Bears

Moon's Mini-Mock NFL Draft 2.0: Sticking with A'Shawn Robinson for Bears

moon-mini-mock-2-robinson-slide.png

Moon's Mini-Mock NFL Draft 2.0: Sticking with A'Shawn Robinson for Bears

“Best-available” will be the order of battle for the Bears in the draft. But the Bears are about the business of expanding the realm of the possible for that descriptor, not only for No. 11 in Round one but also in the ensuing rounds.

Alabama defensive tackle A’Shawn Robinson has been quiet on the visit tour, but was on the Pittsburgh and Dallas guest lists this week. Robinson may be a case of teams not wishing to tip their hands as far as interest but that’s endemic to the pre-draft run-up, where deception and misdirection are art forms.

CSNChicago.com’s “Mini-mock” is staying the course on Robinson to the Bears – for now. Because they are canvassing the front-seven neighborhood looking at options.

The Bears' pace of private meetings and workouts with some of the top defensive players – defensive linemen Robert Nkemdiche, Emmanuel Ogbah, Jarran Reed and Roy Robertson-Harris, linebackers Myles Jack and Reggie Ragland – suggests a continued emphasis on defense, particularly front seven.

[RELATED - Bears looking at speed, size in pre-draft visits with receivers, linemen]

Ogbah and Robertson-Harris are late rise’ers among pass rushers. Ogbah, out of Oklahoma State, is a likely first-rounder but at 6-foot-4 and 275 pounds, his fit as an every down edge guy in the Bears’ 3-4 isn’t clear. But he has worked in two-point stances and this is a highly productive (24 sacks, 34 TFL’s last two seasons) player from a strong program and worth watching.

Robertson-Harris measured 6-foot-5, 256 pounds at the UTEP pro day and reportedly did both linebacker and defensive-end drills, indicating that teams operating 3-4 schemes are taking looks.

One position in particular, because of its value and short supply, always looms large. ESPN’s Mel Kiper in his latest mock draft posited three quarterbacks going in the first 15 picks. CSNChicago.com’s “Mini-Mock” has projected three in the Top 10, based on need and the common “run” scenario: Once a position is picked, teams hard after that position see a shrinking pool of options and can reach just to ensure they get one of the players.

Every NFL team has its draft board, ranking the upcoming candidates for the year’s selection process that begins Thursday, Apr. 28. Those grades can fluctuate based on private workouts, pro days, uncovered information and any number of factors that emerge on a weekly, sometimes daily basis.

Accordingly, CSNChicago.com publishes its timely, up-do-the-latest “Mini-Mock” draft every Thursday, culminating in Day 1 of the 2016 first round. “Mini-Mock” will target the Top 15 picks of the draft, the range in which the Bears reside (No. 11). “Mini-Mock” also will incorporate all the latest mock-draft predictions for the Bears’ pick, news, reports, information from pro days and workouts and relevant available data, as well as specific updates on selected other significant draft prospects.

Moon's Mini-Mock NFL Draft

1. Tennessee Titans: Laremy Tunsil, T, Mississippi

Comment: Titans put pick in trade play and Tunsil not legend-grade talent, so somebody likely deals up for QB or position player all covet.

2. Cleveland Browns: Carson Wentz, QB, North Dakota State

Comment: Browns QB woes approaching historic levels but which one, between Wentz and Jared Goff? And Browns could net multiple picks dealing out of this spot.

3. San Diego Chargers: DeForest Buckner, DE, Oregon

Comment: CB Jalen Ramsey rising, could go here, but elite DL talent is more prized, and Buckner considered elite. Team wanting QB could trade up to here for Goff or Wentz.

4. Dallas Cowboys: Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State

Comment: Interest in Matt Forte says RB a priority but issues with Greg Hardy, Randy Gregory could push ‘Boys toward pass rusher. Be wary of Elliott fall. Shaq Lawson in for visit.

5. Jacksonville Jaguars: Joey Bosa, DE, Ohio State

Comment: Jags had Bosa in for visit and edge rusher complements Malik Jackson signing for interior. Bosa also did LB drills at OSU Pro Day.

6. Baltimore Ravens: Myles Jack, LB, UCLA

Comment: April 1 Pro day performance dispelled knee concerns and could move Jack Top 5. Every team covets his skill set on top of good football character.

7. San Francisco 49ers: Jared Goff, QB, California

Comment: Anybody else getting sick of reading Colin Kaepernick non-stories? Regardless of outcome, 49ers and Chip Kelly looking to new future.

8. Philadelphia Eagles: Jalen Ramsey, CB, Florida State

Comment: New coach Doug Pederson put Goff and Wentz through private workouts. But Ramsey is self-proclaimed “best player in this year’s draft” and somebody’ll agree.

9. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Vernon Hargreaves III, CB, Florida 

Comment: Mini-run on DB’s? Brent Grimes settles one CB spot but Hargreaves best-available if Bucs don’t grab ‘Bama’s DT Robinson.

10. New York Giants: Paxton Lynch, QB, Memphis

Comment: First 5 FA signings were on defense. G’ints shopped for FA OT’s but get Eli heir-apparent here.

11. BEARS: A’Shawn Robinson, DL, Alabama

Comment: Still a DE spot open and Bears like the talent pool. Robinson not generating huge buzz yet but beware of misdirection.

12. New Orleans Saints: Shaq Lawson, DE/LB, Clemson

Comment: Lawson or Georgia’s Leonard Floyd fill need for edge pressure. Lawson a fluid option, with Dallas and Detroit visits.

