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Thoughts on the 2017 Bears Draft Class

| April 30th, 2017

I don’t have much to say that’s not already out there. So here are a few quick hits.

  • Whole draft will be about Trubisky. The rest of this class can turn into All-Pros and nobody will care if Mitch Trubisky stinks. That’s the nature of making a splashy move for a quarterback in the first round.
  • Said it on Twitter and I’ll say it here. People who booed Trubisky at the United Center should be ashamed of themselves. All the kid did was excel at a sport and get drafted to play it professionally. If you don’t like the selection, drive your worthless ass to Lake Forest and roll down the window. Classless bullshit that belongs in Philadelphia, not Chicago.
  • Adam Shaheen and Tarik Cohen are the kinds of picks I like. Extraordinary talents with high upside. If Ryan Pace hits on those two guys the Bears offense just became far more dynamic.
  • Eddie Jackson. Didn’t know he was in this draft. Seriously. Just didn’t know. But he was my favorite player on that Bama defense that featured three first-round picks. Hopefully his injury problems are behind him. But if he’s healthy in Bourbonnais it will be hard to keep him off the field.
  • The Bears coached guard Jordan Morgan at the Senior Bowl and fell in love with him. Depth this year. Sitton’s heir apparent would be the hope.
  • Rarely do I say this but because their last pick was in the fifth round and they only made five total, the Bears will be disappointed if 3-4 of these picks don’t become serious players. Usually you want 3-4 out of 7. Bears want 3-4 out of 5. Not easy. But doable.
  • But it’s all about Trubisky.

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Five Thoughts on the Mitch Trubisky Selection

| April 28th, 2017

(1) The Bears made their draft about Mitch Trubisky and Ryan Pace staked his tenure on the success of the Tarheel quarterback. One can argue whether the Bears could have stayed pat at three and still ended up with their desired quarterback but Halas Hall did not believe that. They believed staying at three meant possibly losing out on the guy they refused to leave Thursday night without.

(2) I got an email out of the blue Monday saying – essentially – “sounds like you boys are all-in on Trubisky”. I thought, “Okay, that’s odd.” Told Jahns. Told Dannehy. Went to a someone reliable around the Bears and they unreservedly confirmed it. Yesterday, once the Myles Garrett pick became official, I was 100% on Trubisky coming to Chicago.

(3) This pick makes the entirety of the off-season program more interesting. OTAs, Bourbonnais, preseason games…etc. all become about Trubisky and his development. And for the first time in my life, I’m considering going to training camp for a few days.

(4) Pace will try to get at least one of those mid-round picks back tonight.

(5) I refuse to rule out Trubisky playing in 2017.

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The Most Important Question Facing the Bears: When Does Trubisky Play?

| April 28th, 2017

The future of the Chicago Bears is now Mitch Trubisky, quarterback, North Carolina. That’s it. They will continue developing a top defense and beefing up their rushing attack but the organization’s future is 6’3″ and has a last name made for the Windy City (although he should probably change it to Trubiski).

Now the question…when does he play? And all coverage of the 2017 Chicago Bears will center around that question.

The offseason program will be about Trubisky’s grasp of the system. Bourbonnais will be about Trubisky’s leadership and execution. Preseason games will only get exciting once Trubisky enters. And the regular season will either be a year-long learning curve for the Tarheel or a week-by-week will they won’t/won’t they for the John Fox and the coaching staff.

The 2004 Giants did it right. With Kurt Warner on their roster and a newly-drafted Eli Manning, they gave Warner a shot to win games. After half the season they knew that wasn’t going to happen and they handed the keys of their franchise to Manning. He struggled mightily in his rookie campaign, going 1-6. He wouldn’t have a losing record for the next seasons.

The Bears have chosen their franchise quarterback. The rebuild doesn’t truly begin until he sees the field.

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My Five Favorite Players in the NFL Draft

| April 25th, 2017

I am not over-complicating things here. I think this is an extremely deep draft at a wide range of positions. But these are the five guys I like best.

#5 Jake Butt

Before injury, I thought Jake Butt was Jason Witten. Big, tough, physical, elusive in the open field, great hands…etc. Then he suffered one of the saddest injuries in many a moon. Supposedly he’s ahead of schedule to return – timetables range between mid-July to October – and who knows how far that will drop him on draft boards. But I can’t imagine a player of this caliber making it to Saturday.

#4 Obi Melifonwu

I actually watch Connecticut football. I don’t know why that’s the case, other than maybe geographic proximity, but I do. Obi is the real deal. Someone with his athletic ability paired with a 6’4″ frame is beyond rare. It’s unheard of. I think this kid is going to be a star.

And from the internet: “The 11-9 broad jump was the second-best number the combine has seen since 2003, behind only the record 12-3 recorded by Dallas defensive back Byron Jones in 2015.”

#3 Christian McCaffrey

You put McCaffrey in an inventive offense and he’s going to be one of the most exciting players in the league starting September 10th. Let him return kicks and punts. Give him 10-15 carries a game. Stick him in the slot a dozen or so times a game.

#2 Mitchell Trubisky

I just like the kid. I don’t see one element of his game that won’t translate to the next level. And if the Bears pulled the trigger on him with the third pick, I’d be pretty damn excited about their future.

#1 Solomon Thomas

I have been waxing poetic about this player for months and nothing that’s happened since his epic performance against North Carolina in the bowl game has changed that. If you want to drown yourself in the inanity of “technique talk” you’ve come to the wrong place. Thomas is a special player and a smart defensive coordinator is going to move him up and down the line and rely on his relentlessness to destroy games.

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Five Thoughts on the NFL Draft (Based on Actual Reporting)

| April 24th, 2017

Have spent the last two weeks exchanging texts and emails with my two league sources. This is not a good time to gather information but here’s what I think is happening.

  • There is a clear divide in the league when it comes to the quarterbacks and there is at least one team that doesn’t have a first-round grade on any of them. That team’s favorite quarterback in the class? Pat Mahomes. I’m not going to read too much into that but I believe Mahomes will be the name called way earlier than many expect.
  • I think DeShone Kizer is now clearly the fourth, if not fifth, quarterback.
  • As I suspected, Solomon Thomas blew teams away when he spoke with them. Thomas is not only an exceptional football player, he’s also a great guy. I’m not confident he gets to the Bears at 3 but if he does and they don’t take him, they’ll regret it.
  • Question. What is the strength of this year’s draft? Answer: “You will be able to find secondary starters well into the third round.” (Good news for the Bears.)
  • Question. What is the weakness of this year’s draft? Answer: “Worst crop of offensive linemen in a generation.”

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