Bears

NFL Draft: I mock you, then you mock me

NFL Draft: I mock you, then you mock me

Now that the top of the draft has settled and we’re inside of a week for the first round of the NFL Draft here again in Chicago, I thought I’d give this a spin.

Regrets will flash instantly once this is posted, but I’ll take another swing next Wednesday or Thursday. 

I still believe Cleveland or Tampa Bay could trade down. I wouldn’t even be surprised to see the Bears trade down. 

We’ll see if they do by the time we’re mere hours away. 

Until then, we’ll take this up to their pick at 11.

1. Los Angeles Rams: QB Jared Goff (California) - The relocated St. Louisans make their attention-getting splash, giving up a ransom to Tennessee last week in order to fill their biggest need. All signs seem to point to the Californian Goff simply moving downstate.

2. Philadelphia Eagles: QB Carson Wentz (N. Dakota St.) - If he wins the job from Sam Bradford by the time the season starts, just think of the new wave of quarterbacks the Bears would face in the first 11 games: Osweiler, Wentz, Luck, Bortles, Bridgewater, Winston, and Mariota.

3. San Diego Chargers CB/S  Jalen Ramsey (Florida St.) - They still need an offensive tackle to protect Philip Rivers and spring Melvin Gordon to boost the league’s 31st-ranked running game, but they wait until the second round for that. They get the draft’s best DB, to either replace Eric Weddle at safety, or someone to lock down Demaryius Thomas, Amari Cooper and Jeremy Maclin.

4. Dallas Cowboys: DE Joey Bosa (Ohio St.) - They’re oh-so-tempted to grab Ezekiel Elliott, but they just signed Alfred Morris, who’ll be fine behind that O-line. They’re in desperate need of defensive help, especially after the drug suspensions of DeMarcus Lawrence and Randy Gregory, and letting headache Greg Hardy go.

5. Jacksonville Jaguars OLB Myles Jack (UCLA) - Here comes the first medical question mark, and it’s a bit of a dice-roll considering they lost Dante Fowler a year ago after picking him third. Bosa might be the pick if he didn’t go to the Cowboys, but they’ll let Jack take his time before joining free agent defensive additions Malik Jackson, Tashaun Gipson and Prince Amukamara (not to mention Fowler and DT Sen’Derrick Marks, who was injured in-season).

6. Baltmore Ravens OT Laremy Tunsil (Ole Miss) - Elliott also tempts Team Trestman, but they’ll eye bolstering the backfield later in order to protect Joe Flacco after losing Kelechi Osemele in free agency.

7. San Francisco 49ers CB Vernon Hargreaves (Florida) - They still have Joe Staley at LT, so Ronnie Stanley gets passed over. They just drafted an Ohio St. RB two years ago in Carlos Hyde. They’ve lost tons of DB’s in free agency the last couple of years. It could be rebuilt adding Hargreaves to Eric Reid, Jacquiski Tartt and Jimmie Ward, saving D-line needs for later.

8. Cleveland Browns DE DeForest Buckner (Oregon) - The Bears would love to see him drop. He won’t. Hue Jackson’s putting his faith in RGIII and Josh McCown at QB, so the rebuild of the 27th-ranked defense will be a focus on their boatload of picks. Buckner joins Danny Shelton up front.

9. Tampa Bay Buccaneers DE Shaq Lawson (Clemson) - Like Hargreaves, somewhat of a surprise to some he’s climbed into the Top 10. If the Bucs don’t deal out of this spot, they need an anchor on the edge after investing heavily in the O-line last year and trust the shoulder that bothered the play-maker last year is in the past.

10. New York Giants RB Ezekiel Elliott (Ohio St.) - It’s between Elliott and Stanley, and there is still a need on that line. But they used a first-rounder on Ereck Flowers a year ago, and opened the bank defensively in free agency. So they give Eli Manning a weapon (even though Rashad Jennings did well last season) to pair with Odell Beckham Jr. New coach Ben McAdoo is an “offensive” guy, after all.

