Bears

2015 NFL Draft: Recap of second and third round picks in Day 2

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2015 NFL Draft: Recap of second and third round picks in Day 2

Day 2 of the 2015 NFL Draft is complete. Here's a recap of the second and third round picks, which include draft profiles.

[2015 NFL Draft: Recap of first round picks]

TEAM (ROUND 2) SELECTION
33. New York Giants (From TEN) Landon Collins, S, Alabama
34. Tampa Bay Buccaneers Donovan Smith, T, Penn State
35. Oakland Raiders Mario Edwards Jr., DT, Florida State
36. Jacksonville Jaguars T.J. Yeldon, RB, Alabama
37. New York Jets Devin Smith, WR, Ohio State
38. Washington Redskins Preston Smith, DE, Mississippi State
39. CHICAGO BEARS Eddie Goldman, DT, Florida State
40. Tennessee Titans (From NYG) Dorial Green-Beckham, WR, Oklahoma
41. Carolina Panthers (From STL) Devin Funchess, WR, Michigan
42. Atlanta Falcons Jalen Collins, CB, LSU
43. Houston Texans (From CLE) Benardrick McKinney, LB, Mississippi State
44. New Orleans Saints Hau'oli Kikaha, LB, Washington
45. Minnesota Vikings Eric Kendricks, LB, UCLA
46. San Francisco 49ers Jaquiski Tartt, S, Samford
47. Philadelphia Eagles (From MIA) Eric Rowe, CB, Utah
48. San Diego Chargers Denzel Perryman, LB, Miami
49. Kansas City Chiefs Mitch Morse, G, Missouri
50. Buffalo Bills Ronald Darby, CB, Florida State
51. Cleveland Browns (From HOU) Nate Orchard, DE, Utah
52. Miami Dolphins (From PHI) Jordan Phillips, DT, Oklahoma
53. Cincinnati Bengals Jake Fisher, OT, Oregon
54. Detroit Lions Ameer Abdullah, RB, Nebraska
55. Baltimore Ravens (From ARZ) Maxx Williams, TE, Minnesota
56. Pittsburgh Steelers Senquez Golson, CB, Mississippi
57. St. Louis Rams (From CAR) Rob Havenstein, T, Wisconsin
58. Arizona Cardinals (From BAL) Markus Golden, DE, Missouri
59. Denver Broncos Ty Sambrailo, T, Colorado State
60. Dallas Cowboys Randy Gregory, LB, Nebraska
61. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (From IND) Ali Marpet, OL, Hobart
62. Green Bay Packers Quinten Rollins, CB, Miami (OH)
63. Seattle Seahawks Frank Clark, DE, Michigan
64. New England Patriots Jordan Richards, SS, Stanford
TEAM (ROUND 3) SELECTION
65. Indianapolis Colts (From TB) D'joun Smith, CB, Florida Atlantic
66. Tennessee Titans  Jeremiah Poutasi, G, Utah
67. Jacksonville Jaguars  A.J. Cann, G, South Carolina
68. Oakland Raiders Clive Walford, TE, Miami
69. Seattle Seahawks (From WSH)  Tyler Lockett, WR, Kansas State
70. Houston Texans (From NYJ)  Jaelen Strong, WR, Arizona State
71. CHICAGO BEARS Hroniss Grasu, C, Oregon
72. St. Louis Rams  Jamon Brown, T, Louisville
73. Atlanta Falcons  Tevin Coleman, RB, Indiana
74. New York Giants  Owamagbe Odighizuwa, DE, UCLA
75. New Orleans Saints  Garrett Grayson, QB, Colorado State
76. Kansas City Chiefs (From MIN) Chris Conley, WR, Georgia
77. Cleveland Browns Duke Johnson, RB, Miami
78. New Orleans Saints (From MIA) P.J. Williams, CB, Florida State
79. San Francisco 49ers  Eli Harold, LB, Virginia
80. Detroit Lions (From MIN via KC) Alex Carter, CB, Stanford
81. Buffalo Bills  John Miller, G, Louisville
82. New York Jets (From HOU) Lorenzo Mauldin, LB, Louisville
83. San Diego Chargers  Craig Mager, CB, Texas State 
84. Philadelphia Eagles  Jordan Hicks, LB, Texas 
85. Cincinnati Bengals  Tyler Kroft, TE, Rutgers 
86. Arizona Cardinals  David Johnson, RB, Northern Iowa
87. Pittsburgh Steelers  Sammie Coates, WR, Auburn
88. Minnesota Vikings (From DET) Danielle Hunter, DE, LSU 
89. St. Louis Rams (From CAR)  Sean Mannion, QB, Oregon State 
90. Baltimore Ravens Carl Davis, DT, Iowa 
91. Dallas Cowboys  Chaz Green, T, Florida
92. Denver Broncos  Jeff Heuerman, TE, Ohio State
93. Indianapolis Colts  Henry Anderson, DE, Stanford 
94. Green Bay Packers Ty Montgomery, WR, Stanford
95. Washington Redskins (From SEA)  Matt Jones, RB, Florida
96. Cleveland Browns (From NE) Xavier Cooper, DT, Washington State
97. New England Patriots Geneo Grissom, DE, Oklahoma
98. Kansas City Chiefs                 Steven Nelson, CB, Oregon State
99. Cincinnati Bengals Paul Dawson, LB, TCU

 

 

2017 Bears position grades: Inside Linebacker

2017 Bears position grades: Inside Linebacker

2017 grade: B+

Level of need: Low

Decisions to be made on: Christian Jones (free agent), John Timu (free agent), Jonathan Anderson (free agent); Jerrell Freeman has reportedly been cut

Possible free agent targets: Demario Davis, Preston Brown, Anthony Hitchens, Avery Williamson, Navorro Bowman, Derrick Johnson

How the Bears rate Nick Kwiatkoski will be the key to figuring out what this unit will look like in 2018. Defensive coordinator Vic Fangio thought Kwiatkoski finished last season strong, but strong enough to rely on him in 2018 as the starter next to Danny Trevathan?

