DBB / Art of Men Draft Contest: Final Weekend to Register

| April 22nd, 2016

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This weekend is the final opportunity for you to register for the DBB / Art of Men NFL Draft Picks Contest. There are ONLY two ways to register:

  • Follow Art of Men (@ArtofMen) on Twitter and send a message reading “Draft Contest”.
  • Go to Art of Men’s contact page – http://artofmen.org/contact/ – and fill out the form with the message being “Draft Contest”.

The contest will be simple. Everyone registered will submit their guess for the Bears first round pick. Those who get that player right will move on to round two…etc. The last contestant standing will receive two tickets to a Bears game this season. (Tiebreakers will be announced next week.)

If nobody gets the first round pick right, the tickets go to charity. Because, quite frankly, you don’t deserve them.

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Draft This Guy (Or Sign Him Post-Draft): Brandon Doughty, Quarterback, Western Kentucky

| April 14th, 2016


If you read this space regularly, you know I don’t care about measurables. It’s not that I don’t think they are important. They clearly are a useful tool in the scouting process. I simply don’t care about them in the same way I don’t care about the Combine (which is actual pornography to measurables people), the salary cap (dead money! dead money!) and weekly power rankings.

Brandon Doughty isn’t going to be Peyton Manning. He isn’t going to be a ten-year NFL starter at quarterback. But when I watched him on the field this season I kept having the same thought over and over again, “This kid can play a little bit.”

I don’t think there is a star quarterback in this draft and I think a few years time will prove that teams reaching for Wentz, Goff, Lynch or Cook will find themselves in Ponder/Locker territory. Doughty needs a few years of serious NFL coaching and the Bears, with an established veteran QB and locked-in coaching staff, might be the perfect destination.

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Bears Should Say No On Spence

| April 12th, 2016


You know Noah Spence’s story. He was a five star recruit, kicked out of the Big 10 because of two failed drug tests for ecstasy. He went on to Eastern Kentucky, had a productive year and made people drool as he ran around bad tackle prospects at the Senior Bowl. That was right around the time of the Super Bowl and everyone suddenly wanted Spence to be Von Miller. Here’s the thing: He isn’t Von Miller and isn’t close as a prospect.

I’ll get to the red flags later.

Spence has very real physical flaws that make me think he’d struggle even if he did stay clean. The best pass-rushers in the league are either long or athletic. Spence isn’t either. It isn’t just about his 40-yard dash time. He didn’t show particularly good agility or explosiveness.

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Draft This Guy: Robert Nkemdiche, DL, Ole Miss

| April 8th, 2016


Four Thoughts

At 6-foot-3 and 294 pounds, his 40-yard dash (4.87 seconds), bench reps (28 at 225 pounds), vertical (35 inches) and broad jump (9 feet, 8 inches) were all in or near the top percentile for defensive tackles.

  • Nkemdiche is one of the only players in this draft who passed my “jumped off the screen” test during the college football season. These are players that make me pause the game I’m watching and ask, “Who the hell is that?” (My three favorite examples being Ndamukong Suh, Justin Blackmon and Aaron Donald.) At Alabama, Ole Miss’ most difficult opponent of the year, Nkemdiche was the best player on the field and led the Rebels to victory. He had 2.5 tackles for loss, including a half sack. He was unblockable.
  • If he falls out of the first round the Bears should be clawing at the walls of their war room throughout Thursday night. Risking a second-round pick on this kid is no risk at all because the reward could be an NFL star.

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Across The Middle: Mock Mock Draft 2.0

| April 6th, 2016


Here we go again. My first mock mock draft came before free agency started, which means there have been a ton of changes, especially at the top of the draft and with the Bears.

What I don’t have is changes at the very top. I think the Titans and Browns are pretty much locked into who they are going to take and both picks make a lot of sense. After that, however, it’s anyone’s guess.

By now, the Bears are likely keying in on a handful of players they either want to take at 11 or will try to trade back. I did a “big board” a couple weeks ago, but this is very fluid. If I did that again, there would be several changes.

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Announcing the Art of Men / DBB NFL Draft Contest!

| April 1st, 2016

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Art of Men is one of our primary sponsors (and a fantastic organization you should really check out). This year the organization is offering a pair of Bears tickets for the coming season to the winner of our NFL Draft Contest. The contest details will be announced Monday, April 25th. (It will essentially be guessing the Bears picks the same way we do it every year but we haven’t settled on the points system yet.) But in order to be eligible for the contest YOU MUST REGISTER.

There are two ways to register:

  • Follow @ArtofMen on Twitter and send a message to the account marked “Draft Contest”.
  • Go to Art of Men’s website contact page (located here: http://artofmen.org/contact/) and fill out the simple form with your name, email address and in the Your Message field simply write “Draft Contest”.*



*This will sign you up for Art of Men’s weekly email and allow you to search the organization’s database of projects.

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Across The Middle: Quick Q&A with Greg Gabriel

| March 31st, 2016

You’d be hard-pressed to fine anyone who deserves the title of NFL Draft Expert more than former Chicago Bears Director of College Scouting Greg Gabriel, who agreed to do a quick Question and Answer about the upcoming NFL Draft with DBB.

