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Chicago Bears State of The Union – Offense

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Bears fans, the draft is over. While I’m sure a lot are upset we didn’t target wide receivers a bit more, the roster did get a few key additions that make it better than it was. Let’s take a look at the state of the offense as it currently stands.

Quarterback

Justin Fields, Trevor Siemian and Ryan Willis

It all comes down to Justin Fields. If he succeeds, then this group succeeds. Nick Foles was shipped out on Sunday morning. Trevor Siemian is a fine backup while Offensive Coordinator Luke Getsy gets a little side project in Ryan Willis. 

Running Back

David Montgomery, Khalil Herbert, Darryton Evans, Trestan Ebner.

This group is stacked! David Montgomery is a true 3-down back. Khalil Herbert could be starting on a ton of teams across the NFL. Darryton Evans is a 3rd down pass-catching back with Specials Teams ability. This group is set. I really like this addition of Trestan Ebner, you can never have enough RB depth. Ebner will excel on special teams and on 3rd down with an upside to be a 3-down back one day. I didn’t expect this group to get much better, but it did.

Fullback

Khari Blasingame.

I am so excited we have a FB on the roster. Blasingame is a big athletic FB, who can do it all. This is going to be a tough, physical, punch you in the mouth team. Signing Clint Ratkovich and letting him learn and rehab his ACL is something I would love.

Wide Receiver

Darnell Mooney, Byron Pringle, Velus Jones Jr, Equanimeous St. Brown, David Moore, Dazz Newsome, Isaiah Coulter, Nsimba Webster.

Darnell Mooney is the only established player if you think about it. Bryon Pringle is a fast, tough, slot guy who never really got a shot stuck behind some dynamic weapons in Kansas City. He was a dependable guy for Patrick Mahomes and is going to ball out for the Bears. I love the Velus Jones Jr. pick in the 3rd round, this kid is special. At first, people will complain about his age. The age doesn’t worry me, because this team just needs playmakers. This roster doesn’t have the luxury of passing on a stud because he’s a little older. At worst he is a return guy/gadget player, but at best he has Deebo Samuel upside. Equanimeos St. Brown has some nice height and is an upgrade over Byrd as a blocking receiver. I would like to see what Dazz Newsome can do, he flashed playmaking ability in limited time last year. Isaiah Coulter and Nsimba Webster are most likely gone unless one steps up on Special Teams. Expect the Bears to be very active in the free-agent market. 

Tight End

Cole Kmet, Jesper Horsted, Ryan Griffin, James O’Shaughnessy.

It usually takes tight ends 2-3 years to break out. Cole Kmet’s the time is now. Jesper Horsted offers another pass catching weapon for the offense. Same goes for Ryan Griffin. James O’Shaughnessy is the blocking tight end of the group. Blocking TEs are needed for this outside zone scheme Luke Getsy will be running.

Center

Lucas Patrick, Sam Mustipher and Doug Kramer.

Lucas Patrick is the starter unless Doug Kramer shocks the world. Same Mustipher will most likely be used as a backup at center and guard if he can learn the guard position. Doug Kramer is an undersized center who plays with a ton of grit and heart. He truly has a chance to be a quality backup with starter upside. Kramer started 48 games for the Fighting Illini and is a hometown product. I am excited to see him develop!

Guard

Cody Whitehair, Lachavious Simmons, Dakota Dozier, Dieter Eiselen, Zach Thomas and Ja’Tyre Carter.

Cody Whitehair is the only proven starter here. I’m a little nervous about this group in general. The Zach Thomas pick excites me and I think he has all the traits to be a starting RG. Ja’Tyre Carter is an intriguing prospect as well. He dominated the competition in the SWAC and held up at the senior bowl but he is still a little raw. As for Simmons, Dozier, and Eiselen, I’m not even going to try and be optimistic, they are all backups and I only expect one to make the team. I would love to see Poles go out and add another veteran to this room. 

Tackle

Larry Borom, Teven Jenkin, Julien Davenport, Willie Wright, Tyrone Wheatley Jr and Braxton Jones.

I am so relieved this new Bears regime sees what the fans see. Larry Borom is a left tackle and Teven Jenkins is a right tackle! Julien Davenport is more than likely going to be used as a swing tackle. I love the Braxton Jones pick, this guy has the potential to be a starting left tackle. He is a little raw, but the upside is very high with Jones. I expect Borom, Jenkins, Davenport, and Jones to all make the roster.

Is it rookie minicamp yet? I just want to see these guys play. The player on offense I’m most excited for is Velus Jones Jr. I think he is going to shock a lot of people. I trust in Poles offensive line background and I hope that a few of the late-round picks are sleepers.

