Cleat Geeks

What the Bears did “On The Clock”

Ryan Pace was not Sunny Weaver Jr. at the NFL draft this past weekend, but he did his best impression.

nfldraft_main_042916On day two of the NFL draft, Ryan Pace traded down twice in the second round of the 2016 NFL draft, acquiring two forth round picks for this year and a 2017 4th round pick. Pace and Fox had a plan that fans were not aware of. Many people thought the Bears would use their 41st overall pick to grab a top CB/S but instead they traded down, grabbed OL Cody Whitehair from Kansas St. and stacked up picks for day three.

Many people, including myself, were angry with the second round draft choice. The Bears have already signed three offensive linemen this off-season, OL is not an immediate need for us in the draft.  But what we didn’t know made us take back our negative thoughts against the Bears draft choice.

The Bears signed Bobby Massie, Ted Lawson, and Manny Ramirez this off-season. Three experienced veteran linemen that will create competition and add depth to the O-line in Chicago. And the Bears already had three-time pro-bowler Kyle Long, Matt Slauson, and Hroniss Grasu. This pick of Cody Whitehair made no sense at the time of the selection, but it wasn’t until after the draft the fans now are applauding for Pace’s work on the phones.

Matt Slauson was recently released by the Bears due to medical concerns. Giving up only one sack last season and being a leader in the locker room, this came as a shock to everyone.  Still not knowing what medical issue he is currently dealing with, it leaves Bears fan wondering if it was really something he had to be let go for.

But now, competition at the O-line position will be more competitive than ever.  It is still in question if Kyle Long will play guard of tackle. With the signing of Bobby Massie, it was a sign that maybe Long will stay at RT and Massie will play RG. Cody Whiethair will most likely be competing for the LG spot, leaving Lawson and Ramirez to fight and claw for Culter’s blindside. Bears camp will be nothing short of entertaining to see who will protect Cutler next season.

DickButkusNFLdraftWe got a glimpse of Draft Day though in the first round from Ryan Pace. The Bears traded up to number nine with the New York Giants to get OLB Leonard Floyd. Rumor was the Giants were going to take him if he fell to them at ten but the Bears knew this was there guy. Pace and head coach John Fox talk highly of him and are excited he will be a part of their front seven, which has become extremely versatile in the past few months. Pernell McPee, Sam Acho, Ego Ferguson, Akiem Hicks, Jerrell Freeman, Danny Trevathan, and now add Floyd, Johnathan Bullard, and Nick Kwiatkoski to the mix; you have yourselves the Monsters of the Midway.

The secondary was in need of some young guys coming into draft weekend. The thought was the Bears get their pass rusher in the first round and draft a cornerback or safety in the second round. DB Vonn Bell from OSU, DB Cyrus Jones from Alabama, and DB Mackensie Alexander from Clemson were all available for the Bears to get at the forty-first overall pick. Trading down—twice defiantly caught many by surprise. But with a draft so deep in the secondary, the fourth round was when the Bears did their work in the secondary.

The Bears drafted S Deon Bush from Miami and DB Dieondre’ Hall from Northern Iowa. Not big names right… and I bet you have never heard of them until their named got called, neither did I. But after doing some research and watching some tape on these guys, the Bears found two stud athletes.DeonBush

Deon Bush, 22, finished his final season at Miami with 50 tackles, a sack, two fumble recoveries, six pass breakups and an interception. But that wasn’t even his best season. He had over 100 tackles in 2014-2015 and has a total of nine forced fumbles in his college career. A physical, downhill safety knows how to separate the ball from his opponent and isn’t afraid to make the big hit. He says it himself, “I like to put fear in my opponents…I take pride in being a big hitter, I grew up playing like that. With the release of Antel Rolle, the safety spot is up for grabs and Bush has a great chance at filling the position.

Deiondre-Hall-1The question is where to start with Dieondre’ Hall…maybe that he had six interceptions last season and two were taken for six.  Hall possesses natural talent at his position and his 28 college career pass breakups prove his tremendous break on the ball.  And for his role model, it happens to be a former Bear, Charles Tillman. “For cornerback, me personally, I’ve always loved him, is Charles Tillman,” Hall said. “Just being a ballhawk and getting that ball. That’s something that’s been huge to me throughout my time at Northern Iowa.” An instant help on special teams, Hall will definitely find his way on the field in certain packages on defense. The Bears believe this guy is the new Peanut punch and from the looks of it right now, the UNI star could be the next franchise corner.

Other picks such as RB Jordan Howard, LB Nick Kwiatkoski, and WR David Braverman, will all help on special teams but all bring something to the table. Howard can be productive right away in the red zone with his 230 pound frame. Kwiatkoski adds to our already nasty line backing core and should see time in the nickel. And heck, did the Bears find a stud in the seventh round. David Braverman is a quick, shifty WR that makes people miss. His YAC make him a special player and his 13 TDs at Western Michigan last year bring playmaking ability to the Bears.  Just watch the tape, very much like Julian Edelman.

 

Oh and the Bears signed QB Brian Hoyer to a one year deal. Some insurance at the QB position and is a for sure upgrade from past backups like Jimmy Clauson and Caleb Hanie.

It is still a long way away from game one of the Bears season and a lot of work is still to be done.  The offensive line has to be figured out, will Kyle Fuller move to S, and is Alshon Jeffery going to get his long term deal figured out. But this past weekend was a huge step forward for this organization and now with two straight impressive draft classes, the Bears are moving in the right direction.

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