Here is another of my draft previews.
As with the all previews, Various colors did not show up in transfer, so just know that in the '17 draft grid below the final sentence for each player was the part added this March.


Chicago Bears - Season Summary

John Fox was once near the top of the NFL coaching tree but as the game (and rules) evolved, Fox never adjusted. Matt Nagy was essentially a one year offensive coordinator who has now ascended to sit in one of the cherished 32 head coaching spots in the NFL. Is he ready? Chicago Bear fans hope so, as this young team on the rebuild hopes to become relevant again.

What went right: Mitchell Trubisky had only 13 collegiate starts, so his 12 rookie starts which produced 59.4% and a 7-7 ratio was a solid prep for what he hopes will be a long NFL career. The rest of the offense lagged behind, perhaps partly due to the coaching staff, but also partly due to longstanding curious draft decisions. Still, rookies Tarik Cohen on offense and DB Eddie Jackson on defense give this team some hope. The overall defense finished 10th in the NFL, and produced 42 sacks.

What went wrong: For the 2nd year in a row no defensive player had more than two interceptions. They have but 24 defensive interceptions in the past 48 games played! That is simply unacceptable. One would expect protection for a rookie QB to be an issue. Trubisky was sacked 31 times in his action. Mitchell did have a fumbling problem. Chicago is 0-12 vs. their NFC Divisional rivals the past two seasons. John Fox never made any adjustments vs. teams he played twice per season.

2017 draft recap: The Trubisky trade was quite a curveball thrown at ESPN and the NFL Network! It was a sucker punch to QB Mike Glennon. It was relief for the rest of the NFL North. Injured Eddie Jackson and small college player Jordan Morgan are the only picks that the Bears made that met my need board. Too bad Chicago didn’t host this draft!
Round Name Pos-RANK School Comments
1-2 Mitchell Trubisky QB – 2 N. Carolina Deadly accuracy but those 13 starts have me worried. Can move in pocket but did display “happy feet”. Obvious work in progress. Got his feet wet in the NFL but there’s still a long road to go.
2-45 Adam Shaheen TE – 6 Ashland Strong and productive but routes need refinement and he lunges too much while blocking. Just 19 small college starts. Upside is there! Obviously over-drafted, he had 12 catches. Yes, some upside.
4-112 Eddie Jackson Safety – 10 Alabama Leader on the field. Easily recognizes play development. Fractured leg makes projection tough. Will his speed remain? Not an intimidator. Overcame injury to demonstrate his strong recognition skill.
4-119 Tarik Cohen RB - * N Car AT&T 5’6” and under 180 pound Sproles type with strong lateral movement. Solid debut in all phases but strangely left out of game plan late.
5-147 Jordan Morgan OG - * Kutztown 3rd small college pick. Too short to stay at LT. LG best hope but he needs massive technique work. Gets lazy with hands and feet. Got the NFL’s “mysterious” injury and stashed away on IR.
Trade Tracker: The 1st trade was the doozy, as Chicago made the Trent Richardson panic move, going up one spot to get their player of choice. They recouped a few picks when they moved back nine spots to select Adam Shaheen. That of course wouldn’t have been my player of choice. They made a fair trade (117/197) to move up to select Eddie Jackson.

Early outlook for 2017 (4/5): It’s time for Chicago to play better vs. its own Divisional rivals. Chicago has a partial plus point ratio as they went 5-11 in ’17, but with just a -56 point differential. Perhaps the new staff will make a difference. Plenty of roster changes have already taken place (see below). Clearly the defense needs to force more turnovers. Offensively, I believe Trubisky’s NFL career could be similar, at least initially to that of Miami’s QB Ryan Tannehill. Both had a small number of collegiate starts before entering the NFL. Tannehill showed slow, but steady improvement early on and might have been ready to peak in ’17 but unfortunately was hurt and missed the season. Slow growth is what I expect from Trubisky as well.

FREE AGENCY ANALYSIS AND STAFF NOTES (Short Version): Chicago’s investment in Mike Glennon lasted one season. He’s out, and Chase Daniel is the new back-up QB. Trey Burton adds TE depth. Chicago is expected to lose WR Cameron Meredith (hasn’t happened as of 3/28) and did lose Kendall Wright but upgraded by adding Allen Robinson and Tyler Gabriel. LG Josh Sitton left. Only fringe starter Aaron Lynch (DL) has been added defensively, where Chicago has already lost DE Mitch Unrein, LB’s Willie Young, Pernell McPhee and two others at this position, and back-up DB’s Marcus Cooper and Quintin Demps. These are mostly replaceable pieces, but defensive depth is for now a bit low. As noted, Matt Nagy is the new Head Coach. In a curious hire, Matt Helfrich was hired as the new offensive coordinator. He has ZERO NFL experience and the ex-Oregon Duck Head Coach was out of football in ’17. Vic Fangio was smartly retained as defensive coordinator.

2018 DRAFT NEEDS: 2 OL, 1-2 LB’s, DL, CB/veteran safety, WR (if Meredith leaves), RB. Kyle Long is never 100% healthy and both tackles are average at best. Chicago lacks impact in the front seven defensively. I’d address DL and LB at least twice, as it wouldn’t hurt to challenge Eddie Goldman in the middle and find another edge rusher. A CB to challenge Prince Amukamara and more safety depth would make life easier vs. the pass. I love the move for Allen Robinson but with WR Kevin White still unproven the Bears would miss Cameron Meredith if he left. Tarik Cohen is valuable but not a traditional RB so I would add one in this deeper RB draft considering Howard is a bit fragile (and sometimes overused).

RECENT DRAFT HISTORY AND TENDENCIES FOR 2018: Ryan Pace took over as the GM in ‘15. His 1st draft was marred by the inability of WR Kevin White to remain healthy. His 2nd draft brought depth to the organization. The ’17 draft was all about Trubisky. Chicago has never been known for drafting in quantity but that needs to change if they are ever going to achieve and maintain long term success.
DRAFT PICK OVERVIEW: Picks in 1st 3 rounds: 8, 39. Chicago has seven picks, with two in the 4th thanks to a trade last year with Arizona.

ROUND ONE PREVIEW: Coming 4/25.

REST OF THE DRAFT: Coming 4/25.