The thing with the Bears’ inside linebackers, though: Trevathan makes whoever is playing next to him better. The problem is Trevathan hasn’t been able to stay on the field — he missed time in 2017 with a calf injury and a one-game suspension, and missed half of 2016 after rupturing his Achilles’. Trevathan hasn’t played a full 16-game season since 2013, so durability is an issue for the soon-to-be 28-year-old.

So that leads to this question: Do the Bears need to find someone in free agency, regardless of how they value Kwiatkoski, who’s also missed time due to injuries in his first two years in the league?

Free agency could provide a few options. Demario Davis had a career high 97 tackles for the New York Jets last year and has never missed a game as a pro. Preston Brown had some decent production in Buffalo and also hasn’t missed a game since being drafted in 2014. Avery Williamson may not be a world-beater but has only missed one game in his four years in the NFL.

The Bears could also opt for someone who fits more of a rotational mold, like Dallas’ Anthony Hitchens, or try to lure a veteran linebacker like Navorro Bowman (who played for Vic Fangio in San Francisco) or Derrick Johnson (who Matt Nagy knows from his Kansas City days) to play next to Trevathan and/or Kwiatkoski.

The Bears could opt to keep the status quo and re-sign Christian Jones and John Timu for depth, and enter 2018 with Kwiatkoski and Trevathan as the team’s starters (Jerrell Freeman, who suffered a season-ending injury and then was hit with his second PED suspension in as many years, was cut on Tuesday). Signing a starting-caliber free agent isn’t out of the question, either, but there is a third option for the Bears if they appear to stand pat in free agency: Draft an inside linebacker in April. If that’s the route they go, Georgia’s Roquan Smith could be the guy. But again, those more pressing needs at other positions could mean the Bears don’t burn a first-round pick on an inside linebacker.

With Josh Sitton on his way out, what’s next for the Bears’ offensive line?

With Josh Sitton on his way out, what’s next for the Bears’ offensive line?

The first major move of Ryan Pace’s 2018 offseason hit on Tuesday, as NFL Network reported the Bears will not exercise Josh Sitton’s $8 million option for 2018. 

The move accomplishes two things for the Bears: 1) It frees up about $8 million in cap space and 2) Removes a veteran from the offensive line and creates a hole to fill, presumably by a younger free agent or draft pick. 

The 31-year-old Sitton signed a three-year deal with the Bears after Green Bay cut him just before the 2016 season, and was a Pro Bowler his first year in Chicago. Sitton played 26 of 32 games in two years with the Bears, but him being on the wrong side of 30 was likely the biggest factor here. If the Bears saw his skills eroding, releasing him now and netting the cap savings while going younger at the position does make sense. 

“Going younger” doesn’t guarantee the Bears will draft Notre Dame brawler Quenton Nelson, though that did become a greater possibility with Tuesday’s move. Nelson might be one of the two or three best offensive players in this year’s draft, and offensive line coach Harry Hiestand knows him well from the four years they spent together at Notre Dame. 

There’s a natural fit there, of course, but a few reasons to slow the Nelson-to-Chicago hype train: Would he even make it to No. 8? Or if he’s there, is taking a guard that high worth it when the Bears have needs at wide receiver, outside linebacker and cornerback? Still, the thought of Nelson — who absolutely dominated at Notre Dame — pairing with Hiestand again is tantalizing, and Nelson very well could step into any team’s starting lineup and be an immediate Pro Bowler as a rookie. 

If the Bears go younger in free agency, Matt Nagy knows 26-year-old guard Zach Fulton (No. 25 in Bleacher Report’s guard rankings) well from their time in Kansas City. Fulton — a Homewood-Flossmoor alum — has the flexibility to play both guard positions and center, which could open the door for Cody Whitehair to be moved to left guard, the position he was initially drafted to play (though the Bears do value him highly as a center, and keeping him at one position would benefit him as opposed to moving him around the line again). There are some other guys out there — like Tennessee’s Josh Kline or New York’s Justin Pugh — that could wind up costing more than Fulton in free agency. 

Or the Bears could look draft an offensive lineman after the first round, perhaps like Ohio State’s Billy Price, Georgia’s Isaiah Wynn or UTEP’s Will Hernandez. How the Bears evaluate guards at the NFL Combine next week will play an important role in how they go about replacing Sitton. 

The trickle-down effect of releasing Sitton will impact more than the offensive line, too. Freeing up his $8 million in cap space -- which wasn't a guarantee, unlike cutting Jerrell Freeman and, at some point, Mike Glennon -- could go toward paying Kyle Fuller, or another top cornerback, or a top wide receiver, or some combination of players at those positions (as well as outside linebacker). The Bears were already in a healthy place cap-wise; that just got healthier on Tuesday.