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.
Ryan Russell (DE), Purdue
6'4" | 269 lbs.
44 tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss, three sacks, one forced fumble
What scouts are saying:
"Passes the eye test at 6-4 and 275 pounds with an intriguing blend of power and burst to win at the point of attack and be effective vs. both the run and pass. He has shown clear improvement in his football awareness. Understands how to hold contain and leverage gaps vs. the run. ... Still has a lot of room to develop with his shed technique and rush sequence before NFL scouts will give their stamp of approval. Russell's rudimentary pass rush understanding shows when he doesn't win with his first step." — Dane Brugler, CBSSports.com
"Russell will frustrate NFL teams because he has many of the physical traits they covet, but he doesn't do enough with them. With just 8.5 sacks over the last three years, his production won't interest most teams, but his potential might." — Lance Zierlein, NFL.com
Fit for the Bears:
The Bears have an awful lot of names at the defensive end position, including offseason additions like Ray McDonald. But after the performance the past two seasons, are these the guys who are going to be part of the Bears' defensive turnaround? Getting to the quarterback and stopping the run haven't been strengths for the Bears the past two seasons, and the draft could be a place to upgrade. However, when it comes to Russell, it looks like he'd be strictly a depth pick or even an undrafted free agent following the completion of seven rounds this weekend.
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JJ Stankevitz, Cam Ellis and Paul Aspan are back with their training camp preview of the Bears' defense, looking at if it's fair to expect this group to take a step back without Vic Fangio (2:00) or if it's possible to repeat as the league's No. 1 defense (10:00). Plus, the guys look at which players the Bears need to improve to remain one of the NFL's best defenses (15:15), debate if Leonard Floyd can be better (20:00) and look at the future of the defense as a salary cap crunch looms after 2019 (25:00).
Listen to the full podcast here or via the embedded player below:
NFL.com recently ranked all of the league's head coaches, because the football season may end but creating content never will.
The top tier consists of all the usual suspects ... except for the guy that literally won the league's award for best coach last season.
Matt Nagy came in at 14 on this list, and not even the highest-ranked NFC North coach. The reasoning is a tad suspect; here's what they had to say:
Matt Nagy more than delivered in his first year as the Bears' head coach, taking Chicago to the postseason for the first time since the 2010 season. What's interesting about Nagy is that his side of the ball is offense, and prior to getting hired by the Bears, he was known for his work with quarterbacks in Kansas City. Yet, it was Vic Fangio's defense that did most of the heavy lifting to get Chicago to the playoffs. A head coach does much more than run one side of the ball, though. In fact, some of them don't do that at all. They run the office, in some respects. Nagy clearly set a tone in the building, so to speak, which should not be taken lightly. Nor should Nagy's work with Mitch Trubisky, who showed improvement from Year 1 to Year 2. Why is Reich ahead of Rivera but not Nagy? Well, Nagy has yet to achieve postseason success and had stronger personnel than Reich did in 2018.
Is this fair? Probably not! But is this important? Definitely not! Still - give your incumbent COY some more love, NFL. Club Dub! Yelling boom! The visors!