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Second Round Selections: James Daniels & Anthony Miller

| April 28th, 2018

The Bears landed a much-needed interior lineman with their first pick of the second round and traded back into the round to grab a coveted wide receiver. Tomorrow I’ll be back to wrap up the draft in its entirety. Today? Highlights!


James Daniels, C/G, Iowa

From Lance Zierlein at NFL.com:

Daniels is a fluid mover with tremendous initial quickness to win positioning on most every zone block he’s asked to make — both on the first and second levels. His height, weight and arm length numbers at the Combine will be critical in either solidifying his draft slot or potentially dropping him a round. Some teams might see him as a zone-only center, but he may be strong enough to fit in with other blocking schemes. He needs to get stronger, but he’s a plus run blocker and pass protector with a chance to become a Pro Bowl starter.


Anthony Miller, WR, Memphis

Lance again:

Ultra-competitive and highly productive, Miller plays with a chip on his shoulder that has driven him to out-work the man across from him. While he played both inside and out for Memphis, some teams could struggle with figuring out his best fit. His inconsistent hands are definitely a concern, but his ability to get open and to work all three levels of the field increase his chances for success as a WR3.


Data Entry

Ryan Pace has made a distinct shift from his draft approach in 2018. Instead of targeting high upside players, he’s getting guys who are plug-and-play for specific roles on this roster. He needed a QB of the defense, so he drafted Roquan Smith. He needed a zone blocking interior lineman, and grabbed James Daniels. He needed a shifty YAC WR who could play in the slot, and traded up to grab Anthony Miller (who hit all three WR thresholds I identified 2 months ago, might I add).

Now the most obvious need remaining is for an outside linebacker opposite Leonard Floyd. This would be more of a power player than a speed guy (think Pernell McPhee stylistically), and the remaining prospect who makes the most sense for that role is Duke Ejiofor, though Ade Aruna would also fit that bill.

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  • Irish Sweetness

    First to say … No hernia.

    God damn. My anaesthetist was a dime piece.

    • beninnorcal

      Good to hear that things went well, Irish.

    • Big Mike

      Great news brother

    • KentuckyBearsFan

      Awesome.

    • CanadaBear

      Glad they didn’t have to cut on you! One wrong cut and your keister falls off!!!!!!!!!!

  • Irish Sweetness

    That’s some QB dropping the ball in the basket there…

    • BenderMcLugh

      Have you talked about him before? I barely watch college and didn’t know Memphis’ team. Riley Ferguson looks rather intriguing, definitely has touch and good numbers

      https://www.sports-reference.com/cfb/players/riley-ferguson-1.html

    • leftcoastdave

      Irish, I thought you were going to get one last night here on the blog!

  • That Guy

    Remember the panic last year when Pace ignored all the talent at Safety on the board on the first two days of the draft?

    And then we got a certified stud who looks to be the long-term answer. In the 5th round.

    I’m trusting Pace to pull another ace from his sleeve today at OLB. That Kansas guy Jeff likes looks like a potential fit.

    Today should be all defense, though. OLB / CB / DE. RB and OT still could use some love, too, but the defensive needs are more pressing.

    • willbest

      jackson was a second round talent that fell on injury concerns. So who is that pass rusher in this draft?

      • That Guy

        I don’t know. I don’t think Pace is going to take a pure pass rusher, anyway. Floyd is an Edge and he drops into coverage a lot. So opposite him, I think the plan would be to put a stouter guy who CAN rush, but is better classed as OLB.

        Unless he has identified some small-school or injured freak of nature who can get after the QB.

        And that’s sort of my point. All of us were shitting bricks with no safety picks through Round 4 last year. Sure, Jackson was Round 2 talent, but plenty of teams were scared off. I don’t know which guys Pace has decided are diamonds in the rough. That’s what we’ll see.

      • leftcoastdave

        Dorance Armstrong Jr 3-4OLB, Kansas

        Height: 6-4. Weight: 257. Arm: 34.75.
        40 Time: 4.87.
        Projected Round (2018): 2-3.

        4/25/18: Armstrong has an excellent skill set, but it was hard
        for him to illustrate in 2017 because the team around him was so bad.
        Opponents were able neutralize him with double teams and plays going
        away from him while taking advantage of the lack of talent elsewhere on
        the Kansas defense. As a result, Armstrong may be more of a second-day
        talent for the 2018 NFL Draft. In 2017, Armstrong totaled 63 tackles
        with 9.5 for a loss, two sacks, four forced fumbles and four passes
        batted. He is a fast edge defender with very good athleticism. At the
        combine, Armstrong looked smooth and athletic in the field drills.