While Gabriel was in charge of the Bears college scouting, they drafted players such as Lance Briggs, Tommie Harris, Devin Hester, Johnny Knox and Nathan Vasher. Gabriel worked in the NFL for 30 years and currently lends his expertise to National Football Post and 670 The Score. In other words, he knows his shit.

Q: I know every organization is different, but with free agency, the combine and most of the pro days already in the books, can you explain what the final month before the draft was like for the front offices you worked for?

A: The final month is mostly draft prep. Many of the allowable 30 visits come in then. (They can come in until a week before the draft). Depending on the club, the scouts come in for final meetings and setting the board. That could be anywhere from two to three weeks before the draft. The scouts are also making calls to perspective UDFA’s just trying to recruit. If the GM feels they might need a little more info on a kid, then he may send out a coach or scout for a private workout. We also make a lot of calls to gather as much info as possible as to where certain guys may get drafted.

Q: One of the things I’ve noticed about the Bears is how much they value length. In Vic Fangio’s time with the 49ers and John Fox’s time with the Broncos, they drafted 13 defensive linemen and edge players, all with arms longer than 33 inches. Can you explain why length is so important for pass-rushers, specifically?

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Draft This Guy: Miles Killebrew, Safety, Southern Utah

| March 30th, 2016


The Bears found a bonafide starting safety in the middle of the 2015 Draft. There may be another lurking in the middle of this year’s edition.

From a piece a few months back at NFL.com:

The scoop: “He’s a better football player than Shaq Thompson and Deone Bucannon were when they came out.” — Area scout on Southern Utah safety Miles Killebrew

The skinny: That is high praise — Thompson and Bucannon both were first-round picks. However, we’re not surprised to hear such talk about Killebrew, who has accepted an invitation to the Reese’s Senior Bowl. He jumps off the tape and has a chance to be a name you’ll hear a lot leading up to the draft. Killebrew has good size at a little under 6-2 and 230 pounds. He’s been clocked at 4.45 in the 40. Everything we hear is that his character is impeccable.

Why did I find myself watching a Southern Utah game with a dozen Guinness in me late one Saturday night? I have no idea. But I watched them play a second time to watch Killebrew alone.

Killebrew reminds me of one of my favorite Bears safeties in recent memory: Tony Parrish. He’s fine with the ball in the air but seems most comfortable closing in on the football and hitting guys. The Bucannon comparisons are lofty praise (you will recall Deone love in this space prior to that draft) but Killebrew is going to be starting safety in the league.

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The Chicago Bears Big Board by Andrew Dannehy

| March 22nd, 2016

Jan 12, 2015; Arlington, TX, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes running back Ezekiel Elliott (15) runs with the ball against Oregon Ducks defensive back Erick Dargan (4) during the first quarter in the 2015 CFP National Championship Game against the Oregon Ducks at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

The Bears almost certainly have their own big board made up and, while we have no idea who is on it or where they land, this is my best guess.

First, a few things I considered:

• Every GM says they’ll take the best player available and I’m sure they intend to do just that. But in their ideal world the best player available would also fill a need. So, yes, need was a priority.

• I don’t pretend to be a scout, so most of these ranks are based on consensus combined with what I know about what the Bears prefer.

• The Bears prefer players with long arms. Look at pretty much every player they have brought in. Arm length is a big deal to them. Players who might be rated highly, but would have to be exceptions for the Bears include Shaq Lawson and Vernon Hargreaves. Maybe they’d make an exception for either of those players but I’m not betting on it.

• Ryan Pace always talks about explosive playmakers, so I gave preference to guys who either hurt the other team’s quarterback or help the Bears.

• I hate when people say he’s not going to be there but, for the purpose of this, I eliminated players who pretty much everyone thinks will be picked before the Bears are on the clock. They include: Laremy Tunsil, Joey Bosa, Myles Jack and Jalen Ramsey.

Without further adieu…

Bears Big Board

1. DeForest Buckner, DL, Oregon. There isn’t a more perfect fit for what the Bears need and want right now. He’d give them three good defensive linemen who can stop the run and provide at least some pass rush.

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Across The Middle: Post-Combine Mock Draft

| March 2nd, 2016


Mock drafts are a mostly useless practice, but people like them and they’re fun to do. So here is my first attempt at a 2016 mock draft. Keep a few things in mind:

• I’m not a scout. I don’t pretend to be a scout. I’ll never pretend to be a scout. But I do read a lot and listen to a lot of scouts. I have about five people whose opinions I trust more than others. I typically lean toward people who were once in the league.

• Don’t say anyone “won’t” go anywhere. Nobody knows who is going where. Even if a team directly came out and said who they were going to take, we couldn’t believe it because they lie more times than not.

• In a First Draft Podcast with Mel Kiper and Todd McShay, Adam Schefter was adamant that three quarterbacks were going in the top 10. I’ve never heard Schefty more certain of anything so I believe him.

• A lot of these are going to be wrong. Of course they are, we haven’t even hit free agency yet. Even after free agency, mock drafts are going to be wrong. But, here goes…

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