The 2020 NFL Combine on-field workouts kick off Thursday at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, and with so much pressure on Bears GM Ryan Pace to get this year's second-round picks right, the Combine will be even more important than in the past.
It's true that the underwear Olympics aren't always a good indicator of future NFL success, but Pace and his contingent of Bears scouts and front office decision-makers have to gather as much information, from every clue available, before pulling the trigger on any of this April's draft hopefuls.
With the NFL Combine moving to primetime this year, Bears fans have a greater opportunity to decide for themselves which prospects look the part from an athletic standpoint. Here are all the ways you can catch the drills:
TV: NFL Network Streaming: NFL.com, NFL Mobile App
Date: Thursday, Feb. 27 Time: 4-11 p.m. ET Positions: QB, WR, TE
Date: Friday, Feb. 28 Time: 4-11 p.m. ET Positions: RB, OL, K, ST
The 2020 NFL draft is less than four weeks away and now that the first wave of free agency is over, team needs have begun to crystallize.
For the Chicago Bears, that means youth at tight end and a starting-quality safety will be high on their draft wish list. According to Chad Reuter's latest NFL.com 2020 mock draft, the Bears check both boxes with potential starters in the second round.
At pick No. 43, Chicago adds LSU safety Grant Delpit, who prior to the 2019 college football season was considered by most draft analysts to be the most gifted defensive player not named Chase Young.
Delpit's final season with the Tigers wasn't the best for his draft stock. He lacked the splash plays that made him a household name last season, but he still displayed the kind of aggressive and fearless style that would make him a strong complement next to Eddie Jackson, who the Bears want to get back to playing centerfield. Delpit will slide to the second round because he's an inconsistent finisher, but he'd offer great value for a Bears defense that needs an aggressive run defender on its third level.
At No. 50, the Bears snag a potential starter at tight end in Purdue's Brycen Hopkins.
Hopkins is a wide receiver in a tight end's body; he's everything Chicago's offense has been missing. Regardless of who wins the team's quarterback competition this summer, a player like Hopkins has the kind of playmaking ability to instantly become one of the early reads in the offense's passing game.
With veterans Jimmy Graham and Trey Burton already on the roster, a player like Hopkins could be eased into the lineup with the expectation that he'd eventually become the primary receiving option at the position by the end of his rookie season.
Not a bad second-round haul. It's critically important that Ryan Pace hits on his second-rounders, too. The Bears' next pick doesn't occur until the fifth round, which is usually when special teams players and practice squad candidates are added.
Lang made the joke because Graham is not known for his blocking skills. In fact, Pro Football Focus graded Graham as roughly an average blocking tight end in 2019.
But Graham most likely won't be a run blocking upgrade to the offense. He'll be someone Trubisky (or Foles) can throw the ball to.
Graham is tied for 36th on the NFL’s all-time receiving touchdowns list with 74 in his career. He’s also a five-time Pro Bowler who can be an explosive option down-the-field.
He's done nothing but praise GM Ryan Pace, Matt Nagy and the Bears' organization since signing with the team on March 16. He also credited Pace's rebuild and has mentioned his confidence in Nagy's offense. He said the offense is the closest he's ever seen since he left the New Orleans Saints in 2015.
If the Bears are anything like the Saints' offense, we hope to see the superstar tight end from 2011 and 2013 who totaled 1,200+ receiving yards.