        9/1/17: In 2016 as a sophomore, Armstrong had some serious
        production with 10 sacks, 20 tackles for a loss, 56 tackles and three
        forced fumbles while being a First-Team All-Big XII selection. One
        general manager told me that they think Armstrong is a stud and can’t
        see him staying for his senior year in 2018. They said that Armstrong
        could be on a par or better than Boston College senior edge rusher
        Harold Landry. That general manager thought Landry would have been a
        late first- or second-round pick if he had entered the 2017 NFL Draft.

    • Big Mike

      nobody remembers that. Pace is an idiot. Don’t you know that. There are guys posting a lot here that just hate everything.

  • That Guy

    Positions we can rule out:
    Offense: QB, WR, C, G, TE
    Defense: S (not because we don’t need more guys, but because the guys available today likely aren’t upgrades on what we have), ILB (unless you get a guy who can play inside and out)

    Leads me to think Pacebot will have a couple sleeper/small school darkhorses he loves at a couple different positions, though I wouldn’t rule out the surprise RB/TE/WR trifecta to round out the draft.

    • leftcoastdave

      What about the dude throwing to Miller?

      Riley Ferguson, QB, Memphis

      Height: 6-3. Weight: 212. Hand: 9.63.
      40 Time: 4.98.
      Projected Round (2018): 6-FA.

      4/24/18: In 2017, Ferguson completed 63 percent of his passes
      for 4,257 yards with 36 touchdowns and nine interceptions. Sources say
      that Ferguson is skinny and needs to fill out his frame for the NFL.
      That was given further proof at the East-West Shrine, where Ferguson
      looked very thin. He could be a late-round pick who starts out his
      career as a third-string quarterback.

      7/17/17: In 2016, Ferguson completed 63 percent of his passes
      for 3,698 yards with 32 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. He was in his
      first year as a starter after replacing Paxton Lynch.

      Ferguson needs to improve his field vision for the NFL. He consistently
      locks onto his primary read and stares him down. When Ferguson rolls out
      of the pocket, his field vision improves and he looks beyond his first
      read. It isn’t surprising that Ferguson needs more development
      considering his limited playing experience, and he was wise to return
      for his senior year to develop his pocket passing before going pro.

  • KentuckyBearsFan

    “Miller plays with a chip on his shoulder”

    Everyone who has stepped foot in Memphis has a chip on their shoulder.

    Nice selection.

    (memories from visiting in 2004 or 2005)

  • CanadaBear

    I like the wide receiver being such a feisty bastard. Definitely reminds me of Steve Smith. Hopefully he plays as well without the punching your teammates thing! Iowa has been churning out OL men for years, Daniels looks like the latest version. Actually have some hope the young man will develop under HH.

    • KentuckyBearsFan

      yeah…Steve Smith looking at the highlights.

  • leftcoastdave

    If you missed out on the trolling of the Cowboys last night, here’s the replays. It started last year and got returned, cubed.

    This is beautiful, especially because they stepped in front of the Boys to steal their tight end (now that we have theirs).

    • CanadaBear

      Paybacks are always hell! I kinda don’t get publicly grinding on fans of other teams. Unless you’re a Pats or Browns fan, every dog has his day.

      • Big Mike

        It’s all part of it. Need to be able to dish it and take it.

        • leftcoastdave

          “America’s Team” started it and it was put in their face in their own house.
          I loved it.

          • Big Mike

            Love it.

        • CanadaBear

          I get that Mike but what’s the point? Personally I don’t dish it out much because I don’t like taking a beating I can avoid.

          • Big Mike

            For me, it’s just alpha male locker room stuff. Got to keep fresh.

  • beninnorcal

    Anyone know what time round 4 starts?

    • leftcoastdave

      Now, dude!

  • FresnoBear88

    I’m happy with the second round picks. More tools for Trubs to succeed.

  • Big Mike

    Out doing chores, Bears haven’t picked yet. Josh Sweat still on the board. Like that guy.

    • leftcoastdave

      He was not on my radar. Got the length.

  • leftcoastdave

    Loins take Mo Hurst?

  • Big Mike

    bears pick is i n

  • leftcoastdave

    Dude wants to go to med school!

    • Big Mike

      Draft Prospect Outlook:

      Linebacker in a safety’s body. Flashes high-level explosiveness when attacking downhill. Block-avoider, not a block-shedder. Despite athletic gifts, not a play-maker in coverage. Weakside linebacker with decent chance to be productive run-stopper behind a good defensive line.

      No stats available.

      • leftcoastdave

        Joel Iyiegbuniwe*, ILB, Western Kentucky

        Height: 6-1. Weight: 229. Arm: 32.63.
        Projected 40 Time: 4.77.
        Projected Round (2018): 3-5.

