Bears

NFL Draft Profile: Notre Dame WR DaVaris Daniels

davarisdanielsnfldraft041115.png

NFL Draft Profile: Notre Dame WR DaVaris Daniels

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.

DaVaris Daniels (WR), Notre Dame

6’1” | 201 lbs.

2013 stats (Daniels was suspended for 2014 due to academics)

49 receptions, 745 yards, 7 touchdowns

Projection:

4th-7th round

What scouts are saying:

"He's serviceable in most areas. Where he won (in the game I watched) was as a slot or movement receiver pre-snap, which gives him the ability to generate speed pre-snap and face less press. He is a taller receiver for that position and is not afraid to work over the middle. He also gets north and south after the catch, but nothing special about his ability to make people miss." Josh Norris, Rotoworld.com

"Daniels suspension and then dismissal over academic dishonesty will need to be looked into, but the tape shows a receiver who is still learning to run better routes and maximize his size. Daniels lacks plus athleticism or speed and missing an entire year of football puts him behind in his wide receiver studies. His production and size could get him a look but he will likely need time to sharpen his skills as a receiver before he is ready to contribute." Lance Zierlein, NFL.com
 
Fit for the Bears:

Daniels' father, Phillip, played defensive end for the Bears from 2000-2003, so even though he missed the entire 2014 season, he does have a good NFL pedigree. His 2014 suspension was related to academics, though he wouldn't delve into the specifics of the issue, handling it professionally while talking to the media at the NFL Combine and Notre Dame's pro day. There could be an opening for Daniels as a reserve receiver if the Bears take a flier on him in the later rounds of the draft, and given his steady improvement from 2012 to 2013 at Notre Dame, he could very well develop into a dependable player in the NFL. But, given his suspension, he's still an unknown having not played since December 2013.

Click here for more NFL Draft Profiles

John Fox says Bears had worst offseason in the NFL

fox-espn-515.jpg
ESPN

John Fox says Bears had worst offseason in the NFL

John Fox is now more than a year removed from his tenure with the Chicago Bears, but he still has some strong opinions about the team.

Fox, now an NFL analyst for ESPN, fired a shot at the Bears during a segment of NFL Live on Monday. Fox was among a panel asked which team had the worst offseason in the NFL. Fox chose his former employer.

"I think when you're going to play defense, you're going to lean on your takeaways to help a young offense and you don't have a kicker, a reliable kicker that you're going to need those points from after some of those turnovers," Fox said. "I think the kicking question is really big right now in Chicago and I think that might be a problem going into the season."

That is sure to earn some eyerolls from skeptical Bears fans who weren't happy with Fox's 14-34 record with the Bears.

Fox wasn't the only one to pick the Bears. Damien Woody, who won two Super Bowls with the Patriots as part of his 12-year career, actually picked the Bears before Fox.

"I think losing Vic Fangio... is huge," Woody said. "That Chicago Bears defense, it literally fueled their offense. It's the identity of the Bears and when you lose a talented defensive coordinator like that, I think there's going to be some slippage there."

 

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of the Bears.

Why 'Turbo' Taylor Gabriel fell in love with the slow-paced game of golf

9-22taylorgabriel.jpg
USA Today

Why 'Turbo' Taylor Gabriel fell in love with the slow-paced game of golf

Plenty of NFL players will use the league’s mandated five-week summer break to play a little golf as a way to relax and recharge for the grind of training camp and regular season. But you won’t find many players who take golf more seriously than Bears wide receiver Taylor Gabriel. 

Which is a little ironic on the surface, right? Gabriel’s nickname is “Turbo,” after all. 

“Yeah, that’s very weird when I think about it,” Gabriel laughed. “It’s not a sport to where you’re running and jumping, and I wouldn’t say not doing anything really athletic — it’s more mental than anything. 

“But I feel like it kind of helps me football-wise in the sense of kind of focus. Like dialing in on that swing, keeping that same swing rhythm pattern, not getting too frustrated after I just sliced a drive or go O.B. on the driver. So it’s helping me.”

Gabriel had played sporadically earlier in his life, and said his father golfs, but didn’t get hooked by the sport until last April while watching Tiger Woods win the Masters. He bought his first set of nice clubs after that remarkable weekend in Augusta and frequently posts videos of his swing to his Instagram account.  

So it’s become a serious hobby of his — “There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t practice,” he said. It’s also something he and his wife do together. 

Though he admitted his wife is a better golfer than he is. 

“She’s not trying to crush the ball, she’s not trying to do too much, but she keeps that consistent same rhythm, same swing, same follow-through every time,” Gabriel said. “Me, I might see the hole is probably 180 (yards) out, I mean, I just want to crush it on the green. And that’s when everything goes wrong.”

Still, for someone who’s only been seriously golfing for about two months, that Gabriel said he can consistently hit his drives 240 yards is rather impressive (being an exceptional athlete, certainly, has to help). But this isn’t some casual love affair with golf — it’s a legitimate way for Gabriel to take his mind off football while staying sharp mentally and doing something he’s quickly grown to genuinely enjoy doing. 

“It’s relaxing, just playing 18 holes — I’m a walker, I like walking,” Gabriel said. “Eighteen holes kind of figuring out your swing, what you did wrong, you know what I mean, just being on the golf course, relaxing, the atmosphere. But at the end of the day I’ve been doing pretty good. I’ve been hitting them pretty straight, I’ve been putting them pretty good, so I guess I’m catching on quick. 

“But every time I ask a golfer, I mean, how long did it take for you guys to get a consistent swing, they say 20 years. I mean, I got that to look forward to.”