Bud Dupree over Vic Beasley for Bears at No. 7?


Bud Dupree over Vic Beasley for Bears at No. 7?

The choice of the Bears at No. 7 in the first and second rounds of the 2015 draft will remain largely speculative until Commissioner Roger Goodell and Dick Butkus announce the picks. But just as the Bears are going through their final analyses of players, trade offers and other variables, takes a quick look at one of the priority areas for the Bears as well:

The Bears are still committed to developing an elite defense and pass rush. Two leading prospects are considered to be Vic Beasley from Clemson and Kentucky’s Bud Dupree. Beasley was the initial mock-draft conclusion but general manager Ryan Pace’s thoughts make Beasley-Dupree something of a coin-toss.

[MORE: Bears content with draft options at No. 7 but still willing to move]

Both were hugely productive pass rushers, Beasley collecting 33 career sacks, Dupree 23. Both appear to be solid character individuals. Both delivered impressive, near-identical times in the 40-yard dash and impressive strength indicators.

But Dupree’s 4.56 “40” time was at 269 pounds. Beasley’s 4.53 was at 246 pounds, and that was with muscle added in the offseason. Possibly more significantly, Dupree is 6-4; Beasley is 6-3. The latter is tall enough — offseason priority signing Pernell McPhee is 6-3, as is other rush linebacker Sam Acho.

So that’s tall enough, but Pace twice has stated the value he places on length.

“Length is important,” Pace said as recently as Wednesday. “Now, some guys are able to get away with it, like the [Dwight] Freeneys of the world or the Robert Mathises, because they’ve got such great get-off and edge quickness and ability to bend.

“But for the most part, length is important. I think we talked about that with Pernell McPhee. I think his length really helps him as a pass rusher.”

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McPhee is 280 pounds. Acho is 257. Dupree has length and mass over Beasley, something the new Bears defense places more of a premium on than the 4-3 schemes of Lovie Smith and Mel Tucker, where no linebacker topped 250 pounds. Dupree projects as a stouter player holding the point vs. the run.

Two players with closely similar abilities? The one — Dupree — with 23 more pounds and an inch in height may fit the rush-linebacker/end template Pace, coach John Fox and coordinator Vic Fangio are using.

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Who deserves the blame in the Bears loss to Miami?


SportsTalk Live Podcast: Who deserves the blame in the Bears loss to Miami?

David Haugh, Adam Jahns and Patrick Finley join Kap on the panel. The Bears lose a rough one in Miami as Matt Nagy goes conservative at the end zone. Does the rookie coach deserve all of the blame? Dave Wannstedt joins the guys to discuss.

Plus the guys discuss the Cubs’ newest hitting coach/scapegoat, Brandon Saad’s upcoming healthy scratch and Bobby Portis betting on himself this season. 

Listen here or in the embedded player below!

Akiem Hicks makes Pro Football Focus Team of the Week after strong game against Dolphins


Akiem Hicks makes Pro Football Focus Team of the Week after strong game against Dolphins

The Bears defense was not its usual self in their overtime loss to the Miami Dolphins on Sunday. The pass rush was minimal and tackling looked optional, and Brock Osweiler threw for almost 400 yards.

There was plenty of blame to go around, but a few individual defenders had success while their teammates struggled.

Defensive lineman Akiem Hicks made the Pro Football Focus Team of the Week for Week 6 with a 92.2 overall grade.

He recorded seven tackles that resulted in a defensive “stop,” the most of any defensive lineman according to PFF.

Chicago’s next highest-graded player was cornerback Kyle Fuller (78.2), who intercepted Osweiler twice but also missed two tackles.

Offensively, wide receiver Taylor Gabriel led the way with a 76.9 mark. PFF credited four of his five catches coming against Dolphins cornerback Torry McTyer in coverage.

Meanwhile, outside linebacker Khalil Mack had the lowest-graded game of his career (47.8), while linebacker Danny Trevathan (29.9) and safety Adrian Amos Jr. (47.5) each had their second-worst games.

Some of the Bears’ best players were at their worst in Miami. They’re going to need to get their act together for the New England Patriots on Sunday.