11. Bears OT Ronnie Stanley (Notre Dame) - If the Bears end up with Stanley despite Ryan Pace’s consistent praise of Charles Leno, Jr., they 1) have some decisions to make on whether they want an extremely deep line and keep everyone, or 2)  swing a deal for another pick or two. They go with the highest-graded player on their board, and work on the defense (especially DE) later, trusting their evaluations at a deep position this year. It locks in three positions on that line, long-term (Stanley, Kyle Long and Bobby Massie), four if Hroniss Grasu establishes himself at center after a shaky rookie campaign. But if the Giants pick Stanley, the Bears grab Elliott.

**Tune in Sunday night at 10:30 on Comcast SportsNet for “Sportsnet Central: Draft Central.” Former Bears Alex Brown and Patrick Mannelly and “Pro Football Weekly’s” Hub Arkush join Chris to share their thoughts on the players the Bears should go after, whom they’ll wind up with, and debate other hot NFL Draft topics. CSN will also have draft specials at 10:30 p.m. next Thursday and Sunday nights to recap the first round, and the entire draft, respectively, for the Bears and around the league. **

Bears logo ranked in bottom five of NFL in recent fan poll

bearsfans.png
USA Today

Bears logo ranked in bottom five of NFL in recent fan poll

The Chicago Bears logo has withstood the test of time. In a sports era full of uniform changes, the Bears have maintained the classic orange 'C' for most of their nearly 100 years in Chicago.

Unfortunately, tradition doesn't equate to popularity.

Chicago's logo ranked 28th in the NFL, according to a recent poll of nearly 1,500 football fans. Only the Redskins (29), Bengals (30), Jets (31) and Browns (32) were worse.

I’m not sure how I feel about the underbite on the “C.” I can see how this would be a polarizing feature of this logo. I wish to an extent that it met up more evenly. I think they could have had the bottom meet up in a more even fashion and still maintained the sharpness, of the “C,” which I like. I don’t mind the point [ON THE BACK SIDE OF THE “C”], without the point it would be super boring. The point actually does add something from a design standpoint that makes it stand out.

Bears fans will take exception with the results. Wins have been hard to come by in recent seasons, but there's still something special about seeing the familiar navy and orange on Sundays in the fall. The 'C' is arguably the biggest part of that. Sure, it's not a complex design overflowing with colors, but it represents a long and storied history. 

It's interesting that each of the bottom five teams have struggled to string together winning seasons. On the flipside, teams like the Saints, Falcons, Rams, Vikings and Eagles rank in the top six. Maybe it's recency bias.

In the NFC North, the Lions rank No. 2 (which is a shocker) and the Packers are No. 20. 

Matt Nagy calls Kevin White a 'great weapon' with a new future

Matt Nagy calls Kevin White a 'great weapon' with a new future

Former first-round pick Kevin White hasn't caught a break -- or a touchdown -- through the first three years of his career. He has more season-ending injuries than 100-yard games and after an offseason focused on upgrades at wide receiver, White's future in Chicago beyond 2018 is very much in doubt.

Ryan Pace declined the fifth-year option in White's rookie contract, making this a prove-it year for the pass-catcher who once resembled a blend of Larry Fitzgerald and Dez Bryant during his time at West Virginia.

He's getting a fresh start from new coach Matt Nagy.

"He is healthy and he's really doing well," Nagy told Danny Kanell and Steve Torre Friday on SiriusXM's Dog Days Sports. "We're trying to keep him at one position right now so he can focus in on that."

White can't take all the blame for his 21 catches, 193 yards and zero scores through 48 possible games. He's only suited up for five. Whether it's bad luck or bad bone density, White hasn't had a legitimate chance to prove, on the field, that he belongs.

Nagy's looking forward, not backward, when it comes to 2015's seventh pick overall.

"That's gone, that's in the past," Nagy said of White's first three years. "This kid has a new future with us."

White won't be handed a job, however.

"He's gotta work for it, he's gotta put in the time and effort to do it," Nagy said. "But he will do that, he's been doing it. He's a great weapon, he's worked really hard. He has great size, good speed. We just want him to play football and not worry about anything else."