Bears

NFL Draft Profile: Michigan OLB Jake Ryan

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NFL Draft Profile: Michigan OLB Jake Ryan

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.

Jake Ryan (OLB), Michigan

6’2” | 240 lbs.

2014 stats:

112 tackles, 14 tackles for loss, two sacks, one interception, two forced fumbles

Projection:

5th round

What scouts are saying:

"A two-year captain and the 2014 Michigan team MVP, Ryan is a self-made prospect who eats, drinks and breathes football, and while he has some athletic limitations, he is the type of player who will make his coach smile and cry when describing how important he is to the team. After a standout sophomore season, Ryan battled through an injury-plagued junior year and looked lost at times when he moved inside as a senior. He has a great feel for the game with natural instincts to close on the action, but the farther from the ball, the less comfortable he feels. Ryan competes with an overachieving attitude and is the type of player who will outplay his draft slot — projects best on the outside where he can blitz, leverage the field and use his strengths." — CBSSports.com

"Good-sized frame for the position with adequate length. Terrific play speed with a motor that is always revving — high-effort player. Finds the quickest route from A-to-B with excellent pursuit skills, seeing plays develop before it happens with read/react awareness. Anticipates well as a run defender to blow up run lanes and blocks, sacrificing himself for the greater good. Sets the edge and understands field leverage with NFL take-on strength to give blockers a handful at the point of attack. Processes information quickly with decisive movements to cover a large area. High football intelligence and an assignment-sound player. Good timing as a blitzer, doing a nice job playing on the other side of the line of scrimmage. Top-shelf competitor and often has the dirtiest jersey on the field." — Dane Brugler, CBSSports.com

"He's got the size, physicality and commitment to film work to play inside, but his instincts still need work. Ryan is a little stiff and stays blocked for too long, but his disengagement from blocks will improve with more reps inside. Faster than quick, he is scheme versatile and can fit inside or at the SAM linebacker spot in a 4-3. Ryan's productivity comes from toughness, play demeanor and physical tools. Teams could pigeonhole him as a 'try-hard' linebacker, but they shouldn't." — Lance Zierlein, NFL.com

Fit for the Bears:

There's no doubt that the Bears need to improve at the linebacker position after the past two seasons, and that's what new general manager Ryan Pace has already tried to do this offseason with the free-agent additions of Mason Foster and Pernell McPhee. Given his later-round projection, Ryan could be a depth selection for the Bears, but surely he'd need to convince them he could play in the new 3-4 defense being installed by new defensive coordinator Vic Fangio. Ryan certainly impressed at Michigan last season, accounting for more tackles per game than all but one player in the Big Ten. And he landed himself among the top linebackers in the country in the postseason awards discussion. But the Bears already have a lot of linebacking depth on the roster, and the Bears would have to see something in Ryan to select him in a draft where they have a lot of needs to address.

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NFC North standings: Bears fall to last in division with Week 7 loss to Patriots

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USA TODAY

NFC North standings: Bears fall to last in division with Week 7 loss to Patriots

The great Ricky Bobby once said, “If you ain’t first, you’re last.” Talladega Nights hit a little too close to home for the Bears in Week 7.

They came into Sunday at 3-2 at the top of the NFC North. After a 38-31 loss to the New England Patriots, they dropped to the bottom of the division.

The Detroit Lions defeated the Miami Dolphins 32-21 to improve to 3-3, leaving them tied with the Bears in the cellar.

The Minnesota Vikings’ 37-17 victory over the New York Jets jumped them to 4-2-1 overall and first place in the division over the 3-2-1 Green Bay Packers, who were off for their bye week.

The NFC North remains the most tightly contested division in the NFL, the only one with no teams under .500 through seven weeks of the season.

The final standings may not be decided until Week 17, and the Bears have already blown the early season cushion they built for themselves while the Vikings and Packers were struggling.

The divisional action will pick up in November, and Chicago only has a pair of games left to put it all together before back-to-back-to-back games against the Lions, Vikings and Lions again.    

Under Center Podcast: Bears lose 38-31 to the Patriots

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USA TODAY

Under Center Podcast: Bears lose 38-31 to the Patriots

Matt Forte, Lance Briggs and Alex Brown join Laurence Holmes to break down the Bears 38-31 loss to the Patriots. What happened to the Bears defense over their bye week, and how did the special teams struggle so bad against New England? Plus – the guys debate Mitchell Trubisky’s decision making in the red zone and Matt weighs in on how the Bears should play his former team – the New York Jets – next week.

0:35– Special teams to blame for loss?

4:12– Where did the Bears pass rush go? 

5:27– Bad tackling followed Bears from Miami

7:25– Are the coaches to blame for the defense after the bye?

10:10– Evaluating Mitchell Trubisky’s game

11:55– Agree with Matt Nagy on Mitch’s “mental” game?

13:30– Trubisky’s red zone decision making

17:10– Are the Bears giving away games so Mitch can learn?

18:00– Bears need to run the ball more

21:04– Matt Forte scouts his former team, the New York Jets

Listen to the full podcast here or in the embedded player below.

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