Bears

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

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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, CSNChicago.com 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.

Did Patriots owner Robert Kraft crush Bears' hope for Tom Brady?

Did Patriots owner Robert Kraft crush Bears' hope for Tom Brady?

The Bears are one of the first teams mentioned when speculation about where New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady could play in 2020. The Bears are the most quarterback-needy club that also has a chance to make a Super Bowl run with a player like Brady under center, so it's logical to assume the soon-to-be free agent will at least entertain the idea of playing home games at Soldier Field next year.

Much of what happens with Brady will come down to how the Patriots view the 42-year-old (he'll be 43 at the start of next season). If all things are equal, and New England makes him a fair offer to come back, it's likely Brady would return to the only franchise he's ever played for. And if owner Robert Kraft's recent comments are sincere, it's more than likely that he will.

RELATED: Top 30 free agents of the 2020 NFL offseason

Kraft, who was in New York City on Tuesday, was asked by TMZ reporters whether the Patriots will re-sign Brady this offseason. His response? 

"We plan to," Kraft said.

Well, there you have it, right? If the Patriots plan to re-sign Brady, then the Patriots are going to re-sign Brady; assuming, of course, you believe what Kraft is saying in January before New England's decision-makers have had enough time to assess their quarterback situation with, and maybe without, No. 12 under center.

Brady is coming off of one of his worst seasons as a pro, which is saying something considering he's been playing for two decades. His completion percentage was the lowest it's been in six years, his yardage total was the second-lowest in the last 10 years, and his 24 touchdown passes were the fewest he's thrown in a season since 2006. 

It's natural to wonder whether Father Time has finally caught up to him. Maybe, however, his down year was a result of lacking talent at wide receiver and tight end. Regardless of the reason, his 2019 campaign has called into question where he'll be in 2020.

But there are those three words Kraft said — 'we plan to' — that can't be ignored. At the very least, Bears fans can't get their hopes up. The Patriots tend to get what they want, and if they want Brady back in 2020, they'll have him.

Bears showing strong interest in Dayton TE Adam Trautman

Bears showing strong interest in Dayton TE Adam Trautman

Add Dayton tight end Adam Trautman  to the growing list of tight ends the Bears have met with at the 2020 Senior Bowl.

After confirming Purdue's Brycen Hopkins and Vanderbilt's Jared Pinkney spent time with Bears scouts (in the case of Pinkney, nearly 35 minutes), Trautman told NFL.com's Chase Goodbread that Chicago's scouts have expressed a strong interest in his skill set.

"They're interested in me," Trautman said of the Bears. "They tell me they like what they see."

RELATED: Top 30 free agents of 2020 NFL offseason

Trautman had one of the best lines of the week when he said he prefers driving opposing defenders into the ground against their will over scoring touchdowns, and at a well-built 6-foot-5, 251 pounds, he has the perfect physical makeup to project as a guy who will do that on the next level. He needs development in that area of his game (run blocker), but his 'want-to' is half the battle.

Trautman wasn't the best tight end this week, but he was far from the worst. He's been consistent, and for a team like the Bears who are searching for a tight end who can be relied on as a second-level target for whoever is playing quarterback in Matt Nagy's offense, Trautman's consistency will be viewed as a plus.

Trautman had 916 yards and 14 touchdowns for Dayton in 2019. Scouts wanted to see whether he could handle the jump in competition at the Senior Bowl, and he's answered that question with a resounding yes.

He projects as a Day 3 pick with upside to develop into a starting quality tight end.