Bears

Power Rankings Roundup: Too little too late for the Bears this year?

Power Rankings Roundup: Too little too late for the Bears this year?

If you haven't heard, the Bears have won three straight. Normally such a thing would earn them a nice boost in the Power Rankings, but because Power Rankings are so very arbitrary and so very meaningless, you can just never be sure. A win against Aaron Rodgers, in Green Bay, would probably start changing people's minds. So, you know, just go do that! Here's what they're saying this week:

NBC Sports – #13
As we were saying, there are times when Mitch Trubisky can be really good. At other times ... uh, not so much.

ESPN – #14
Until recently, everything went wrong for the Bears' offense. Poor quarterback play, uneven playcalling, bad blocking, poor execution ... you name it, the Bears were guilty of it. The past couple of weeks have been a different story, but the Bears need tons of luck to reach the playoffs.

USA Today – #14
Mitchell Trubisky has been on fire while orchestrating four wins in five weeks. But looking like too little, too late for reigning NFC North champs.

Sports Illustrated – #20
Teams seem to beat the Cowboys this year by building a lead and sitting on it while Dallas stumbles around and shoots themselves in the foot—and that’s exactly what the Bears did.

Yahoo Sports – #14
We know what’s happening right? Mitchell Trubisky is playing just well enough to end this season to make the Bears give him another season. Maybe that’ll work out as they hope. Maybe.

CBS Sports – #15
The offense has come alive to give them some playoff hopes, ever so faint. But Mitch Trubisky has made big strides.

Sporting News – #14
The Bears are seeing the Mitchell Trubisky they expected to see earlier in the season, and much of it is the product of a more favorable schedule. They have him running again, which in turn has him passing with more confidence. Don’t sleep on the QB leading them back to the playoffs.

Bears show interest in Tulsa pass rusher Trevis Gipson

Bears show interest in Tulsa pass rusher Trevis Gipson

It's early (extremely early) in the 2020 NFL Draft process, and the Bears' team needs between now and when their first pick (No. 43 overall) is on the clock are certain to change. The general consensus right now is that offensive line, tight end and quarterback will be early draft targets, but edge rusher can't be overlooked.

Leonard Floyd's failure to emerge as the pass rusher the Bears need to complement Khalil Mack is a bigger problem than GM Ryan Pace or coach Matt Nagy want to admit. In fact, Floyd's ineffective style of play could cost Chicago a chance at becoming a truly elite defense and potentially limit the astronomical upside Mack has as a generational talent.

If the Bears decide to pull the fifth-year option from Floyd, they'll have no choice but to attack the position early in the 2020 draft. It appears like they're doing their homework for that scenario, too.

Bears scouts met with Tulsa edge rusher Trevis Gipson at length following Wednesday's Senior Bowl practice, an indication that the position is at least high enough on their wish list that extensive homework on pass rushers is being done.

Gipson helped his draft stock at the Senior Bowl and was an early winner among edge rushers at the game. His practice reps confirmed his tape; the dude knows how to get to the quarterback. He had eight sacks in 2019 and plays with a high-energy style that's certain to entice Chicago's coaching staff. He isn't an elite athlete, but he has an appealing frame (34-inch arms) and powerful hands.

Gipson began the week as a late-Day-3 prospect. He helped his stock and may have jumped a round or two along the way.

Bears' rookie class ranked 8th-best in NFL

Bears' rookie class ranked 8th-best in NFL

The Bears didn't have much of a rookie class in 2019. Last April's draft produced just five picks, two of which didn't appear in a regular-season game for the Bears.

But the production of running back David Montgomery was enough to carry the rookie class to a top-10 ranking, according to Pro Football Focus.

The Bears checked-in at eighth.

The Bears have a strange class. They had only five picks, none before Round 3, with three of those five selections coming after Round 6. As a result, their expected return was low. Running back David Montgomery was really the only Bears' rookie to play significant snaps, and he managed to provide enough return from his third-round selection to land them at No. 8.

It's pretty remarkable that Chicago's 2019 rookie class — essentially, Montgomery — garnered this much respect from PFF. Wide receiver Riley Ridley showed signs of life late in the season and cornerback Duke Shelley will be given an opportunity to carve out a role on defense next season, but with running back Kerrith Whyte, Jr. and cornerback Stephen Denmark making no impact whatsoever (Whyte is no longer with the team), the 2019 class won't be remembered as one that laid a championship foundation in Chicago.

Sure, Montgomery has a chance to become one of the NFL's more talented starting running backs (he ended his rookie season with 889 yards and six touchdowns), but if Ridley and Shelley don't turn into legitimate contributors in 2020 or 2021, the class will go down as an epic failure for GM Ryan Pace.

Remember: The Bears didn't have a first-round pick because of the trade for outside linebacker Khalil Mack. That's a win for Pace, but it doesn't change the fact that he had five selections at his disposal and ended up with what appears to be just one impact player after their rookie seasons.