Signing Mike Glennon widens 'best player available' option for Bears draft

Signing Mike Glennon widens 'best player available' option for Bears draft

By signing former Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Mike Glennon, the Bears believe they have added a starter-grade quarterback to the roster. But the signing does not preclude the Bears from drafting a quarterback, and it does keep wide open the preferred draft option of “best player available” rather than drafting first for need.
With the starting-quarterback situation addressed, the Bears have the luxury of using a mid-round selection on a quarterback, the range where the Dallas Cowboys found Dak Prescott, the Seattle Seahawks found Russell Wilson and Washington found Kirk Cousins.

[MORE: Plenty of implications for Bears after signing of Mike Glennon]
Evaluations and projections of the 2017 quarterback class have been less than enthusiastic, although the only meaningful evaluation will play out in late April. Beyond the top four of Notre Dame's DeShone Kizer, Texas Tech's Pat Mahomes, North Carolina's Mitchell Trubisky and Clemson's Deshaun Watson, a few quarterbacks could go after round one or early in round two (based on rankings via CBS Sports):
Brad Kaaya (Miami, 3rd round)
Nathan Peterman (Pitt, 4th round)
Davis Webb (Cal, 4th-5th round)
Jerod Evans (Virginia Tech, 5th-6th round)
Chad Kelly (Ole Miss, 7th round)

The Bears also could target the 2018 draft class, which may be headlined by USC's Sam Darnold and UCLA's Josh Rosen. But regardless of the Glennon signing and the 2018 options, the Bears are not expected to emerge from a third straight draft without a quarterback.

John Mullin contributed.

NFL will reportedly cut 2020 preseason in half; will drop Weeks 1 and 4

NFL will reportedly cut 2020 preseason in half; will drop Weeks 1 and 4

It's long been rumored, but on Wednesday things became a bit more official: the NFL will reportedly cut the 2020 preseason in half: 

Shortening the preseason has been a topic of conversation around the league for a while now, but a new urgency has been attached to the idea because of the ongoing the COVID-19 pandemic. As states continue struggling with rising infection rates, beginning the season on time looks more and more unlikely. The NFL has already altered their season schedule to accomodate for a delayed start or early-season interruption. 

It's especially bad news for the Bears, who were planning on using all four preseason games to determine whether Nick Foles or Mitch Trubisky would win the starting quarterback job. Without half their preseason games (they'd lose games against Cleveland and Tennessee), things obviously become much trickier. 

Bears rookie pass rusher Trevis Gipson has talent to contribute quickly

Bears rookie pass rusher Trevis Gipson has talent to contribute quickly

In talking to various trusted football minds around the NFL recently, two common thoughts come up when discussing Bears rookie pass rusher Trevis Gipson:

1. He should have been drafted in the fourth round.
2. He was playing out of position at Tulsa.

It’s very possible that the latter impacted the former. The Bears traded up in the fifth round to draft Gipson at No. 155 overall and they’ve been very decisive with their plan for him – he’s going to be a 3-4 outside linebacker in Chicago.

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Many of the “tweener” pass rush prospects in the NFL Draft play in different fronts in college than they do when they transition to the NFL. In Gipson’s case, he played in a three-man front at Tulsa, but was used more as a five-technique on the line of scrimmage. With the Bears, he’ll be in a base 3-4 defense, but playing a different position on the edge.
You don’t have to watch a lot of tape to understand why Bears general manager Ryan Pace and defensive coordinator Chuck Pagano want to use Gipson on the edge. At 6’6 ⅜” and 261 pounds, he has an 81 ¼” wing span that can’t be taught and his lengthy frame doesn’t give him a lot of leverage when he lines up in tight spaces on the line. He’s better off using that length on the edge and, in my opinion, his best college tape came when he was lined up wide.

Realistic rookie expectations: Gipson is a bit of a project because he’s switching positions and he certainly hasn’t been helped by COVID-19 shutting down offseason practices. But the Bears aren’t asking him to start right away. They have Khalil Mack and Robert Quinn to rush the passer. Gipson has the talent to contribute as a rotational player and perhaps he can provide an occasional spark off the bench. His college production doesn’t lie. Gipson had 12 sacks and 24 tackles for loss in his final two seasons at Tulsa.

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