Bears

Stock up, stock down after Bears' first padded practice

Bears
USA TODAY

The Bears' first padded practice is in the books, and while it's silly to draw any conclusions about what this team will look like in 2020 based on one practice, there's still value in searching for clues offered by the coaching staff, even if unintentionally.

Here's whose stock is up, and whose is down, after Monday's session.

Stock up: Artie Burns (CB)

It was Burns, not Kevin Toliver or rookie Jaylon Johnson who lined up with the first-team in Monday's practice, which suggests the former Steelers first-rounder will be given an opportunity to win the starting job in training camp. The assumption since draft weekend has been that Johnson will assume the starting duties opposite Kyle Fuller, or at the very least, Kevin Toliver would open the year in the starting lineup. But it appears the Bears are higher on Burns than we may have realized (and despite his underwhelming if not downright terrible play in Pittsburgh.)

Stock down: Cole Kmet (TE)

Kmet had a dropped pass and a false start penalty, neither of which will build momentum for the second-round pick's bid for significant playing time in Week 1. Rookie jitters are expected, however, and in 2020's COVID-19 reality, those jitters are even higher than normal. Kmet hasn't had the normal acclimation period that rookies usually get in May and throughout offseason workouts, so it'll take a few practice sessions before he settles in.

RELATED: Bears practice takeaways: Matt Nagy has big plans for Cordarrelle Patterson

 

Stock up: Cordarrelle Patterson (RB)

The rumors are true! Patterson is lining up as a running back in 2020 and there was video evidence to prove it on Twitter (before it got zapped by the Bears). It's an exciting development for an offense that needs as many playmakers as possible to contribute on offense. The big question that remains for Patterson is how much he'll actually be relied on. Will he be a gadget player, or will Matt Nagy treat him as Chicago's primary backup for early-down work? We'll see.

Stock down: Mitch Trubisky (QB)

No player needs a greater disclaimer about rushing to judgment after one practice than Trubisky (or Nick Foles, for that matter). But our Adam Hoge gave a slight edge to Foles for his performance on Monday. Trubisky's issues on Day 1 appear to be a continuation of last season: some questionable decisions and a deep ball that fell short of its target (Ted Ginn). 

Stock up: Deon Bush (Saf)

I may be in the minority here, but I'd be surprised if Bush isn't the opening day starter opposite Eddie Jackson in the Bears' secondary. He's a physical player who may not always be in the right place in coverage, but there's a certain quality about his game that Chicago needs. According to our JJ Stankevitz, Bush flashed on Monday much like he did in last year's training camp. He faced what may have been a tougher competition for the starting job last season in Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, a battle he ultimately lost. 

READ: Bears QB Competition: Nick Foles gets slight edge over Mitch Trubisky on Day 1

Stock down: Kevin Toliver (CB)

Burns lining up with the starters doesn't bode well for Toliver, who already appears to be on borrowed time with Johnson on the roster, who the Bears drafted 50th overall. It's quite possible that Toliver will fall to third on the depth chart sooner than anyone could have predicted.

Stock up: Bilal Nichols (DL)

When Eddie Goldman decided to opt-out of the 2020 season, the first question on most Bears fans' minds was, "Who's going to replace him?" The answer appears to be Nichols, who lined up at nose tackle and welcomed the opportunity to do so. Nichols is a powerful player who is primed for a breakout season if he can prove to be the kind of player that can slide up and down Chicago's defensive line.