-Nick Stokes

Twitter: stokesnick24

Instagram: nickstokes24

DECKER: Can We Stop Ragging On Ryan Poles (For Now)?

Bears Twitter hit its melting point (again) this weekend. Bears fans clamored for offensive help for Justin Fields for months. However, new GM Ryan Poles had other plans in mind. Twitter exploded after he double-dipped on the defensive side of the ball. Understandably so, many of us were upset the Bears’ front office smoke-screened its fan base. We thought we were getting a shiny new wide receiver or offensive lineman with our two second-round picks; however, it wasn’t in the cards. That said, I have just one thing to ask of my fellow Bears fans…

Can we just calm down and stop ragging on Ryan Poles (for now)?

The Draftermath

I get it. Justin Fields just doesn’t have the supporting cast around him and the Bears desperately need to get the kid some help. After a dull free agency period, many of us naturally thought we’d use those first two picks to pick up some new toys to hopefully pull the Bears’ offense out of the mud. Just like Season 8 of “Game of Thrones”, our expectations were so high that we set ourselves up for disappointment.

While I was hoping we’d land someone like George Pickens, the front office had other plans in mind. Admittedly, I was about three sheets to the wind at a bar crawl with some co-workers on Friday night, so my initial reaction to the first few picks was particularly meat-headed. After months of building myself up that we were going to get a steal at WR, I was not happy when I saw us take two DBs off the board.

When I dried up and thought about it a little more, the first two picks made a whole lot of sense to me. Poles isn’t building this team for this year, he’s building for next. If Fields genuinely is the guy, who he throws to in 2022 isn’t going to matter. For example, Deshaun Watson played out of his mind a few years ago when the Texas were on their way to picking #3 overall. Off-field incidents aside, I’d say he turned out to be a decent QB.

Brick-By-Brick

Instead of hauling in a quick double-wide to get us by, Poles is building this house brick-by-brick.

Chicago football is hard-nosed, punch you in the mouth football backboned by elite defense. Poles and Eberflus want a strong, young defensive core for this team. Generally speaking, those types of guys don’t just come out of the woodwork. It takes time and investment.

This division now has Aaron Rodgers, Justin Jefferson, Jameson Williams and Christian Watson. To win, we’re going to have to slow them down. Elite defensive backs are hard to come by; therefore, you have to take them when you can.

Plain and simple, the talent between Gordon and Brisker outweighed that of guys like George Pickens and Alec Pierce. There are some legitimate concerns about Pickens’ health and we don’t know how those interviews actually went. While I liked Alec Pierce, he was a bit of a reach at 39 and 48. The Bears got good value in their picks.

Burners and Big Uglies

Admittedly, I didn’t know much about Velus Jones Jr. When I saw the pick, my first reaction was “who?”. To be honest, I’m still not 100% sold on it; however, I’m not an NFL scout. You can’t deny that the kid can burn. The Bears have sorely missed that kind of speed. You bet your bottom dollar Poles, and possibly even JF1 himself, saw something they liked on film. They wouldn’t have drafted him if they didn’t.

Down the board, I loved Poles’ strategy of throwing darts at the board with his mid-to-late round offensive line picks. Like Pace’s tendency to grab talent in the mid-rounds, hopefully Poles’ secret sauce is evaluating OL prospects. Regardless, when you volume shoot you’re bound to hit eventually. The group of guys we drafted fit the physical, nasty mold Poles has been looking for. This group is about to get a lot tougher.

Ride the (Free Agency) Wave

Let’s not forget, the dude has been on the job for, like, five whole minutes (relatively speaking). We’re not even fully through free agency! Undoubtedly, there will be plenty of cap casualties, camp cuts, and trade candidates that we can round out this roster with.

For example, we can grab guys like Jarvis Landry, Julio Jones, or maybe even Odell Beckham, Jr. on one-year deals at this point. JC Tretter is available for a potential OL pickup. The Eagles cut recent RFA OL Nate Herbig just this week. Indeed, there are guys available now worth kicking the tires on.

As the offseason progresses, there will be more guys looking for jobs. Remember a couple years ago when all-pro Josh Sitton hit the market in the first week of September? Patience is a virtue. Poles has time to fill the holes.

Seriously, Calm Down!

Long story short, we, as a fanbase, need to chill the heck out. Ryan Pace, while with good intent, left this franchise in a bad spot with both salary cap and draft capital. Those problems don’t just fix themselves overnight.

Sure, the Bears probably aren’t going to be good in 2022. However, that primes us up to snag a premier talent like Kayshon Boutte or a top tackle in 2023. Conveniently, the cap space frees up significantly in 2023 as well. All things considered, the Bears are in prime position to make next offseason big.

