Bears

Bears 'edgy' when Round 2 of NFL Draft starts?

edgypace.png

Bears 'edgy' when Round 2 of NFL Draft starts?

John Fox began drafts in his two previous stops by addressing the pass rush for Carolina and Denver teams in sore need of just that.

The Bears team he inherits isn't far behind, especially considering the 3-4 base defense they'll operate out of. Jared Allen, Lamarr Houston and Willie Young have little, if no experience rushing out of a two-point stance, where they've been slotted at outside linebacker on the roster. Top free agent prize Pernell McPhee is more of a chess piece to move around where needed.

[MORE: Kevin White speed fits Bears GM Ryan Pace WR mold]

But after drafting wide receiver Kevin White to fill one need in Round 1 Thursday, that spot screams for attention when Round 2 begins Friday evening. Dante Fowler was the only candidate for that role drafted prior to White, while Clemson's Vic Beasley was chosen by Atlanta on the next pick. But the only other edge rushers chosen came back-to-back, 22nd and 23rd, when Pittsburgh went with Kentucky's Bud DuPree and Fox's ex-team, Denver, traded up with Detroit with the Shane Ray roll-of-the-dice.

Ray was cited for marijuana possession Monday morning following questions about the severity of a turf toe condition which could possibly require surgery.

The positive marijuana test/admission by super-talented Randy Gregory of Nebraska has kept him waiting until today. Is that a sufficient penalty and wake-up call for general manager Ryan Pace to invest in the 39th overall pick tonight, provided he's still there? Or would he go with the more under-the-radar Nate Orchard of Utah, a former wide receiver without the issues? Virginia's Eli Harrold is also still around. Hau'oli Kikaha of Washington might be also. Scheme-versatile defensive ends Henry Anderson of Stanford and Arkansas' Trey Flowers are still on the board, as well.

[SHOP: Get the latest Bears gear here]

If nose/defensive tackle's a priority, Oklahoma's Jordan Phillips, Florida State's Eddie Goldman, and Carl Davis of Iowa are still playing the waiting game.

Safeties Landon Collins — once seemingly a top-15 choice — is waiting until Day 2, as is rising Utah prospect Eric Rowe, among others in a position where the Bears have just four players.

There remains quality at running back and inside linebacker heading into the weekend, the former seemingly holding a greater priority than the latter, especially when looking to add between-the-tackles size to the backfield.

Madden 21 rating leaks: Chicago Bears Top-10 overall rated players

Madden 21 rating leaks: Chicago Bears Top-10 overall rated players

As Madden 21 ratings continue to leak out, one site claims to have gotten a hold of the Top-10 players for each team. According to Madden School, a website that says they’ve served the Madden community for 13 years, the Bears only have one player rated over 90-- Khalil Mack at 97. That’s one point lower than where Mack finished the season on Madden 20.

Here’s the full list for the Bears:

Khalil Mack: 97 overall

Eddie Jackson: 89 overall

Allen Robinson: 89 overall

Akiem Hicks: 88 overall

Kyle Fuller: 85 overall

Eddie Goldman: 84 overall

Click to download the MyTeams App for the latest Bears news and analysis.

Roquan Smith: 83 overall

Robert Quinn: 82 overall

Charles Leno Jr.: 81 overall

Cody Whitehair: 81 overall

It’s important to note that none of these numbers came with picture or video evidence from early copies of the game.

Unsurprisingly, only one offensive skill player cracked the Top-10 for the Bears, Allen Robinson. Equally unsurprising is the fact that seven of the Top-10 are on defense.

EA Sports began releasing the official Madden 21 ratings on Monday, and will continue to do so through Friday.


RELATED: Madden 21 rating leaks: Another source says Khalil Mack may have lost elite 99-overall status

SUBSCRIBE TO THE UNDER CENTER PODCAST FOR FREE.

Here's where Maurice Jones-Drew ranks David Montgomery among NFL running backs

Here's where Maurice Jones-Drew ranks David Montgomery among NFL running backs

Former NFL running back and current NFL Network personality, Maurice Jones-Drew, published his ranking of the top-32 running backs in the NFL on Monday and, of course, the Bears didn't get much love. To be more specific, David Montgomery was downright disrespected.

To be fair, MJD's assessment (or ranking) of Montgomery wasn't entirely based on No. 32's talent. Instead, it appears the Bears' offense -- and Matt Nagy -- is why Jones-Drew isn't high on the former Iowa State star.

Montgomery checked-in at No. 27 on MJD's list.

Montgomery's success depends on whether or not Matt Nagy wants to run the ball. They abandoned the run game week after week in 2019, and it showed in the team's 8-8 record. I'm expecting Montgomery to get the bulk of the carries and Tarik Cohen to continue to be frequently used in certain packages. The second-year back can do a little bit of everything, but needs Nagy to commit to running the rock.

It's hard to tell whether or not MJD believes Montgomery has the talent to be a top-10 running back in the NFL. He describes him as a player who can do 'a little bit of everything,' but doesn't necessarily suggest he can do any one thing really well. There are a lot of running backs in the NFL who fit that description, and they're normally playing backup to starter with a stronger skill set.

Running backs who were ranked in the same range as Montgomery included James Conner (Steelers, No. 25) and Sony Michel (Patriots, No. 26). Detroit's Kerryon Johnson was 28th.

Whether you take MJD's list seriously or put any weight into it at all is your call. But keep this in mind: he said he'd rank himself similarly to Adrian Peterson (23rd) if he decided to come out of retirement in 2020. 

As for Montgomery, it's fair to question his long-term outlook considering the narrative around the running back position. It isn't all that difficult to find a quality starter, and with next offseason presenting a potentially historic class of available running backs, Montgomery is certainly on the hot seat. He ran for just 889 yards as a rookie in 2019.

Preseason rankings are fun exercises to evaluate the landscape of the league, but they're also extremely volatile. Montgomery can quickly become one of the most respected running backs in the NFL if he gets off to a hot start early in the 2020 season.