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What to Watch for At 2017 Combine

| March 1st, 2017

The NFL’s annual meat market kicks off this week and here are a few things to watch for:

The Quarterbacks

In case you haven’t noticed around here, this off-season is about one thing: finding a quarterback. This week is going to be the Bears first real chance to sit down and talk football with the top four guys: Deshaun Watson, DeShone Kizer, Mitch Trubisky and Pat Mahomes.

The Bears know who Brian Hoyer is, have a good feeling about Jimmy Garoppolo and are at least relatively familiar with all of the other veteran options. Their pro personnel department has done their work. They don’t know the quarterbacks in the draft simply because they haven’t had the opportunity to study them beyond their game tape.

Does Watson have enough meat on his bones? What does Kizer attribute his inconsistency to? Is Trubisky really short?  Does Mahomes have any clue when it comes to reading coverage? These are some of the questions the Bears need to ask.

The most important part is going to be the interview process. The Bears need to find out what makes these guys tick. They won’t publicly broadcast that information, but we’ll hear the buzz. The Bears could fall in love with a quarterback here and that could change everything.

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Scouting the National Championship: Allen, Williams, Watson

| January 9th, 2017

There are three players in tonight’s national title game between Clemson and Alabama worth paying special attention to from a Bears perspective.

Jonathan Allen, DE, Alabama

By the time the draft arrives, Allen will be the consensus pick to the Bears…if he makes it that far. Daniel Jeremiah is in love with Allen, well-reported in his piece for NFL.com:

I reached out to five NFL personnel executives to find out who Allen reminds them of at the NFL level. Here’s a look at their responses.

Executive 1: Richard Seymour
“Allen isn’t as long or as tall as Seymour, but I see him as the same type of player. He’s very talented.”

Executive 2: Sheldon Richardson
“This is a tough one. He reminds me a little of Sheldon Richardson. Similar size. However, Richardson had more juice and Allen is stronger.”

Executive 3: Ndamukong Suh
“I haven’t come up with a great comparison for him. I do see some similarities to Suh when he was at Nebraska.”

Executive 4: Brandon Graham
“He is a really good player but I don’t view him the same as some of the top interior guys like (Geno) Atkins and (Aaron) Donald. He’s a tweener, similar to Brandon Graham when he was coming out of Michigan. Good player, not an elite player.”

Executive 5: Gerald McCoy
“He’s a tougher, grittier version of Gerald McCoy.”

Summary: That’s one vote apiece for Graham, McCoy, Richardson, Seymour and Suh.

Conclusion: I’ve struggled to come up with my own comparison for Allen. I compared him to Jurrell Casey after studying him this summer, but I no longer think it fits. He’s more powerful than Casey and I think he’s more versatile, too. In my opinion, he dominates college games similar to the way Suh dominated games at Nebraska. However, I think Suh had rare strength and power. I don’t put Allen in that class. I look forward to watching the rest of Allen’s season and hopefully I’ll be able to settle on a comparison with more time to study him leading up to the 2017 NFL Draft.

A defensive line of Allen, Goldman and Hicks in 2017 would make the Bears front an absolute force. Not the flashiest bunch by any means but strong, tough and borderline immovable.

Mike Williams, WR, Clemson

You know who Mike Williams reminds me of? Mike Williams. Seriously, can we stop with all these wide receivers named Mike Williams? It’s confusing.

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