Who knows, Poles may very well piss this down his leg over time. Certainly, we have every right to be angry if he does. For now, just relax, crack a Miller Lite, and give Poles a fair shake.

Chicago Bears State of The Union – Defense

I took a dive into the offensive side of the ball yesterday and now we are switching gears to the defense. Let’s take a look at the current state of the Chicago Bears’ defense.

Free Safety

Eddie Jackson, DeAndre Houston-Carson, Elijah Hicks.

Eddie Jackson watch out, while you were my favorite player and pick in 2017, the time to step up is now. You got that hard-hitting SS type in Brisker, no excuses here. Deandre Houston-Carson is a good special teams guy as well. A week ago I would have expected him to make the final roster. Now I am not so sure about the addition of Elijah Hicks. I think Hicks is a sleeper, this guy can play ball. Every time you watch his tape he’s making plays. Expect him to be a starter or a big contributor in a few seasons. I don’t expect anybody to be added to this group.

Strong Saftey

Jaquan Brisker, Dane Cruikshank.

WOW! Am I excited for Brisker’s addition to this defense. The dude is a stud! Hard-hitting and good coverage, there is really nothing this guy can’t do. While most Bears fans are pissed because they wanted some wide receivers, this guy is going to become a fan favorite soon. Cruikshank is a quality backup, I expect to see him on the field in some packages. This group is solid. 

Slot Corner

Tavon Young, Thomas Graham, Duke Shelley.

Tavon Young is one of the better slot CBs in the NFL, but he can’t seem to stay healthy. I think Thomas Graham is going to push him to start. Duke Shelley is likely cut, I don’t really see a spot for him on this team. I think Graham will steal the job away at some point this year. This group is set. 

Outside Corner

Jaylon Johnson, Kyler Gordon, Kindle Vildor, Michael Joseph, BoPete Keyes and Lamar Jackson.

The corners are finally set, it would appear. Jaylon Johnson finally gets a quality running mate in Kyler Gordon who was a first-round CB to a lot of people. I am so excited for this young duo, the sky’s the limit for Johnson and Gordon. I think Kindle Vildor is a quality backup along with Joseph, Keyes, and Jackson. I expect one of the latter three to make it on the roster. I will need to see how they do in minicamp first. I expect movement in the lower half of this group.

Defensive Tackle/ 3-tech

Justin Jones, Kyiris Tonga, Mario Edwards, LaCale London and Auzoyah Alufohai.

I still want the Bears to try and get Larry Ogunjobi if he can get healthy. Justin Jones is a guy who was often banged up, but a fan favorite when he played for the Chargers. He is a really good run defender that we are waiting on that jump in pass rush capabilities. Jones is not the dominant force Ogunjobi would have been, but he’s a solid plan B for now. I loved Kyiris Tonga for the 3-4 defense, not sure if he will have a big role in the new 4-3 defense time will tell. I think Matt Eberflus will view Mario Edwards and LaCale London as interior guys with all the additions to the DE/EDGE position. Auzoyah Alufohai, is a project for Eberflus and company. Hopefully, he turns into something. He’s got nice size, but he needs to work on some technical stuff. I expect the Bears to add another 3-technique if something pops up.

Defensive end / Edge

Robert Quinn, Trevis Gipson, Al-Quadin Muhammad, Dominique Robinson, Sam Kamara and Charles Snowden.

Robert Quinn is a stud with previous success in the 4-3 defense. I expect the Bears to shop Quinn to a contender during the season. This may make this a breakout year for Trevis Gipson, I am excited to see what he can do. Muhammad comes from Indy so Eberflus has a guy that knows him and the system. Dominique Robison is an athletic freak with the potential to be the sleeper of the 2022 draft class. This dude played QB in High-School, WR in College, then after one year switched to defensive end. He was a late-round guy because he is raw. Another fun developmental guy for Eberflus to develop. Kamara did well in snaps last year, but he was the previous regime’s guy. Snowden is another raw athletic freak, he fits better in a 3-4 defense, I hope this new regime gives him a shot. I don’t expect the Bears to be very active here unless they trade Quinn before the season starts. 

Line Backer

Roquan Smith, Nicholas Morrow, Caleb Johnson, Noah Dawkins, Matt Adams and Ledarius Mack.

Roquan is most likely going to be the weak side LB (will). He is one of the best LBs in the game and I think this defense will put him in an even better position to succeed. I think Morrow will be the middle linebacker. His game has consistently been on the rise and I think he has a chance to be a solid MLB. Caleb Johnson played well in his time last year. I think Johnson is the front runner for the strong-side linebacker(SAM) position, with Dawkins, Adams, and Mack all pushing for depth spots. I expect the Bears to add a few more guys here. 

