Bears

NFL Draft analysts split on best options for Bears

NFL Draft analysts split on best options for Bears

It’s impossible to predict how the NFL Draft will play out each year, but draft analysts are much better at identifying hypothetical options that would suit each team.

A few different outlets took a crack at pairing the Bears with their best prospect fits, and they’ve come out quite differently.

NFL.com analysts Chad Reuter and Lance Zierlein projected the ideal first two picks for each team this year, and they gave Chicago outside linebacker Ben Banogu from TCU in the third round and Boise State running back Alexander Mattison in the fourth.

“Depth behind Khalil Mack and Leonard Floyd is an issue, even with Aaron Lynch signing a one-year deal to return. Banogu could be a real value in the top 100 because he's not only very athletic but plays with strength that you might not expect given his lean frame,” they wrote. “Mattison's powerful but elusive running style and ability as a receiver makes him a nice fit for a team that just traded Jordan Howard.”

Meanwhile, Mike Renner from Pro Football Focus looked at dream scenarios for all 32 teams, and he had the Bears addressing the secondary with Michigan cornerback David Long in the third round.

“Yes, they signed Buster Skrine, but that’s not going to stop me from adding to the position,” Renner wrote. “With few other needs on the roster, Long adds press-man skills with potential to develop into the long-term solution across from Kyle Fuller.”

It goes to show the Bears don’t have any one position they’re desperate to address, and general manager Ryan Pace should have flexibility at all five of his current picks.

The Match: Peyton Manning uses new Bears QB Nick Foles to troll Tom Brady

The Match: Peyton Manning uses new Bears QB Nick Foles to troll Tom Brady

America got a taste of live sports on Sunday via The Match, a charity golf outing pitting Tiger Woods and Peyton Manning against Phil Mickelson and Tom Brady. The competition raised $10 million for coronavirus relief.

It also offered Manning the chance to take a friendly jab at Brady, long his competitor on the gridiron, using new Bears quarterback Nick Foles.

In a mid-match interview, Manning noted how it's difficult to get to Brady's head on the field. The former Colts and Broncos quarterback then named two potential caddies he could have brought to disrupt Brady's focus: his brother, Eli Manning, and Foles.

"Do you bring Eli? Could do that," Manning said. "Do you bring Nick Foles? Maybe."

"Cheap shot," Brady said in response, grinning.

The Philadelphia Eagles beat Brady and the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LII two years ago, with Foles, a backup turned starter, leading the charge. Based on Brady's comment, Manning may have struck a nerve with the six-time Super Bowl champion.

Foles got in on the fun on Twitter:

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2020 Bears Schedule: Will Gardner Minshew mania grip Jacksonville again?

2020 Bears Schedule: Will Gardner Minshew mania grip Jacksonville again?

The game

The Bears will make a late-season visit to Jacksonville on Dec. 27. The last time the Bears faced the Jaguars, Jacksonville prevailed 17-16 on Oct. 16, 2016, thanks to a late TD pass from Blake Bortles to former Fighting Illini wide receiver Arrelious Benn. Rest assured, there will be some extra motivation on the sideline this time around, as former Jaguars Nick Foles and Allen Robinson face their ex-teammates.

Player to watch

The Bears will be facing the man who replaced Foles as Jaguars starting QB last season, Gardner Minshew. In 14 games, he threw for nearly 3,300 yards with 21 TD and 6 INT, but Jacksonville ranked just 26th in the league in total scoring and limped to a 6-10 record. Entering his first full season as the unquestioned starter, Minshew will have DJ Chark as a top target after the wideout exploded onto the scene last season.

RELATED: Bears 2020 schedule: Game-by-game predictions

Additions and subtractions

One defensive standout to keep an eye on is Yannick Ngakoue, Jacksonville’s best pass-rusher who had the franchise tag placed on him but has repeatedly demanded a trade. Whether or not a trade partner is found will be the biggest issue facing the team as they head toward training camp, whenever that may be. Jacksonville also added talented but injury-plagued tight end Tyler Eifert in free agency.

Key storyline

Since their tough loss in the 2018 AFC Championship game to the Patriots, the Jaguars have torn their roster to shreds as they move into the next era of their franchise. Standout players sent packing over the last year or so include Calais Campbell, Jalen Ramsey, A.J. Bouye, Marcell Dareus, and of course, Nick Foles.

New GM David Caldwell is nearly done purging the roster, and that means this Jacksonville team will be playing the long game and likely setting themselves up for a top pick in next year’s draft.

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