t buy it. 

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Chicago Bears Big Board

| March 15th, 2017

I just don’t think the Bears are going to take a quarterback with the third pick.

Through the first two waves of free agency, I saw Pace as someone who was just trying to plug as many holes as he could so that they could pick up some wins and he’d get a chance to keep building the team next offseason. George McCaskey made it clear that he isn’t patient and I think Pace heard that message. Mike Glennon is a reliable player who Pace hopes can be just good enough to get him to next offseason.

It’s possible that Pace sees upside in Glennon; sees him as somebody who could potentially be the answer. Realistically, I think Pace is just hoping Glennon can buy him more time.

My hunch is that Pace has ID’d his answer and it’s Jimmy Garoppolo. Drafting a quarterback in the first round this year would mean he couldn’t realistically go after Garoppolo next year. Sticking with Glennon and a QB drafted later leaves all options on the table.

Even if it’s not Garoppolo, I haven’t gotten any indication that he believes the answer is among the guys available early in this draft. Pace had made comments about valuing decision making (Watson), experience (Trubisky) and elevating their teams and programs (Kizer and Mahomes). Perhaps those were all part of a smoke screen. But I’m not betting on it. I do think the Bears will draft a quarterback at some point but my guess is Pace will view that player in the same light he sees Glennon – someone who could be the answer, but probably isn’t.

If it were up to me, Deshaun Watson would be the pick, but it isn’t up to me and here’s how I think the Bears have their big board stacked at this point:

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