The popular choice for “most excited about” is Brisker and Gordon, but I’m going to switch it up a bit. The players I’m most excited about here are Elijah Hicks and Dominique Robinson. After watching the tape, I really think Hicks is going to be a good player in this league. There isn’t a lot of Robinson tape, but from what I’ve watched and read this kid has a shot to be special, he’s just raw.

-Nick Stokes

Twitter: stokesnick24

Instagram: nickstokes24

Chicago Bears Draft Picks on Day Two

The Bears were finally on the clock on day two of the NFL draft. Ryan Poles quickly made moves to fill some holes on defense as well as adding speed and playmaking on the offensive side of the ball. Let’s take a quick look at the picks made by the Bears in rounds 2 and 3.

Round 2 – Pick 39, Kyler Gordon – CB, Washington

Gordon redshirted during the 2018 season but played in four games as a reserve. Gordon earned honorable mention All-Pac-12 honors in each of the next two seasons and all 13 games with four starts in 2019 (32 tackles, four pass breakups) and played in all four games with one start in 2020 (18 tackles, one pass breakup). Gordon was All-Pac 12 with fellow UW corner Trent McDuffie as first-team All-Pac-12 defenders in 2021 (46 tackles, two for loss, two interceptions, team-high seven pass breakups in 12 starts).

Round 2 – Pick 48, Jaquan Brisker – S, Penn State

In 2021 Brisker was second-team Associated Press All-American and first-team all-Big Ten. He started 12 games (64 tackles, career-high six for loss, two interceptions, five pass breakups) before opting out of the team’s bowl game to prepare for the NFL draft.

Round 3 – Pick 71, Velus Jones – WR, Tennessee

Velus Jones transferred from USC to Tennessee for the 2020 season and started six games for the Volunteers. His receiving production increased in 2021 with 62 receptions and 807 yards ands seven touchdowns. He also shared SEC Special Teams Player of the Year honors with Alabama receiver Jameson Williams as a return specialist.

Two Potential 2022 Draft Trades

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Wake up NFL fans, it’s that time of year, it’s draft week! NFL commissioner Roger Goodell is set to open up the 2022 NFL Draft in Las Vegas at the end of the week. With the Chicago Bears having minimal draft capital in 2022 it would be a longshot and extremely crazy to see them move up into the first round. This begs the question what could a potential trade into the first round look like?

If the Bears do trade up it would likely be for a number one wide receiver most likely Justin Fields’ former target and Ohio State Chris Olave. A potential trade would likely be giving up pick 39 (or 48), a future 2, and a 5th rounder in 2022. That is truly unlikely to happen unless Olave falls past pick 25 which at this points seems like it won’t happen considering many teams that need a wide receiver. One of those teams include divisional rival Green Bay.

Pairing FIelds and Olave back together in the NFL is a match made in heaven with Olave stating “That’s my guy, man, Can’t wait to see his career take off in Chicago. I know he’s ready to do that so I can’t wait to see him do that. That would be huge to link up with him again and we’ll see what happens throughout the process.” a quote captured by NBC Sports Chicago.

The dream for bears fans would be seeing the same scenario that happened with the Cincinnati Bengals with the Joe Burrow and Ja’Marr . While Olave might not put up Chase type numbers his rookie season it could give the Bears offense an immediate boost and allow the Bears to keep one of the seconds and potentially take an offensive lineman or a defensive back with pick 48. It would be an aggressive move by first time General Manager Ryan Poles and it would show that he believes that Justin Fields as the franchise quarterback of the future.

Another potential guy the Bears could trade up for is Trevor Penning. The 6’7 325 pound offensive tackle from Northern Iowa. Penning is an extremely physical monster that would fit Ryan Poles’ mold of what he wants from his offensive line. He is a projected late first rounder whose draft stock has risen quite a bit leading up to the draft. Penning played just under 780 offensive snaps in 2021 and just allowed one sack with only six quarterback hurries and graded out at 97.3 per Pro Football Focus. Penning also had a good showing at the combine back in early March.

If the Bears do decide to draft him the new question would be what happens to second year tackles Larry Borom and Teven Jenkinns? Who plays right tackle and who moves inside to guard? While that would not be a question able to be answered until the beginning of training camp it does bring in an interesting situation that will be fun to think about the rest of the week.

I personally am not a fan of trading up with the minimal draft capital that we have and would like to see a guy like Treylon Burks or George Pickens fall to the Bears at 39 or trade back and select Christian Watson. Let’s see how this all plays out for the Bears.

