- I hated to re-live this game against the Patriots last year but Bill Belichick does a wonderful job highlighting a hand full of plays against the Bears in this this video.
- Dan Arkush at Pro Football Weekly looks at the top free agents. Some possibilities at positions relevant to the Bears (just the names):
Wide receivers: Santana Moss (Redskins) and Mark Clayton (Rams)
Offensive tackles: Matt Light (Patriots) and Jammal Brown (Redskins)
Offensive guards: Robert Gallery (Raiders) and Alan Faneca (Cardinals)
Linebacker: Barrett Ruud (Buccaneers), Ben Leber (Vikings) and Matt Roth (Browns)
“Do you think that having free agency after the draft could become common practice? Do some general managers prefer it that way?
“Monk_316 on Twitter
“I know that Bears general manager Jerry Angelo prefers to have the draft before free agency and I’m going to guess that many of his counterparts feel the same way. In that scenario, teams can draft the best players available regardless of position and then fill needs in free agency. But I don’t think the players would ever agree to push free agency back after the draft. I imagine that they would want teams to fill needs in free agency before restocking with incoming rookies.”
I would have guessed that the Bears would have preferred to fill their needs before the draft, not afterwards. Apparently not. I guess in retrospect Mayer’s answer does make sense.
- Dan Pompei at the Chicago Tribune has wide receiver Julio Jones rated ahead of A.J. Green. Most people think the Bears will try to do something at wide receiver either in the draft or through free agency.
- Pompei also says you shouldn’t count on the Bears filling immediate needs in the draft. Despite free agency coming late, he thinks they will still try to use that to fill their holes:
“It’s a trap to examine the Bears’ roster and determine they must select an offensive tackle and a defensive tackle with their first two picks in the NFL draft because that’s where their most glaring holes are.
“A better plan, depending on how the draft falls, might be to ignore those positions for the time being. The best way to fill holes isn’t through the draft — it’s through free agency. Veterans are easier to evaluate and ready to play; rookies can be mysteries.”
- Wes Bunting at the National Football Post shares this draft rumor:
“TCU OL Marcus Cannon has in fact been taking a number of visits throughout the postseason and I’m hearing he’s drawing a lot of interest from a number of teams in the NFC North.”
- Pro Football Weekly’s Nolan Nawrocki says that Tyron Smith’s knee may cause him to fall. The Bears would love to have this guy, I’m sure, but this sounds like smoke to me:
“‘We’ve had (Smith) at the bottom of the first all along,’ said an NFL executive. ‘The media has pushed him up. No one questions the traits. But there is a miss factor. Remember everyone was surprised when Winston Justice slid. We had him (graded) in the fourth round. The medical could push (Smith) out of the first, no question. I would love for him to go in the top 10, but I’d be shocked if he came close.'”
- Former NFL scout Brian Broaddus does his mock draft for ESPNDallas.com. He has the Bears taking offensive tackle Derek Sherrod. This is the upteenth recent mock draft that I’ve come across that plays out with the Bears taking Sherrod.
- Adam Schefter at ESPN says that Donovan McNabb would like to play to the Vikings next year.
- Andy Benoit at the New York Times looks at what the film revealed about the Jets. I found this comment about the defense to be insightful:
“This wasn’t the blitzing unit you’d expect. Rex Ryan often kept things simple and relied on outstanding press coverage from his corners and read-and-react proficiency from his safeties and linebackers. The statistics say this more docile approach worked, but the film showed that this D didn’t generate enough game-changing plays (turnovers, sacks and big hits). Big plays can be hard to come by when you don’t have a dominant pass rusher.”
- Benoit also addresses the Dolphins. He makes the case against a pick that many mock drafts have the Dolphins making:
“The Dolphins need Mark Ingram
“The free-agent running backs Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams can both still play, but age and circumstance make them unworthy of long-term contracts. It’s logical for the Dolphins to go in a new direction, though that direction must include a commitment to increased speed. Ingram is a high volume, between-the-tackles runner. At best, he’d give Miami a slightly better version of what they had last season. Relying on only a grinding run game is fine…if you’re striving for 8-8. New offensive coordinator Brian Daboll needs a speedy playmaker who can create matchup problems and formation variation. If the Dolphins do draft Ingram, they’d better find a burner to complement him.”
- I couldn’t agree more with Pompei’s comment here, this time for the National Football Post:
“In response to this story, Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor is saying the supplemental draft is not in his future. And staying in school probably is a smart move. He may be a great college player, but scouts I’ve spoken with say Pryor would likely go in the fourth or fifth round of the supplemental draft. They see him as a player who is not an NFL style quarterback, an inaccurate passer and a player who struggles making decisions.”
- But I am going to disagree with Pompei on this comment:
“Postponing the Super Bowl a couple of weeks is a terribly unappetizing idea, unless of course you are hoping like to see tulip buds outside of Lucas Oil Stadium on your way to the big game.”
Who doesn’t like tulip buds?
- Jack Betcha at the National Football Post makes the case that scouting departments around the NFL are under funded:
“The research and development arm of a company is usually the lifeblood of that company. If Apple, DuPont, Dow, 3M, Amgen and Pfizer don’t spend adequately on the development of new products, technology and drugs, their competitors will eat them alive.”
- Mike Florio at profootballtalk.com addresses the possibility that 2011 could be the year that the 1983 record of six quarterbacks in the first round is broken. In the process he brings us back down to earth with this comment:
“…it’s increasingly obvious that teams not in need of a quarterback are trying to create a feeding frenzy, with the Patriots kicking tires on Jake Locker and the Colts supposedly looking at possible long-term replacements for Peyton Manning and the Saints bringing in Andy Dalton, who has generated an uncanny amount of interest in recent weeks.
“Put simply, the teams that don’t need quarterbacks want the teams that need quarterbacks to take them early, pushing down the board the players that the teams that don’t need quarterbacks want.”
- Defensive end prospect Adrian Clayborn talks NFL draft with ESPN.
- Andrew Carter at the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. addresses the difficult time the Dolphins might have in trading down.
- John McClain at the Houston Chronicle says that Washington Redskins are “trying like crazy” to trade up to get a quarterback.
- McClain also says the Texans are almost certain to go defense in the draft.
- Bunting tells the Cowboys Nation blog that Stefan Wisniewski is more highly rated than I thought:
“CN: I want to ask about Stefan Wisniewski, because I’ve seen him all over. Some mocks push him into the 3rd, and there’s one big list that doesn’t even rate him in the top 100.
“WB: I’ve heard from most scouts that he’s the 1st or 2nd interior lineman on most teams’ boards, either before or after Mike Pouncey. There may be a shot that he falls into the early 3rd, because he’s not the most sexy of players, but if he’s the number two, I can’t really see him falling into the 3rd if Pouncey is going somewhere in the 15-20 range.“
- Defensive tackle Nick Fairley reportedly blew off a meeting with the Miami Dolphins. Via Carter.
- Carter also looks at the success rate of second tier quarterbacks in the NFL. Its not good. Worse yet, if you ask me all of the quarterbacks in this draft – including Blaine Gabbert and Cam Newton – fit into that class.
One Final Thought
Kiper is starting to think Nate Solder to the Bears might be a good fit.