Bears

NFL Draft Profile: Virginia OLB Max Valles

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NFL Draft Profile: Virginia OLB Max Valles

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.

Max Valles (OLB), Virginia

6’5” | 251 lbs.

2014 stats:

55 tackles, 12.5 TFL, 9 sacks, 1 INT, 3 FF

Projection:

4th-5th round

What scouts are saying:

"Redshirt sophomore who relies solely on his outstanding athleticism and physical tools rather than an understanding of how to play the game. If Valles can improve his football intelligence while becoming a more skilled pass rusher, then he should be able to unlock his starter's traits and become a quality NFL edge player. In the short term, Valles will require patience and might not be much of a factor in Year 1." - Lance Zierlein, NFL.com

"Extremely raw. In need of more experience and more coaching. Shows very little instinct as a defensive end or linebacker and takes longer than desired to process what he sees. Won't always pursue the ball carrier with revved motor. Florida State tight end Nick O'Leary kept him blocked all game long. Lack of instincts and feel prevents him from utilizing proper footwork and angles to attempt tackles at times. Sack total skewed. Vast majority of sacks did not come with a win against a tackle." - Lance Zierlein, NFL.com

Fit for the Bears:

The amount of linebackers on the Bears roster (especially after moving some defensive ends to 3-4 OLB) makes it hard to believe that Ryan Pace will add too much more depth at the position in the draft, unless there's an elite pass rusher available at No. 7. Valles could be an interesting option in the later rounds because of his athletic ability. But the former Cavalier is very raw and would need to take somewhat of a "redshirt" year to develop. Valles isn't completely off the Bears radar but he's a project the Bears may not want to take in the middle rounds. 

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Did Patriots owner Robert Kraft crush Bears' hope for Tom Brady?

Did Patriots owner Robert Kraft crush Bears' hope for Tom Brady?

The Bears are one of the first teams mentioned when speculation about where New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady could play in 2020. The Bears are the most quarterback-needy club that also has a chance to make a Super Bowl run with a player like Brady under center, so it's logical to assume the soon-to-be free agent will at least entertain the idea of playing home games at Soldier Field next year.

Much of what happens with Brady will come down to how the Patriots view the 42-year-old (he'll be 43 at the start of next season). If all things are equal, and New England makes him a fair offer to come back, it's likely Brady would return to the only franchise he's ever played for. And if owner Robert Kraft's recent comments are sincere, it's more than likely that he will.

RELATED: Top 30 free agents of the 2020 NFL offseason

Kraft, who was in New York City on Tuesday, was asked by TMZ reporters whether the Patriots will re-sign Brady this offseason. His response? 

"We plan to," Kraft said.

Well, there you have it, right? If the Patriots plan to re-sign Brady, then the Patriots are going to re-sign Brady; assuming, of course, you believe what Kraft is saying in January before New England's decision-makers have had enough time to assess their quarterback situation with, and maybe without, No. 12 under center.

Brady is coming off of one of his worst seasons as a pro, which is saying something considering he's been playing for two decades. His completion percentage was the lowest it's been in six years, his yardage total was the second-lowest in the last 10 years, and his 24 touchdown passes were the fewest he's thrown in a season since 2006. 

It's natural to wonder whether Father Time has finally caught up to him. Maybe, however, his down year was a result of lacking talent at wide receiver and tight end. Regardless of the reason, his 2019 campaign has called into question where he'll be in 2020.

But there are those three words Kraft said — 'we plan to' — that can't be ignored. At the very least, Bears fans can't get their hopes up. The Patriots tend to get what they want, and if they want Brady back in 2020, they'll have him.

Bears showing strong interest in Dayton TE Adam Trautman

Bears showing strong interest in Dayton TE Adam Trautman

Add Dayton tight end Adam Trautman  to the growing list of tight ends the Bears have met with at the 2020 Senior Bowl.

After confirming Purdue's Brycen Hopkins and Vanderbilt's Jared Pinkney spent time with Bears scouts (in the case of Pinkney, nearly 35 minutes), Trautman told NFL.com's Chase Goodbread that Chicago's scouts have expressed a strong interest in his skill set.

"They're interested in me," Trautman said of the Bears. "They tell me they like what they see."

RELATED: Top 30 free agents of 2020 NFL offseason

Trautman had one of the best lines of the week when he said he prefers driving opposing defenders into the ground against their will over scoring touchdowns, and at a well-built 6-foot-5, 251 pounds, he has the perfect physical makeup to project as a guy who will do that on the next level. He needs development in that area of his game (run blocker), but his 'want-to' is half the battle.

Trautman wasn't the best tight end this week, but he was far from the worst. He's been consistent, and for a team like the Bears who are searching for a tight end who can be relied on as a second-level target for whoever is playing quarterback in Matt Nagy's offense, Trautman's consistency will be viewed as a plus.

Trautman had 916 yards and 14 touchdowns for Dayton in 2019. Scouts wanted to see whether he could handle the jump in competition at the Senior Bowl, and he's answered that question with a resounding yes.

He projects as a Day 3 pick with upside to develop into a starting quality tight end.