Bears

Nathan Enderle draft capsule

Nathan Enderle draft capsule

Nathan Enderle, Quarterback
Height: 6-4 Weight: 240 College: Idaho
What they say about Enderle
CBSSports.com

Overview

Not many quarterbacks would earn a third year as a starter after his team went 3-21 in his first two seasons.

Idaho coaches actually brought in junior college transfer Brian Reader to compete with Enderle before the 2009 season, and Reader led the Vandals to a win over San Jose State after Enderle threw interceptions on consecutive drives. But the team stuck with the Nebraska native through the rest of the season, and the Vandals finished with a winning record (7-5) and won the Humanitarian Bowl - their first postseason appearance in 11 years.

Enderle finished high school early, but still redshirted in 2006. He earned the starting position as a redshirt freshman, and the Vandals went through growing pains with him (44.3 percent completions, 10 touchdowns, 18 interceptions).

Improvement was evident in 2008, as he completed 54.3 percent of his passes for 2,077 yards and 20 scores, but he still threw 17 picks. His maturation continued in 2009 as he completed 61.5 percent of his passes, threw for 2,906 yards and connected for 22 touchdowns against only nine interceptions.

Analysis
Accuracy: Has improved his accuracy each season, does a good job generally getting the ball where it needs to go. Can thread the needle between defensive backs over the middle. Good touch and trajectory on fade patterns in the end zone and on the sideline, puts ball where only receiver can find it. Not deadly accurate on short timing throws, however, often forcing his receivers to go low or wide. Inconsistent on purposely-thrown balls behind his receiver, will get them too close to the defender at times. Can be forced into interceptions when under pressure.

Arm Strength: Only an average arm, but still could succeed in the NFL in a patient offense staying with short and intermediate throws. Adept at making quick decisions to unload the ball. Makes shorter throws while being wrapped up by defenders or slinging the ball out under pressure, but also forces some throws in that situation. Willing to throw passes down the seam or in tight spaces, though his arm is not strong enough to beat defenders to the spot if he doesn't see them closing; this leads to interceptions. Deep ball will float, especially when his feet are not set.
SetupRelease: Looks like an NFL pocket passer. Stands tall and unloads the ball relatively quickly, with only a minor wind-up. Delivers the ball knowing he's about to take a hit. Can throw at different angles if needed. Works primarily from under center but will line up in the shotgun. Carries the ball a bit low and loose at times, defenders can easily swat it out of his hands. Must improve his footwork; takes extra steps in his drop, will jump back before planting. Regularly pats the ball before throwing. Unnecessarily stands flat-footed to throw some passes.

Reading Defenses: Long-time starter in a quasi-pro style offense, who has earned the ability to change protections and plays at the line of scrimmage. Will check down to safety valve if first option is covered. Needs to sell the ball fake more aggressively to freeze linebackers and safeties. Feels pressure well, sometimes too well; his feet get a bit happy if running out of time. Will force throws into coverage both because he doesn't see defenders and because he tries to make plays that aren't there.

On the Move: Good internal clock, counts to three and gets out of the pocket. Able to complete passes running to his left or right. Mobile enough to step up or to either side, reset, and find a target downfield. Lacks speed to break off long runs, will get a few yards if stepping up into a vacated area. Inconsistent tucking the ball away if feeling pressure and unable to throw.

Intangibles: Battle-tested, four-year starter who has seen great highs and lows during his career - and matured through the process. Honor student who graduated early from high school to attend Idaho.
Sideline Scouting

Positives: Good accuracy within short areas, can hit his receivers in stride... Quick feet, gets adequate depth in his drop steps... Intelligent, has a very high football IQ... Calls many of Idaho's plays at the line of scrimmage... Does a good job making pre-snap reads and adjustments at the line of scrimmage... Good at avoiding the blitz by stepping up into the pocket... Does a good job working the middle of the field with quick, accurate, strikes... Prototypical height and frame for an NFL quarterback... Played in a pro-style offense, knows how to take snaps under center... Should have a short learning curve in the NFL.

Negatives: Just average arm strength, looks like he'd throw harder than he does... Has some issues when throwing the deep out, defenders are able to jump on some of his throws... Struggles against top competition... In five games against BCS schools, he completed 51 percent of his passes for an average of 165 yards per game and threw only four touchdowns to 13 interceptions... Long throwing motion... Tips some of his passes off by patting the ball before he throws... Doesn't always take a stride while throwing which causes some passes to sail on him... Throws too many interceptions, needs to cut down on mental errors... Trusts his arm far too much, tries to make throws that he has no business making... Has a hard time picking up disguised blitzes and coverages... Not a great runner, is more of a pocket passer... Really a poor athlete.
Pro Football Weekly

Notes: Also played basketball and baseball and ran track as a Nebraska prep. Graduated high school early to enroll at Idaho and redshirted in 2006. Stepped into the lineup in 07 when he started all 10 games in which he played and completed 132-of-298 pass attempts (44.3 percent) for 1,787 yards with 10 touchdowns and 18 interceptions. Missed three games after rupturing a tendon in his right (throwing) hand against Hawaii. Started all 12 games in 08, tossing 184-339-2,077-20-17 (54.3). In 09, started all 11 games in which he played and completed 192-312-2,906-22-9 (61.5). Suffered a right (throwing) rotator cuff tear against Louisiana Tech and missed two games. Started all 13 games in 10 and totaled 271-478-3,314-22-16 (56.7). Team captain. Had a 17-29 career starting record. Graduated in December.

