NFL Draft

Bears have two of NFL's top 25 plays of September

Bears have two of NFL's top 25 plays of September

Despite a sluggish start to the 2019 NFL season, the Bears enjoyed a successful September after finishing the month 3-1 and with momentum heading into Sunday's Week 5 game against the Oakland Raiders in London.

Much has been made about the dominance of Khalil Mack and the Bears defense over the first four games, but it's Mitch Trubisky and the Bears offense that made the cut in the league's top 25 plays of September.

Trubisky, whose season hasn't gotten off to the best start because of his below-average play and now a shoulder injury suffered against the Vikings, has two throws deemed highlight-worthy by the NFL.

The first one checks-in at No. 22: Trubisky's 36-yard touchdown strike to Taylor Gabriel in Week 3. It may have been the best throw of Trubisky's career and is certainly one of the best passes made by any quarterback in 2019. 

At No. 13 is Trubisky's clutch 25-yard throw to Allen Robinson in Week 2's victory over the Broncos that set up Eddy Pineiro's game-winning field goal as time expired.

Sure, Trubisky hasn't been great this year. But for two of his plays to make the league's top 25, in a month that he's been peppered with criticism, is pretty impressive and indicative of the upside he has. He hasn't been perfect; in fact, inconsistent is probably the right way to describe him right now. And as frustrating as that is for Bears fans, he's still a playmaker with a positive career outlook, assuming he can continue developing under Matt Nagy. 

Believe it or not, he proved that in September.

Bears land CB, OT in latest 2020 NFL mock draft

Bears land CB, OT in latest 2020 NFL mock draft

There's a lot of football left to be played in 2019. As a result, roster strengths could soon flip to weaknesses and vice versa, which makes processes like mock drafts fluid and evolving exercises.

That said, there are some pretty obvious positions of need that GM Ryan Pace will have to address sooner than later. And with two selections in the second round of the 2020 NFL draft, he'll have a chance to add quality players to an already talented team.

One position likely to be targeted this offseason is cornerback. Prince Amukamara is in Year 2 of a three-year deal and aside from 2019 sixth-round pick Duke Shelley, there isn't an obvious guy on the roster who appears ready to challenge for starting reps anytime soon.

According to the Draft Wire's latest three-round mock draft, the Bears will use their first second-round pick (from Oakland) on that cornerback with starter's upside: Stanford's Paulson Adebo.

Adebo, who's unofficially listed at 6-1 and 184 pounds, has lockdown corner potential because of his combination of above-average size and athletic ability; it's usually one or the other. He has good ball skills (registered four interceptions in 2018 and has one through four games this season) and he's a physical tackler with a 'want-to' in the run game. Cornerbacks with a well-rounded skill set like Adebo don't last long in the draft and if he doesn't climb into the backend of the first round, this could be a real sweet spot for the Bears to upgrade a position that needs some youth.

As for their second pick in Round 2? The Bears snag Iowa offensive tackle Alaric Jackson.

I studied Jackson earlier this summer and came away with this impression prior to the start of the 2019 season:

"Jackson is entering his junior season and might be a prospect who opts to play a full four seasons at Iowa before turning pro. He has all the physical traits a coaching staff will want on the next level, but he’s still a little slow to react to complex stunts and blitzes. He’s a smart guy and will get better in that department, and if he makes a marked improvement in his blitz/stunt pick up, there should be little hesitation to make the jump to the NFL."

I'm not convinced Jackson will be in this year's draft pool, nor am I convinced the Bears will spend a second-round pick on an offensive tackle. Charles Leno, Jr. and Bobby Massie have the starting gigs locked up for the foreseeable future and while it's never a bad strategy to add a good offensive tackle to the roster, Chicago would be better off adding a developmental prospect later on Day 3. 

Broncos will be without 2 defensive starters vs. Bears

Broncos will be without 2 defensive starters vs. Bears

The Denver Broncos will be without two defensive starters against the Bears Sunday, as CB Bryce Callahan and ILB Todd Davis are both inactive for Week 2's game.

Callahan played his first four seasons with the Bears and emerged as a key contributor on one of the NFL's best defenses over the last two seasons. He signed a three-year, $21 million contract with the Broncos in the offseason. His Denver debut will have to wait another week.

Davis has started 45 games over the last three seasons for the Broncos, including all 16 last year. He totaled 114 tackles and six tackles for loss in 2018.

Both injuries will help Mitch Trubisky and the Bears offense recover from Week 1's anemic performance against the Packers. 

Kickoff is scheduled for 3:25 p.m. CT. 

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