Mullin: 2011 draft thin on first-round talent?


Mullin: 2011 draft thin on first-round talent?

Thursday, April 14, 2011Posted: 2:05 PM

By John Mullin

Teams have done nicely down in the 20s of drafts first rounds. But it is still a kind of no-teams land?

ESPN Scouts Inc. college scouting director Todd McShay does not especially like where the Bears are sitting (No. 29) in this years first round, if they in fact are going to go for a tackle.

Theyre in a tricky spot, McShay said Thursday. Theres a chance that they dont make a move up, theres not going to be someone there that theyre in love with.

Jerry Angelo is on record with his thinking that good offensive linemen are at such a premium that teams often are forced to reach, taking linemen as much as two full rounds before their grade might warrant. Such is the possibly the Bears lot.

McShay identified Anthony Castonzo, Gabe Carimi, Tyron Smith and Nate Solder of Colorado as the clear top four tackles. After that you get into more a second-tier group, McShay said. If those four tackles are gonetheres a chance they do reach. Theyre probably reaching a bit and hoping.

None of the top three tackles are expected to be anywhere within reach of the Bears, if indeed they want a tackle. McShay lists Castonzo from Boston College as the most NFL-ready tackle in this draft, thinking left tackle, and Wisconsins Carimi as the right tackle.

But the player with the most upside in terms of who could develop out of this class, its Tyron Smith from USC, McShay said. And looking five years down the NFL road, he should be the best in this offensive-tackle class, McShay added.

Some bad news

McShay said that he has 28 players with first-round grades in this years draft. Not what you want to think about if youre, say, No. 29. But with the possibilities of reaching, that does not mean there wont be a first-round talent when the Bears turn comes.

Besides, McShay is not setting the Bears board. It really only matters what Jerry Angelo, Tim Ruskell, Lovie Smith and select coaches think.

John "Moon" Mullin is's Bears Insider, and appears regularly on Bears Postgame Live and Chicago Tribune Live. Follow Moon on Twitter for up-to-the-minute Bears information.

Takeaways from Bears win over Vikings: Camaraderie building, Mitch Trubisky progressing, the REAL defensive stopper


Takeaways from Bears win over Vikings: Camaraderie building, Mitch Trubisky progressing, the REAL defensive stopper

A short week between games also means condensed timeframe for looking both back at what just transpired in the Bears 25-20 win over the Minnesota Vikings, and ahead to what those things might foreshadow in Thursday’s rematch in Detroit with the Lions.

The Bears are averaging 3.5 touchdowns per game this season, approaching double the 1.9 per game last year. So it figures that their celebrations of those scores should step up appropriately.

Team chemistry/unity/personality/whatever is always easier to detect when said team is winning. But the touchdown celebrations orchestrated (literally and figuratively) by wide receiver Anthony Miller and safety Eddie Jackson are worth a footnote.

Not so much for the amusing creativity of Miller’s “boys in the boat” rowing team, or Jackson’s musical-conductor performance with the assembled defense. More for, as more than a few folks noted on Monday, the fact that the whole team jumped into the skits. These were not look-at-me, solo-showboating exercises by the player scoring the touchdown; they were the kind of group endeavors that teams do.

The Bears can be excused for being a bit out of practice celebrating touchdowns after their miseries of the last five years. Now that it’s happening with increasing frequency, the performances figure to step up in style.

Matt Nagy has set the tone for more than just offensive schemes, remarking, “If you’re not enjoying the moment, then why are you playing?... I like our players to have fun when they play.”

Duly noted

Besides being his 22nd consecutive start and moving him ahead of Rex Grossman on the consecutive-start list, the win over the Minnesota Vikings got Mitchell Trubisky to .500 as a starting quarterback (11-11).

Much is usually made about an offense distributing the football among an array of receivers. Matt Nagy and the Bears offense went a different direction with six different ball carriers against the Vikings, and got those six the football in the first half alone.

The Bears may have opened as four-point favorites over the Lions for Thursday’s game, but the Lions have beaten the Bears four of the last five times the teams met on Thanksgiving Day.

How much more accurate has Mitchell Trubisky become from last year to this? He wasn’t happy with his performance against the Vikings (20-for-31 passing) but Trubisky had just four of his 12 starts in 2017 in which he posted a completion percentage higher than 60. Of his 10 starts in 2018 he has just two starts in which his success rate was BELOW 60 percent.

THE defensive stopper

Take a quick read of another outstanding piece by reporter Jim Trotter if you want a glimpse at one of the stories behind the big story of the 2018 Bears defense.

JT, a longtime pal dating back to a chance meeting too many years ago while waiting together to chat with Terrell Davis after a Denver Super Bowl win, is simply one of the best covering this league and was in town for Bears-Vikings.

What he delivered out of Sunday night was a look at how important it was that the Bears retained Vic Fangio as their defensive coordinator, which wasn’t a done deal after the shakeup that ended the tenure of John Fox. Fangio was interviewed but never a serious candidate for the head-coaching job, but his retention was pivotal to some of the linchpins of what has become a contender for title of the best defense in the NFL.

"When we didn't know if Vic was going to be back or not, and then we found out that he was going to be here, there was so much enthusiasm with all the guys," defensive lineman Akiem Hicks told JT. "We were texting each other and we were excited about having that opportunity to have that same defense again, because it makes it easier on you as a player. So it was big, huge, monumental. We would not be here without that. Not even possible."


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This video of Mitch Trubisky's pregame speech will get you fired up

This video of Mitch Trubisky's pregame speech will get you fired up

You may have seen that hilarious video of Kirk Cousins hyping up the Vikings make the rounds over the last month and think to yourself 'wow, the NFC North's most hype quarterback is clearly Kirk Cousins, now I am sure.'

You'd of course be wrong, because the NFC North's most hype quarterback is bearded, orange-jersey wearin' Mitch Tubisky. In a 6-minute montage of Akiem Hicks mic'd up, one shot catches Trubisky giving the Bears his best Coach Taylor speech: 

He's ... doing ok?! I'm kinda here for preaching Mitch Trubisky if we're being honest. 

The whole video is worth a watch, because mic'd up videos literally always are - though this one is particularly great, because Akiem Hicks is particularly great.