Around the NFL Draft: Checking out Bears' competition


Around the NFL Draft: Checking out Bears' competition

Two of the Bears' division rivals appeared to do a good job addressing positions of need during this week's draft. The other definitely addressed one need, but the other choices in their first five rounds were a bit curious. But based on his history of draft success, we probably shouldn't doubt Packers general manager Ted Thompson.

A quick look:

Green Bay

With the losses of starting cornerback Tramon Williams and third corner Davon House to free agency, Thompson followed up last year's first-round safety HaHa Clinton-Dix with Arizona State safety/corner Damarious Randall in the first round and Miami (Ohio) corner (and four-year basketball point guard) Quentin Rollins in the second.

[MORE: Re-drafting: A Bears tradition GM Ryan Pace must end]

Stanford wideout/return man Ty Montgomery was the latest target brought aboard for Aaron Rodgers. They hope fourth-round outside linebacker Jake Ryan of Michigan can help offset the losses to free agency of A.J. Hawk, Brad Jones and Jamari Lattimore. Once their offensive staff is done shaping, tutoring and coaching UCLA quarterback Brett Hundley, it'll be interesting what that finished product looks like. Others presumed areas of need not addressed in the first five rounds were tight end and defensive tackle.


The Lions' greatest need seemed to be defensive tackle following the free agent exits of Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley. Those blows were somewhat softened by the trade for Haloti Ngata and signing of Saints free agent Tyrunn Walker. Martin Mayhew got around to the position in the fourth round with Gabe Wright of Auburn (they'll also be turning to last year's fifth-rounder, Caraun Reid). They addressed needs on the offensive line by selecting guard Laken Tomlinson (from Lane Tech High School) to go with the center, guard and tackle they've selected over the first three rounds the past three drafts. Reggie Bush is replaced by Nebraska's Ameer Abdullah (second round) to pair with Joique Bell. Their cornerback need was filled in the third round with Stanford's Alex Carter.


Let's go down Mike Zimmer's draft checklist for what he's turning into a formidable defense (which already ranked 14th last season) after using his top pick a year ago on linebacker Anthony Barr:

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Linebacker (again) — UCLA's Eric Kendricks (2nd round). Cornerback to pair opposite Xavier Rhodes — Michigan State's Trae Waynes (11th overall), widely regarded as the best corner in the draft. Defensive end — LSU's Danielle Hunter (3rd round). Guard — none, but rolling the dice with raw, but beastly tackle T.J. Clemmings of Pitt (whose first- or second-round value dropped with a foot injury), could provide push for Matt Kalil and Phil Loadholt. The fifth-round provided potential backup, but undersized, targets for Teddy Bridgewater at wide receiver and tight end (Maryland's Stefon Diggs and MyCole Pruitt of Southern Illinois).

Programming note: Chris, Jim Miller and Dave Wannstedt will have more on the Bears' first draft under Ryan Pace with a 30-minute special Sunday night on Comcast SportsNet, airing at 10:30, or after the conclusion of "Blackhawks Postgame Live.

Bears to hold joint training camp practices with Broncos this summer

Bears to hold joint training camp practices with Broncos this summer

The Bears will reunite with former defensive coordinator Vic Fangio in Denver this summer, as word broke Monday the Broncos will host Matt Nagy and Co. for joint training camp practices in advance of their preseason game in August.

The Chicago Tribune's Brad Biggs confirmed the news on Twitter.

This is the second time Denver will welcome the Bears for training camp sessions. The two teams held joint practices back in 2018.

Training camp won't be the first time the Bears will see Fangio since his departure last offseason. Chicago pulled off a last-second victory over the Broncos in Week 2 of the 2019 season when kicker Eddy Pineiro booted a 53-yard game-winner as time expired in the fourth quarter. His kick was set up by the clutch version of Mitch Trubisky, who connected on a 25-yard pass to Allen Robinson on the play before Pineiro's conversion.

Fangio left a lasting impact during his time as the Bears defensive coordinator that reached its peak in 2018 when Chicago was widely regarded as the most ferocious defense in the league. The Bears finished third in yards allowed per game and ended the season with the top run defense. Their 27 interceptions were tops in the NFL, too.

A fan's guide for how to watch the NFL Combine

A fan's guide for how to watch the NFL Combine

The 2020 NFL Combine will go a long way in determining the final draft grade for each of the 337 prospects participating in on-field drills. General managers and scouts want to see whether their athletic testing matches the traits noted on film. If a player runs faster than he plays, scouts will question his on-field instincts and overall football IQ. In the alternative, if he runs slower than he plays, questions about level of competition and the ability to 'win' on the NFL level will be raised.

But in order to understand whether or not a prospect is having a good performance, you first have to know what the NFL is looking for as its minimum time/result required for each position and drill.

NFL Hall-of-Fame executive Gil Brandt, one of the legendary draft minds in the sport, shared what has become the standard breakdown each team uses when assessing a player's 40 time, 3-cone drill, broad jump, vertical jump and more.

Check it out:

Keep this page bookmarked this week and refer back to this chart as your favorite Bears prospects try to run and jump their way to Chicago. 

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