13. Miami Dolphins: Noah Spence, DE, Eastern Kentucky

Comment: Buzz building that Spence, who did only DL drills at pro day, has quieted some character concerns, which could bump him higher.

14. Oakland Raiders: Darron Lee, LB, Alabama

Comment: Reggie Ragland brings more size, power, but search is on for LB’s who can cover.

15. Los Angeles Rams: Leonard Floyd, DE, Georgia

Comment: Floyd a bit of a wild card, could go anywhere from 8-15.

How others see the Bears' pick:

Leonard Floyd (Daniel Jeremiah, NFL.com, Mel Kiper, ESPN, and Lance Zierlein, NFL.com)

William Jackson III, CB, Houston (Aaron Leming, Bear Report/Scout.com)

Joey Bosa (Pat Kirwin, SiriusXM and Ike Taylor, NFL Media analyst)

A'Shawn Robinson (Brad Biggs, Chicago Tribune and Jim Miller, ComcastSports Net/Sirius Radio)

Jarran Reed, DL Alabama (Rob Rang, CBS Sports)

Leonard Rankings, DT, Louisville (Dane Brugler, CBS Sports)

Ronnie Stanley, T, Notre Dame (Pete Prisco, CBS Sports)

Vernon Hargreaves III (Will Brinson, CBS Sports and Charles Davis, NFL Network)

DeForest Buckner (Lester Wiltfong Jr., Windy City Gridiron/SB Nation)

Jack Conklin, OT, Michigan State (Cris Collinsworth, NBC)

Noah Spence (Michelle Bruton, Bleacher Report)

Darron Lee (Matt Miller, Bleacher Report)

Shaq Lawson (Todd McShay, ESPN)

[MORE: Complete NFL Draft coverage on CSNChicago.com]

Remaining first round order:

16. Detroit Lions
17. Atlanta Falcons
18. Indianapolis
19. Buffalo
20. N.Y. Jets
21. Washington
22. Houston
23. Minnesota
24. Cincinnati
25. Pittsburgh
26. Seattle
27. Green Bay
28. Kansas City
29. Arizona
30. Carolina
31. Denver

(Note: New England forfeited 1st round pick)

Chicago Bears Training Camp: Veteran and rookie report dates

6-8trubiskyqbs.jpg
USA Today

Chicago Bears Training Camp: Veteran and rookie report dates

Chicago Bears training camp is right around the corner with the first practice (non-padded) scheduled for July 21. 

Bears veterans and rookies will report a few days ahead of that first session to acclimate themselves to their new (for some) surroundings. Rookies report on July 16, with veterans coming three days later on July 19.

All eyes will be on QB Mitch Trubisky and the potentially high-flying offense under coach Matt Nagy. Training camp will take on extra importance because of the plethora of new faces on the roster and coaching staff as well as the installation of a completely new offensive scheme. It's critical that Trubisky builds chemistry with wide receivers Allen Robinson, Taylor Gabriel, Anthony Miller and Kevin White, all of whom he's never thrown a regular-season pass to. Add Trey Burton to that mix and a lot of miscues should be expected in the preseason.

The rookie class is led by linebacker Roquan Smith, who remains unsigned. With less than 30 days until rookies are required to report, a greater sense of urgency -- even if it's not quite a panic -- is certainly creeping in. Assuming he's signed in time, Smith should earn a starting role early in training camp and ascend to one of the defense's top all-around players. 

The Bears have higher-than-usual expectations heading into the 2018 season making fans eager for summer practices to get underway.

Leonard Floyd picked as potential Pro Bowler in 2018

Leonard Floyd picked as potential Pro Bowler in 2018

The Chicago Bears need a big season from outside linebacker Leonard Floyd. He's the team's best pass-rush option and the only legitimate threat to post double-digit sacks this year.

Floyd joined the Bears as a first-round pick (No. 9 overall) in 2016 and has flashed freakish talent at times. The problem has been his health; he's appeared in only 22 games through his first two seasons. 

Floyd's rookie year -- especially Weeks 5 through 9 -- showed a glimpse of the kind of disruptive force he's capable of becoming. He registered seven sacks and looked poised to breakout in 2017. Unfortunately, injuries limited him to only 10 games and four sacks.

Despite his disappointing sophomore season, NFL.com's Gil Brandt has high hopes for Floyd in 2018. The long-time NFL personnel executive named Floyd as the Bear with the best chance to earn a first-time trip to the Pro Bowl.

CHICAGO BEARS: Leonard Floyd, OLB, third NFL season. Floyd had seven sacks as a rookie in 2016, but missed six games last season due to a knee injury. He's a talented guy who can drop into coverage or rush with his hand on the ground and should play much better this season. He also has become much stronger since coming into the league.

The Bears will be in a heap of trouble if Floyd doesn't emerge as a Pro Bowl caliber player. There aren't many pass-rushing options on the roster outside of Floyd aside from Aaron Lynch and rookie Kylie Fitts. Neither edge defender has a resume strong enough to rely on as insurance.

It's a critical year for Floyd's future in Chicago, too. General manager Ryan Pace will decide whether to pick up Floyd's fifth-year option in his rookie contract next offseason. If he plays well, it's a no-brainer. If not, Pace could be looking at two straight first-round picks (see: Kevin White) that he's declined the extra year.

We're a long way from that decision. Until then, the Bears' season may sink or swim based on its pass rush. It begins -- and ends -- with Floyd.