Pringle Lay’s On The Gas, Season Appears to be Kettle Cooked 

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​Why can’t we have nice things? This past Saturday evening around 6pm in Pasco County, Florida, newly signed Bears wide receiver, Byron Pringle, was arrested by the Florida Highway Patrol for reckless driving. 

​Pringle was taken into custody after being caught whipping donuts on a highway. With a suspended license. With his kid in the back seat. Now I know it sounds bad, but he’s driving a Dodge Hellcat that has 700 horsepower. I think it would be a worse crime if he WASN’T doing donuts and using the Hellcat the way God intended. He just so happened to use it in the wrong place, wrong time, and with the wrong passengers. 

However, the argument can be made that his kid in the backseat was probably having the time of his life. Imagine being 10 years old and your dad is whipping you around in a souped-up car that tops out at 200 MPH. I mean that kid must think his dad is the coolest dude to ever walk the planet, right? At least until the whole y’know, watching him getting put into the back of the cop car thing. The reports also say that the Hellcat was towed to a nearby yard, so the kid even got a ride along with the police! Best day ever, right?

And sure, it’s not a great look that Pringle was allegedly “verbally confrontational” with the officers arresting him. I mean I’d be pretty pissed too if I was being arrested for showing my son a good time. Are they the Florida Highway Patrol, or are they the No Fun Police?

I’m starting to think the Bears might’ve put a little too much dip on their chip when they signed Pringle.

SCHWARTZKOPF: Final Thoughts Prior To The NFL Draft

Draft week is upon us. The mock drafts will be finalized and the debating will be over, for the most part. As Ryan Poles prepares to draft in his first draft as the Bears General Manager the fan base is mostly eager to get this over with and know who will be on their beloved Bears in 2022.

The Bears have a ton of work left to do before they hit the field for the 2022 season. Whether it is combing through the free agency market. Which, still has a ton of talent and quite frankly the Bears can snag for relatively cheap. Though, the elephant in the room this week will be the NFL Draft and the limited number of the picks that the Bears have.

While some can debate till their faces are blue. There is only one true goal for the Bears this week and that is, don’t screw it up and acquire talent that can help you win for a sustained period of time. If the Bears can do that, no matter the positions they draft. Fans should be happy with the outcome. Especially considering how deep this draft is at certain positions the Bears can make a pick at every position.

Though, if I had one draft week wish. It’s for the Bears to trade back from one of their two second-round picks. History shows that doing so can net you anywhere from 1-3 extra picks in a draft. Ranging anywhere from 3rd round picks to 5th round picks. It all depends on the desperation on teams looking to move up. At pick 39 there should be plenty of suitors looking to make the move up.

Time to step back from the draft for a bit(not really) and focus on to the offensive line. The Bears still have a gaping hole on the offensive line. Right guard continues to still be a spot that the Bears seemingly have not found any help yet. Sam Mustipher, who is extremely undersized for the position took the reps with the first-team offensive line. While I don’t expect him to be the starter on week 1, the Bears need to attack that position in the draft or find a bridge gap starter for the 2022 season in free agency.

Wide Receiver will be the buzz position later this week, something the Bears will desperately need to add as well. The Bears added David Moore to the group this week who was in over minicamp on a tryout basis. He has played a decent size role in Seattle and has hauled in a few big touchdowns during his time with the Seahawks. Hopefully, he can channel some of that once again. The Bears should be able to find a decent talent at wideout in the first three rounds but there will be some bigger talents hanging around early in the second round.

Final thought on this is in the secondary. The Bears may have something in Thomas Graham but they necessarily shouldn’t bank on that right now. If the right players are there for them in the draft, make a pick in the secondary. If they can’t snag a secondary pick they like. There is still some help in free agency they can pick off to fill some holes.

With that all said. Happy draft week Bears fans. I leave you with some positions of need and a few prospects that I think would look great in a Bears uniform.

1- Wide Reciever (George Pickens, Christian Watson, Skyy Moore, Alec Pierce and Treylon Burks)

2- Offensive Line (Daniel Faalele, Tyler Linderbaum, Kenyon Green and Dylan Parham)

3- Cornerback (Roger McCreary, Tariq Woolen, Coby Bryant and Andrew Booth Jr.)

4- Defensive Line (Perrion Winfrey, Arnold Ebikete and DeMarvin Leal)

PODCAST: Bear Force One Episode 1

On the first episode of BEAR FORCE ONE, Marty and Brian mix it up over Mike Florio’s narratives over Justin Fields, then dive into some Bears news. From there, we talk about our draft crushes, both realistic and unrealistic before we tie it all up with our Dick Butkus “Tweet of the Week”.

Matt Eberflus upset with Justin Fields’ veganism; prefers “QB with a little red meat in the belly”

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LAKE FOREST, IL – In a busy week full of breaking news out of Chicago, the Justin Fields saga heated up to another level on Friday afternoon as candid comments made by new head coach, Matt Eberflus, leaked to the public.

