Bears

NFL Draft: Top 5 tight end prospects

NFL Draft: Top 5 tight end prospects

As the 2016 NFL Draft at the Auditorium Theatre in Chicago quickly approaches, CSNChicago.com is releasing a list of the Top 5 prospects at each position leading up to Day 1 of the draft on Thursday, April 28. Next up is tight end.

1. Hunter Henry, Arkansas

6’5” | 250 lbs.

2015 stats:

51 REC, 739 YDS, 3 TD

Scouting Report:

"Where He Wins: As of now, a true role player as a receiving tight end. If a target is in his catch radius, Henry will bring it in. Will not be a complete tight end, there are very few in the NFL, but Henry needs to be at least willing and adequate as a blocker in order to stay on the field. Has been used from practically every alignment." - Josh Norris, Rotoworld.com

2. Austin Hooper, Stanford

6’4” | 254 lbs.

2015 stats:

34 REC, 438 YDS, 6 TD

Scouting Report:

"Will be labeled as a move tight end, but I see him as being more than that for teams looking for a more complete player. Hooper has a frame that should be able to carry another eight to 10 pounds without much trouble, and he shows enough want­-to as a blocker to see him playing in­line when needed. If Hooper can improve his hands and become craftier with his routes, he could become a solid, 10-­year starter in the league." - Lance Zierlein, NFL.com

3. Nick Vannett, Ohio State

6’6” | 257 lbs.

2015 stats:

19 REC, 162 YDS, 0 TD

Scouting Report:

"Vannett's combination of size and athleticism will be very attractive to teams in search of a combination tight end who can stay on the field and operate from a variety of personnel groupings and formations. Vannett will need to embrace his size and become more aggressive as a blocker, but his athleticism and pass catching ability could turn him into a safety blanket for a quarterback in need of a big, safe target." - Lance Zierlein, NFL.com

4. Tyler Higbee, Western Kentucky

6’6” | 249 lbs.

2015 stats:

38 REC, 563 YDS, 8 TD

Scouting Report:

"Knee injury basically took six games away from him this season which could cause him to fly under the radar a little bit. Higbee has exciting athleticism and speed in the open field with the ability to separate from safeties on intermediate routes and threaten the deep middle. Higbee has soft, reliable hands and plus run-­after­-catch ability to finish plays. While he needs to beef up his frame and blocking ability, there is no doubting his pass catching talent." - Lance Zierlein, NFL.com

5. Jerell Adams, South Carolina

6'5" | 247 lbs.

2015 stats:

28 REC, 421 YDS, 3 TD

Scouting Report:

"Tall and lanky for a tight end, Adams actually has better play strength than the eye­ test might indicate. Adams doesn't have the surest hands in this draft, but he is unique in that he can challenge defenses down the field and shows the potential to be helpful as a run blocker. Adams should come in as a quality backup with an "eventual starter" tag tied to him." - Lance Zierlein, NFL.com

Click here for profiles of more than 150 prospects, including a scouting report and video interviews with each player. Video analysis provided by NBC Sports and Rotoworld NFL Draft expert Josh Norris.

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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