Positives: Looks the part. Outstanding size and arm strength to drive the ball into tight spaces. Extremely intelligent and has a strong understanding of the game set protection and was given reign to heavily audible at the line. Works and practices hard. Very experienced, pro-style passer. Has physical tools to develop.

Negatives: Too analytical on the field overthinks the game and lacks the innate instincts desired to become a decisive triggerman. Average poise and processing speed in the pocket holds on to the ball too long and takes needless sacks. Tends to set tall and narrow-based and footwork requires refinement. Not quick-footed to escape the rush marginal scrambling ability. Struggles to take pace off the ball and throw with touch does not toss a catchable ball. Crumbled against better competition (Nebraska, Boise State). Has a 54.6 percent career completion percentage and a 37 percent winning percentage, and it shows. Marginal weight-room worker and strength. Lacks mental toughness, confidence and the command to take charge in an NFL locker room.

Summary: A well-built, pocket-passing, four-year starter who still makes too many freshman mistakes. Looks the part on paper, but enters the NFL as very much a project with a long way to go. Has the size and arm strength to fit best into a vertical passing game, but heavy feet, inconsistent accuracy and raw decision making might keep him holding a clipboard for the next 10 years. Most comfortable when he is not on the hot seat.

NFL projection: Fifth- to sixth-round pick.

Akiem Hicks reveals what makes him so good against the run

Akiem Hicks reveals what makes him so good against the run

Akiem Hicks finally earned the recognition he deserved in 2018 with his first trip to the Pro Bowl, and playing on the NFL’s No. 1 defense provided the national attention he should have received in his first two years with the Bears.

He’s a solid interior pass rusher, but where he dominates is in run defense, leading the NFL in run stops last season according to Pro Football Focus.

When Hicks beats an offensive lineman at the line of scrimmage to make a big tackle in the backfield, it’s a work of art, and he revealed the secret to those flashy plays on NFL Game Pass.

He broke down the film of a play against the Green Bay Packers where he beats center Corey Linsley because he knew right guard Jordan McCray was going to pull to the left.

“I read it before the snap happens. I know that McCray is going to pull just based off his stance,” Hicks said. “I know his stance for every play that he’s going to do. I’m going to be at least 75 percent right.”

Hicks looks at how much weight an offensive lineman is putting on his hand, how far apart his legs are and how much bend is in his hips.

“If you do your due-diligence as a defensive lineman and prepare like a professional during the week, you’re going to know,” Hicks said.

Any little deviation from a normal stance is an indicator to Hicks of what the play is going to be, and that pre-snap knowledge keeps him a step ahead of the blocker in front of him.

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Vegas sets Mitchell Trubisky’s pass TD total at 26.5

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USA TODAY

Vegas sets Mitchell Trubisky’s pass TD total at 26.5

If Mitchell Trubisky has the kind of break out year in his second season under Matt Nagy that Bears fans are hoping for, he should have no problem cashing an OVER 26.5 passing TDs ticket for bettors who want to back him.

Per Bet Chicago, Caesars is rolling out division props and they set Trubisky’s touchdown pass total for 2019 at 26.5 and his pass yard total at 3,744.5.

While both those marks would be career highs for Trubisky, this number will surely be seen as a slight by the hometown fans and continue to add to the polarizing nature of the quarterback formerly known as the Pretty Boy Assassin.

In Chicago, and if you’re team Mitch, this number is ridiculously low and you’re probably already pounding the over.

Outside of Chicago, and with some analytical support, there’s a lot of doubt about Trubisky’s future as a viable option as an NFL starter, so I’d guess the Pro Football Focus crowd is probably gonna take the under.

We rolled out some props of our own on the Under Center podcast last week including:

Will Mitch Trubisky pass for 10 or more touchdowns than Craig Kimbrel has saves? (Including playoffs for both)

26.5 regular season passing touchdowns probably gives Kimbrel the edge, but it’s right in range. 

And that Trubisky – Kimbrel prop prompted this bold response from our own Bears insider JJ Stankevitz:

I don’t think I’m in the 40 club with my guy JJ, but the OVER certainly feels like the move here. At least it better be if the Bears are gonna make any sort of NFC North title defense.