Bears

2016 NFL Mock Draft: Never too early to think QB of future for Bears

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2016 NFL Mock Draft: Never too early to think QB of future for Bears

By Josh Norris

Please do not use these “projections” as where prospects were once considered. Mock drafts this early are more for watchlist purposes. "Next year" is not always better than this year. Remember how closely these prospects are evaluated and even nitpicked during the process. That does not happen on live viewing.

1. Washington Redskins - DL Joey Bosa, Ohio State - You will see Bosa listed as an edge player in many places. He can line up outside, but I’ve seen Bosa handled tackles a guards while closed by another defender. He wins with power and quickness.

2. Cleveland Browns - QB Cody Kessler, USC - Of the quarterbacks in first round contention (at this time), Kessler easily was the most consistent in terms of positive performances. His arm is not outstanding, but he certainly has functional mobility and a willingness to work through reads.

3. Oakland Raiders - T Ronnie Stanley, Notre Dame - You all know how much I love Stanley’s game. I would have ranked him as the top T in the 2015 draft. He can take over for Donald Penn on the left side.

4. Tennessee Titans - CB Vernon Hargreaves III, Florida - Hargreaves has faced some of the top receivers in the country. He has not always won, but there is obvious skill in his game. Expect him to lock down many opponents this season.

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5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - DL/EDGE DeForest Buckner, OregonArik Armstead was worthy of a first round selection, but there were numerous games where Buckner was the better player. After focusing on offense early in the 2015 draft, the Bucs might shift to defense in 2016.

6. Jacksonville Jaguars - DL A’Shawn Robinson, Alabama - The Jags added a much needed edge player in Dante Fowler. They have plenty of young pieces on offense. A long term interior defensive line piece might be their biggest need.

7. New York Jets - QB Christian Hackenberg, Penn State - Remember, it is May of 2015, but I do not see how someone can watch Christian Hackenberg’s 2014 games and see a top 10 worthy prospect. Was the situation good? No. Did he make it worse? Frequently, yes. 2015 will obviously be important for his evaluation.

8. St. Louis Rams - LB Myles Jack, UCLA - A complete linebacker who can help in the run, blitzing and in coverage. The Rams could use a linebacker who consistently plays at a high level.

9. Arizona Cardinals - QB Cardale Jones, Ohio State - I am so happy we will have more than two games to evaluate Cardale. After re-watching both, the Oregon contest was more impressive than his game against Alabama. His evaluation is a bit of a mystery right now: will Cardale continue to escape out of the back of the pocket? Can he progress past being a see-it, throw-it passer?

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10. Minnesota Vikings - T Laremy Tunsil, Ole Miss - Tunsil suffered a fracture fibula in December, so that is definitely worth watching. Before the injury he was one of the more dependable left tackles in college football.

11. Carolina Panthers - S Su’a Cravens, USC - Cravens makes plenty of plays in the backfield, at the line of scrimmage and at the second level both in coverage and against the run. I would be interested to see how he handles more split safety or single high reps.

12. Chicago Bears - QB Connor Cook, Michigan State - At times, Cook’s inability to effectively handle pressure borders on being a fatal flaw. Hopefully he harnesses the positive reps when he shows good movement while keeping his eyes up. Cook is certainly willing to throw into contested situations.

Check out Norris' complete 2016 first round mock draft at Rotoworld.com

NFC North standings: Bears fall to last in division with Week 7 loss to Patriots

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USA TODAY

NFC North standings: Bears fall to last in division with Week 7 loss to Patriots

The great Ricky Bobby once said, “If you ain’t first, you’re last.” Talladega Nights hit a little too close to home for the Bears in Week 7.

They came into Sunday at 3-2 at the top of the NFC North. After a 38-31 loss to the New England Patriots, they dropped to the bottom of the division.

The Detroit Lions defeated the Miami Dolphins 32-21 to improve to 3-3, leaving them tied with the Bears in the cellar.

The Minnesota Vikings’ 37-17 victory over the New York Jets jumped them to 4-2-1 overall and first place in the division over the 3-2-1 Green Bay Packers, who were off for their bye week.

The NFC North remains the most tightly contested division in the NFL, the only one with no teams under .500 through seven weeks of the season.

The final standings may not be decided until Week 17, and the Bears have already blown the early season cushion they built for themselves while the Vikings and Packers were struggling.

The divisional action will pick up in November, and Chicago only has a pair of games left to put it all together before back-to-back-to-back games against the Lions, Vikings and Lions again.    

Under Center Podcast: Bears lose 38-31 to the Patriots

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USA TODAY

Under Center Podcast: Bears lose 38-31 to the Patriots

Matt Forte, Lance Briggs and Alex Brown join Laurence Holmes to break down the Bears 38-31 loss to the Patriots. What happened to the Bears defense over their bye week, and how did the special teams struggle so bad against New England? Plus – the guys debate Mitchell Trubisky’s decision making in the red zone and Matt weighs in on how the Bears should play his former team – the New York Jets – next week.

0:35– Special teams to blame for loss?

4:12– Where did the Bears pass rush go? 

5:27– Bad tackling followed Bears from Miami

7:25– Are the coaches to blame for the defense after the bye?

10:10– Evaluating Mitchell Trubisky’s game

11:55– Agree with Matt Nagy on Mitch’s “mental” game?

13:30– Trubisky’s red zone decision making

17:10– Are the Bears giving away games so Mitch can learn?

18:00– Bears need to run the ball more

21:04– Matt Forte scouts his former team, the New York Jets

Listen to the full podcast here or in the embedded player below.

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