        4/25/18: Iyiegbuniwe totaled 116 tackles with 11.5 tackles for a
        loss, two sacks, two forced fumbles and one pass batted in 2017.
        Iyiegbuniwe entered the draft early because he was poised to graduate
        and wants to go to medical school after his football career ends. He had
        64 tackles with 10 tackles for a loss and 3.5 sacks in 2016.
        Iyiegbuniwe could be a nice mid-round value pick.

        • leftcoastdave

          Bio:
          Two-year
          starter who earned First Team All-Conference USA honors and led Western
          Kentucky with 117 tackles, 11.5 for tackles for loss and three forced
          fumbles while adding two sacks as a senior. Named Honorable Mention
          All-Conference USA and posted 64 tackles (10 for loss), 3.5 sacks and
          one forced fumble in 2016. Made 19 tackles with one sack as a sophomore.
          Pos:
          Smallish
          but explosive pursuit linebacker who covers a lot of area on the field.
          Plays with proper pad level, displays good change of direction and uses
          his hands to protect himself. Moves laterally with speed, displays
          outstanding range and remains disciplined with assignments. Plays with a
          nasty attitude, attacks ball carriers and does not bite on play-action
          passes. Fires to the action with an explosive closing burst.

          • Big Mike

            Feels like a great contributor on special teams.

        • KentuckyBearsFan

          Bowling Green bitches!

          • KentuckyBearsFan

            Though I grew up in the southeastern rural part of the state.

            Western Kentucky is like a different country for people who grew up close to Daniel Boone Parkway.

  • ButtonShoes

    Josh Sweat, Dorance Armstrong, and Duke Ejiofor were on the board to pick. And Pace picks…Joel Iyiegbuniwe? This dude SCREAMS special teamer. Time to get a voodoo doll of Pace and stab it repeatedly.

    • That Guy

      It’s the 4th round, dude. Guy picked in the 4th is a ST contributor, that’s the way it works. Getting spoiled from Cohen, JH, and Jackson, aren’t we?

  • That Guy

    Dude the Bears just picked is listed on NFL as ILB. WIth 4.6 speed.

  • That Guy

    Alphabet Soup is too short and small to be OLB/Edge, so Pacebot is looking at the ILB decimation last year and thinking he needs depth. Be nice to have some rushers, though.

    • leftcoastdave

      Ought to be a great special teamer.

      • That Guy

        True. With his size and speed, he could be brutal on coverage teams.

        Of course, like everyone, I’m dreaming that Pacebot picks the defensive Jordan Howard, a guy who starts and kicks ass, not a guy who just is good on ST.

  • That Guy

    Dallas took Armstrong right after our pick.

  • That Guy

    Holy crap. San Diego took K. White from West Virginia.

  • That Guy

    21 more picks until Pacebot’s magic 5th rounder. C’mon, OLB/Edge.

  • leftcoastdave

    Iyiegbuniwe is an interesting pick, given the obvious need at Edge. Makes me think Fangio has some scheming in mind wanting another fast, hard hitting ILB.

    • That Guy

      I was just daydreaming. Alphabet Soup looks like he might be a project, maybe some long-term thinking about life after Trevathan. Imagine 1-2 years from now, two young ILBs who can run with any TE and most RBs in the league. This could be good.

      But then again, this Kool-Aid I’m drinking might be laced with arsenic.

  • leftcoastdave

    KC loved to attack with that short crossing receiver. Pace chose two very fast hard hitters to counter that threat with obvious input from Nagy and Fangio.

  • leftcoastdave

    Another Dog for the D?

    Davin Bellamy, OLB, Georgia

    Height: 6-5. Weight: 240. Arm: 33.25.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.78.
    Projected Round (2018): 4-6.

    4/25/18: Bellamy really picked up his play as a senior and was
    very impressive against Notre Dame. He beat Fighting Irish left tackle
    Mike McGlinchey on a speed rush to get a strip-sack to close out
    Georgia’s one-score victory late in the fourth quarter. In 2017, Bellamy
    had 34 tackles with 7.5 tackles for a loss, five sacks, three passes
    batted and two forced fumbles.

    Sources say they’re projecting Bellamy to Day 3 of the 2018 NFL Draft.
    They think Bellamy is a bit of a tweener and wonder if he can add weight
    to play defensive end in NFL. They also believe Bellamy is not all that
    impressive as a pass-rusher.

    9/1/17: Bellamy recorded 51 tackles with nine for a loss, five
    sacks and one pass batted as a junior. He had 33 tackles with three
    sacks, 5.5 tackles for a loss and one pass broken up in 2015.

  • That Guy

    OLB feels like last year with the Safety position. Obvious need, and completely ignored in the draft while other positions got attention.

    I’m glad the ILB corps and the Dline is getting bodies, but I’m concerned about OLB. And CB is OK at the moment, but one injury and LeBlanc is in there shitting up things.

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