An unnamed source inside Halas Hall confirmed to Monsters of the Midwest that they overheard a bathroom conversation between Eberflus and Bears GM Ryan Poles over none-other than Fields, the team’s presumptive starter and face of the franchise.

“I was in my favorite stall just dropping a Packer off in the porcelain throne when I overheard Poles and Flus chatting it up at the sink. We all know Fields is a vegan, and while the ‘Old Matt and Ryan’ could live with a soft-minded mentality like that, Eberflus made it very clear he prefers a QB with a little red meat in the belly.” said the unnamed source.

When asked about the comments in his Friday afternoon media availability, Eberflus confirmed the sentiment to the public, saying “How can I expect a guy who doesn’t eat like Ron Swanson on a boys’ trip to Indy to lead this team into battle every Sunday? Guy can’t have a killer instinct if nothing had to die for his nourishment.”

Even after the media was seemingly ready to move on to the next topic, Eberflus doubled-down. “Mike Ditka will probably die with ten pounds of undigested Italian beef in his ass. That’s a man. If we wanted someone to forage for berries we would have drafted someone from Oregon.”, said Eberflus.

These comments are consistent with reports from Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk earlier this week, in which he suggested the Bears are deliberately taking a step back to undermine the growth and development of their talented young quarterback.

At the outbreak of the news Florio commented, “Elway was a T-Bone. Unitas was a New York Strip. Brett Favre was a whole pack of Ballpark Franks. Fields? That guy is ants on a log at your kid’s Cub Scout meeting. If I were the Bears, I’d ship Fields out to the first team that offers up a bone-in ribeye and some ground chuck.”

Meanwhile, the Bears are bringing the Ghost of Jared Lorenzen for lunch and a tryout Monday to help fill the apparent need in the Bears’ QB room. As for Fields, time will only tell what the uncertain future holds for the bright, yet malnourished, young quarterback.

-Brian Decker & Marty Wessels, Contributors, Monsters of the Midwest

BIG DRAFT ENERGY – Mock Draft 1.0

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DRAFT SZN IS HERE, BABY!

With the draft just a few short weeks down the road, I completed a full seven-round mock draft, drafting in the shoes of new Bears GM Ryan Poles. While we don’t quite know how Poles will approach his first draft with full control over the front office yokes, I went pick-by-pick through the draft and snagged the guys I think would be a good fit if the board falls this way.

Da Bears are on the clock…let’s dive on in!

Round 2, Pick 39

Notable Players on Board:

  • Jalen Pitre, DB – Baylor
  • George Pickens, WR – Georgia
  • Justyn Ross, WR – Clemson
  • Christian Watson, WR – NDSU
  • Abraham Lucas, OT – Washington State
  • Leo Chennal, LB – Wisconsin

The Pick:

  • TRADE DOWN
    • Bears Get
      • 49
      • 98
      • 120
      • 2023 R5
    • Saints Get
      • 39
  • Analysis
    • I heavily flirted with taking the best player on the board, Baylor DB Jalen Pitre, with this pick, but I liked the WR talent still on the board and was confident I’d be able to get one of Pickens/Ross/Watson at 48. Having my “cloud of players” there was just too easy to pass up at this point.

Round 2, Pick 48

Notable Players on the Board:

  • Jalen Pitre, DB – Baylor
  • Justyn Ross, WR – Clemson
  • Christian Watson, WR – NDSU
  • Abraham Lucas, OT – Washington State
  • Leo Chennal, LB – Wisconsin
  • Nik Bonitto, Edge – Oklahoma

The Pick:

  • TRADE DOWN
    • Bears Get:
      • 50
      • 62
      • 94
      • 121
      • 233
    • Chiefs Get:
      • 48
      • 71
      • 98
  • Analysis
    • I was so close to drafting Pitre in this slot, but if I was the GM of this Bears team, I’m looking to build depth all across the roster. Pitre’s skillset would’ve complemented Eddie Jackson perfectly in Eberflus’ Cover 2 defense. With the haul I got in return only to move down two spots, the ability to add depth at multiple positions was too good to pass up.

