Bears open to trading back in first round of NFL Draft

Bears open to trading back in first round of NFL Draft

Bears general manager Ryan Pace sent a clear message to the NFL: Operators are standing by now to take your calls regarding deals around this year's draft.

Meaning: The Bears are more than open to trading down as early as this year’s first round.

The Bears approach the draft sitting at No. 11 in the round, and Pace said Wednesday that the team has “more than 11 names” it likes as possibilities at that spot. By the time the Bears’ turn comes Thursday night, they will have a handful of players graded good enough to warrant that pick.

That points to the Bears being willing to drop back a spot or three, secure in the knowledge that at least one of their top talent projections will still be there as they add to their quiver of nine picks right now. And because Pace said that he considers the Bears as having a range of needs, the added picks represent more bites at the talent apple.

“We have more than 11 names right now ... that we’re prepared to go with,” Pace said. “If it falls out a certain way, we have enough names where we feel comfortable if we had to go back, we could still go back and get a good player.”

How far back?

“I’ll tell you after the draft,” Pace said, laughing.

Pace declined to hint at which positions are considered the strongest in this draft. But he said that the Bears have a sense of which and how many truly elite players lie in this draft class.

The Bears set up their draft phone bank with one scout assigned to AFC teams, one to NFC teams and a third coordinating information for Pace and player personnel director Josh Lucas. The activity on those lines will ratchet up as the Bears’ 10 minutes on the clock approach sometime around 8 p.m. Thursday night.

“You can be on the clock and there are trade discussions about going back,” Pace said. “Or teams are calling. So there’s really not a lot of talk about the player you’re going to select. That’s become pretty obvious. It’s more about, ‘Hey, do we want to go back here?’ Those kinds of questions. That would be more the conversation that’s going on when you’re on the clock.”

Mitch Trubisky jersey sales trending in right direction

Mitch Trubisky jersey sales trending in right direction

Positive press about the Chicago Bears' offseason is having a strong impact on the jersey sales for the team's highest-profile player, Mitch Trubisky.

According to Dick's Sporting Goods, Trubisky's No. 10 is the fifth-most popular jersey among offensive players over the last 30 days. He's No. 6 among all players, regardless of position.

The Bears' offseason has been full of superlatives since their aggressive approach to free agency. The signings of Allen Robinson, Trey Burton and Taylor Gabriel put the spotlight on Trubisky and the potentially surging passing game. The second-round selection of Anthony Miller and word of Kevin White's offseason emergence has turned positive momentum into higher-than-anticipated expectations for Trubisky this season.

For Chicago to have any chance at meeting those expectations, Trubisky, who's entering his first full season as a starter with a new head coach and offensive system, has to thrive. Fans must be confident that he will, considering the investment they're making in his jersey.

Trubisky ended his rookie season with four wins in 12 starts, throwing for 2,193 yards with seven touchdowns and seven interceptions. He completed 59.4 percent of his passes. He should have a much more productive season in 2018 with his new arsenal of skill players and an innovative coaching staff, led by coach Matt Nagy and offensive coordinator Mark Helfrich.

These four Bears will be featured on 'Meet the Rookies' series

These four Bears will be featured on 'Meet the Rookies' series

The Chicago Bears will kick off the fourth season of "Meet the Rookies" on June 25, a series that profiles four of the team's 2018 draft picks for a behind-the-scenes look at their journey to the NFL.

The four-episode series will air on at 7:00 p.m from June 25 - 28 and will feature one rookie per night. 

Monday's episode will cover the Bears' first-round pick, Roquan Smith. Selected with the eighth-overall pick, Smith is expected to become an instant-impact player on defense. He's expected to make an impact off the field, too, as a high-character leader. Smith's linebacker-mate Joel Iyiegbuniwe is the focus of Tuesday's episode, with Anthony Miller (Wednesday) and James Daniels (Thursday) rounding out Season 4.

For a deeper dive into what's in store in "Meet the Rookies," check out this description.