Bears

NFL Draft Profile: Maryland WR Stefon Diggs

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NFL Draft Profile: Maryland WR Stefon Diggs

As part of our coverage leading up to the 2015 NFL Draft we will provide profiles of 200 prospects, including what the scouts around the league are saying and video interviews with each player.

Stefon Diggs (WR), Maryland

6’0” | 195 lbs.

2014 stats:

62 receptions, 792 yards, five touchdowns, 79.2 yards per game

Projection:

5th round

What scouts are saying:

"Balanced athlete with easy acceleration and strong strides to be a home-run threat whenever he touches the ball. Sharp breaks and explodes out of his cuts, mixing his gears well in his movements. Doing his best work on crossers to use his speed, hitting the crease. Creative ballcarrier and looks downfield quickly to make something happen with the ball. Loose athlete with strong cuts to be dangerous in the open field. Keeps his feet well through contact, fighting for every blade of grass. Athletic adjustment ability and ball skills to attack with his hands and not break stride. Improved field awareness, showing better spatial understanding of know where the sticks are. Special-teams impact as a return man with a 25.8 kick return average in college (57/1,472/2). Consistent production the past three seasons." — Dane Brugler, CBSSports.com

"Lacks an ideal body type with a skinny trunk and limbs and limited muscle definition. Tends to round off routes and needs to show a more diverse stem release. Not overly fluid with inconsistent vision and feel when setting up his moves as a ballcarrier. Indecisive at times and gets himself in trouble when he hesitates, searching for daylight. Undeveloped understanding of how to manipulate defenders in coverage. Adequate hands, but only average-sized catching radius. Often disinterested as a blocker, lacking polish and technique in this area. Immature tendencies with bad on-field body language at times, allowing himself to be easily frustrated and suspended one game (Nov. 2014) after making contact with an official during a pre-game skirmish. Durability concerns after battling several injuries the past two seasons, including a broken right leg (Oct. 2013) that sidelined him for the final six games of 2013 and a lacerated kidney (Nov. 2014) that ended his junior regular season." — Dane Brugler, CBSSports.com

"Doesn't possess the strength or long speed to make a living as an outside receiver, but he can be an extremely effective weapon from the slot as a pro, turning short third-down throws into first downs. Diggs can make things happen when he has the ball in his hands and could become a consistent, productive weapon for the right offensive coordinator." — Lance Zierlein, NFL.com

Fit for the Bears:

Wide receiver figures to be an area of focus for the Bears in the draft after trading Brandon Marshall away to the Jets earlier this offseason. Jay Cutler still has targets to throw to, such as Pro Bowlers Alshon Jeffery and Martellus Bennett, as well as the newly acquired Eddie Royal. But many think the Bears will target more receiving in the draft, perhaps even with the No. 7 overall pick. Diggs certainly wouldn't be an option in the first round, but if the Bears instead go the route of defense with their top pick, choosing to focus on wide receiver in the later rounds, perhaps Diggs could be an option. Most view him as a slot receiver, the same spot where Royal is expected to line up, but there's no doubting he was one of the best receivers in the Big Ten last season.

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Chicago Bears Training Camp: Veteran and rookie report dates

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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.