Round 2, Pick 49

Notable Players on the Board:

  • Justyn Ross, WR – Clemson
  • Christian Watson, WR – NDSU
  • Abraham Lucas, OT – Washington State
  • Leo Chennal, LB – Wisconsin
  • Nik Bonitto, Edge – Oklahoma
  • Christian Harris, LB – Wisconsin

The Pick:

  • Christian Watson, WR – NDSU

Analysis:

  • They say patience is a virtue (something Ryan Pace needed to hear a time or two). Watson was one of the guys I knew I’d be able to grab when I originally traded down and once Pitre came off the board at 49, this decision was EASY. At 6’4”, the kid can is a dynamic athlete and can flat out MOVE. The combination of size, speed and ball skills is exactly what the doctor ordered for Justin Fields. While it remains to be seen how he’ll fair against upgraded competition coming from an FCS school, I felt much better rolling the dice here knowing the haul of picks I was able to get from the two previous trades.
Christian Watson - 2021 - Football - NDSU

Round 2, Pick 49

Notable Players on the Board:

  • Justyn Ross, WR – Clemson
  • Abraham Lucas, OT – Washington State
  • Leo Chennal, LB – Wisconsin
  • Nik Bonitto, Edge – Oklahoma
  • Christian Harris, LB – Wisconsin
  • Tyler Smith, G/T – Tulsa

The Pick:

  • TRADE DOWN
    • Bears Get:
      • 51
      • 83
      • 124
    • Eagles Get:
      • 50
      • 94
      • 186

Analysis:

  • The Eagles came calling and again, I couldn’t pass up the ability to increase my draft capital a bit. While I like the players on the board, I’m not in love with the value for the Bears at this point. Having the 50th pick right behind me along with 51 made me feel very comfortable dealing with this to gain some value in the later rounds.

Round 2, Pick 49

Notable Players on the Board:

  • Justyn Ross, WR – Clemson
  • Abraham Lucas, OT – Washington State
  • Leo Chennal, LB – Wisconsin
  • Nik Bonitto, Edge – Oklahoma
  • Christian Harris, LB – Wisconsin
  • Tyler Smith, G/T – Tulsa

The Pick:

  • Abraham Lucas, OT – Washington State

Analysis:

  • Lucas is an interesting prospect to me. Having played in Mike Leach’s air raid system for most of his college career, Lucas wasn’t called to run block as often as other prospects; however, run blocking is far easier to develop than pass sets at the professional level. While he has shown some nastiness in the run game, Lucas’ bread and butter is pass protection. Whether Teven Jenkins stays at LT or moves to RT, Justin Fields will be well protected with Lucas on the opposite end of the line.
Abe Lucas could've embarked on his NFL career this week. Instead, WSU's  standout tackle returned to school to improve 'between the ears' | The  Seattle Times

Round 2, Pick 62

Notable Players on the Board:

  • Justyn Ross, WR – Clemson
  • Brian Asamoah, LB – Wisconsin
  • Jalen Tolbert, WR – South Alabama
  • Darian Kinnard, OT – Kentucky
  • Alec Pierce, WR – Cincinnati

The Pick:

  • Alec Pierce, WR – Cincinnati

Analysis:

  • I thought long and hard about taking Justyn Ross with this pick. Admittedly, I think Ross might be a bit “safer” but there’s just something about Pierce that I just can’t help but like. The kid is a bit of an anomaly – similar to DK Metcalf, Pierce can BURN with sheer straight-line speed but struggles a bit laterally. Pierce projects well as a big slot WR and a great complementary piece to a new-look WR room that is now made up of Darnell Mooney, Christian Watson, and Byron Pringle. Bonus points since he’s a kid from the Chicagoland area that went to a gritty, midwestern program like Cincinnati.
Alec Pierce - Football - University of Cincinnati Athletics

Round 3, Pick 83

Notable Players on the Board:

  • Kerby Joseph, S – Illinois
  • Darrian Beavers, LB – Cincinnati
  • Kellen Diesch, OT – Arizona State
  • Khalil Shakir, WR – Boise State
  • Dohnovan West, C – Arizona State

The Pick:

  • Darrian Beavers, LB – Cincinnati

Analysis:

  • Strong in run defense and sound in the passing game, Beavers brings upside to the table on defense. Beavers is versatile and can play any one of the linebacker slots in Matt Eberflus’ defense. Beavers will be a developmental guy who provides quality depth at first with the potential to blossom under Matt Eberflus’ tutelage and the HITS philosophy.
Darrian Beavers - Football - University of Cincinnati Athletics

Round 4, Pick 120

Notable Players on the Board

  • Zach Tom, OT – Wake Forest
  • Cordale Flott, CB – LSU
  • Cam Taylor-Britt, CB – Nebraska
  • Grant Calcaterra, TE – SMU
  • Neil Farrell Jr., DT – LSU

The Pick:

  • Cam Taylor-Britt, CB – Nebraska

Analysis:

