Most teams, scout for players from all over to future contracts in hopes that a secret weapon will emerge from the pile. Last preseason, the Chicago Bears saw a taste of that in rookie wide receiver Tanner Gentry. The chemistry between quarterback Mitch Trubisky and Gentry lit a fire under most Bears fans as the next dynamic duo. But that was soon squelched as Gentry needed more training in blocking and separation skills.
He is maybe among the strong list of receivers the Bears have acquired this offseason that includes, Allen Robinson, Taylor Gabriel, Kevin White, Kendall Wright and hopefully Cameron Meredith. But what impact can the other nine players make on the team? There are a few on the Bears list that could make an immediate impact on the team if they make a splash during the preseason.
The list of possibilities are endless and the Chicago Bears need to make all their 2018 NFL Draft picks count. But will General Manager Ryan Pace go rogue like he did last year by trading up one spot for their franchise quarterback, Mitchell Trubisky? I wouldn’t put it past him. He was very adamant about getting the best player off the board to fill their needs. The question is, what need will the Bears focus on? Will they go offense with a wide receiver or guard? Or defense with an outside linebacker or cornerback?
Now that the 2018 NFL Combine has painted a picture of what options are available, the Bears have a few choices to make in free agency and the draft. Let’s take a look at free agency first.
Then came Bronko Nagurski, a symbol of terrifying, bone-crushing power. He was like a charging bull against any defense but was just as terrifying on defense when he tackled. But when it came to versatility on the field, Gale Sayerswas like a twisting tornado in run plays, a kick and punt returner and receiver when needed. Walter Payton took that even further and added quarterback, punter, wide receiver and tackler.
After about a month or so of speculation, the Detroit Lions franchised their defensive end, Ezekiel Ansah. Ansah, out of BYU, was the Lions’ first pick in the 2013 draft. He’s shown that he can be an impact player on this defense.
In 2014 he was the Week 6 NFC Defensive Player of the Week. He was voted All-Pro in 2015 and made the Pro Bowl in 2015. He had 14.5 sacks and 39 tackles that season.
However, in 2016 and 2017 Ansah was hampered by injuries, leaving questions about if it was time to move on from Ansah. In what was considered to be one of GM Bob Quinn and new head coach Matt Patricia‘s first major personnel decision, they showed that they still feel that Ansah has the ability to make big plays. He is currently ranked 5th all-time in Lions history with 44 sacks.
After a disappointing season, the Lions fired their head coach Jim Caldwell, and have replaced him with Matt Patricia, former defensive coordinator for the New England Patriots. That was the first of many moves that need to be made this off-season. After ending his season a few weeks ago, Patricia and his newly assembled staff have work to do.
First up on their “To Do List” is free agency. They’ve got to make decisions on defensive end Ezekiel Ansah, defensive tackle Haloti Ngata, and center Travis Swansonto name a few. I’m having a hard time trying to figure out how I would manage this, but if it were up to me, I’d let Ansah and Swanson go and rebuild in the draft for their positions. Ngata is a beast who I think the Lions could still use on the line this next season, so maybe just sign him to a shorter deal.
Open up a sports website or social media sites and you will find several NFL mock drafts to choose from. There are some that have pretty much the same players on their board, while others go for the less than big name prospects.
But how would the Chicago Bears 7-Round scenario look if all the favorites at the number eight spot pan out? Here is a brief summary of what that could look like.
The Chicago Bears have spent the last five to six years rebuilding, and it appears that they may have found the right coaching staff to take back the NFC North. But they have to make a splash in the 2018 NFL Draft with one pick in Rounds 1, 2, 5, 6 and 7, none in the 3rd and two in Round 4. Depending on trades, a third-round pick could surface. However, they could lose the 7th round pick from the Dontrelle Inman trade back in October.
The biggest offseason needs for the Bears are Wide Receiver, Right Tackle, Defensive End and Cornerback.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at the top five prospects at each positional need.
What Detroit Lions fans have known pretty much since week 15 (some figured this out even earlier), is that former New England defensive coordinator Matt Patricia was going to be the next head coach. After a failure to make the playoffs this past season, Jim Caldwell‘s time was up. It was officially announced this past Monday, and there was great rejoicing among One Pride Nation.
After years of mediocre success and playoff losses, the Lions are finally starting to put something together it seems. Bob Quinn was brought in to take this team to the next level and he feels that Matt Patricia is the one to do it.
He was officially introduced today at a press conference. He came looking more polished then he normally does on the Patriots sideline.