  • The Bears need a corner, and Cam Taylor-Britt brings a lot of upside to the position group. Taylor-Britt excels in zone coverage and has the size, skill, and athleticism to play on the perimeter. This is a great value pick at a position of need in the fourth round.
Nebraska's Cam Taylor-Britt, JoJo Domann invited to Reese's Senior Bowl |  Football | omaha.com

Round 4, Pick 121

Notable Players on the Board

  • Zach Tom, OT – Wake Forest
  • Cordale Flott, CB – LSU
  • Grant Calcaterra, TE – SMU
  • Neil Farrell Jr., DT – LSU
  • Matt Waetzko, OT – North Dakota

The Pick:

  • Cordale Flott, CB – LSU

Analysis:

  • We’re throwing darts at the board in the defensive backfield at this point and hoping we hit. At 6’2” 170 lbs., Flott has the length but will need to put on some weight to be successful at the next level. Flott is a fighter and fits the “grinder” mold Eberflus and Poles have been looking for.

Round 4, Pick 124

Notable Players on the Board

  • Zach Tom, OT – Wake Forest
  • Grant Calcaterra, TE – SMU
  • Neil Farrell Jr., DT – LSU
  • Matt Waetzko, OT – North Dakota

The Pick:

  • Zach Tom, OT – Wake Forest
    • Tom isn’t going to “wow” you, but he was a model of consistency at Wake Forest. Quite frankly, the Bears need depth on the offensive line and Tom is exactly that. Tom played both inside and out in college and would be an upgrade over current depth pieces Arlington Hambright and Lechavious Simmons on the Bears roster.
NFL Draft Profile: Zach Tom, Offensive Lineman, Wake Forest Demon Deacons -  Visit NFL Draft on Sports Illustrated, the latest news coverage, with  rankings for NFL Draft prospects, College Football, Dynasty and

Round 5, Pick 148

Notable Players on the Board

  • Chris Paul, OT – Tulsa
  • Lecitus Smith, OG – Virginia Tech
  • Malcom Rodriguez, LB – Oklahoma State
  • Sterling Weatherford, S – Miami (OH)
  • Charlie Kolar, TE – Iowa State

The Pick:

  • Lecitus Smith, OG – Virginia Tech

Analysis:

  • No lie, I loved the way the board fell here. Charlie Kolar and Malcom Rodriguez are guys I like and were very tempting to take here, but I couldn’t pass up on the value with Lecitus Smith. A converted tight end, Smith slots to be a developmental guy in the NFL with a good deal of upside as an NFL guard. It may take a year or two for Smith to come into his own, but there is a lot to like in Smith’s game that made this pick feel like a great value in Round 5. Smith is strong and packs a punch at the point of attack and moves well in space. While this may take a year or two to pan out, Smith is a great fit for a team who’s competitive window is 1-2 years down the road.
Lecitus Smith - Football - Virginia Tech Athletics

Round 5, Pick 150

Notable Players on the Board

  • Chris Paul, OT – Tulsa
  • Noah Eliss, DT – Idaho
  • Malcom Rodriguez, LB – Oklahoma State
  • Sterling Weatherford, S – Miami (OH)
  • Charlie Kolar, TE – Iowa State

The Pick:

  • Eyioma Uwazurike, DT – Iowa State

Analysis:

  • Hand up, I’m an Iowa State guy. That said, “Enyi” is a guy I would love to see the land with the Bears regardless of my fandom. Enyi played all spots on the line in Iowa State’s 3-3-5 and is versatile enough to play in any scheme. As the Bears move back to a 4-3 front, I see Enyi slotting into a 3-technique. He has a great first step and is quick off the ball. He’s going to be a run-stopper but flashed pass-rush potential in college. If Enyi can work on his power moves and adds a little strength, this could be a very, very good value at this point in the draft.
Unpacking Future Packers: No. 80, Iowa State DL Eyioma Uwazurike

Round 7, Pick 233

Notable Players on the Board

  • Ryan Stonehouse, P – Colorado State
  • Brad Hawkins, S – Michigan
  • Nate Landman, LB – Colorado
  • CJ Wright, DT – Georgia Southern

The Pick:

  • Ryan Stonehouse, P – Colorado State

Analysis:

  • 7th round picks are a crapshoot and the Bears need a punter, so I grabbed on here. #YOLO.

Summary

This is the anti-Ryan Pace draft. At every opportunity, I tapped into my “cloud of players” and took calculated risks to move back and acquire draft capital.

I was ecstatic to move back and still get Christian Watson. While there are certain players I like more in this draft than Abraham Lucas; I’m still happy with my ability to get a strong pass protector to keep Justin Fields upright for years to come.

While some of the players I landed on maybe a bit risky, the draft capital I acquired throughout sets the Bears up for success well down the road. For the love of God, here’s hoping Poles has some patience and lets the board fall to him!