Been running around and have to keep running around so I can't stick around to chat on all this fun but felt like dropping in some thoughts on the draft.
I was throwing shade at Roquan before the draft because the one video analysis I'd watched on him showed him getting washed out on a bunch of plays and portrayed him as having the inability to play ILB. Welll apparently the guy who coached Patrick Willis thinks differently, so I'm gonna go with him over internet guy for this round.
I really just wanted to beef up the linebacking corp and get some pass rush going. Roquan seems to be really good at blitzing, with good timing and aggression to get around blockers and then good closing speed to finish it off. Excited to see him blitz. But then there's this thing I keep reading about how the NFL has changed and you need fast linebackers who can stay with an array of guys in pass coverage. This seems accurate to me.
We've been hearing for years that nickle is the new base package. So it makes sense to me that you'd want great athletes who can cover so they can stay on the field. Not many linebackers are going to be Urlacher size but still be able to cover like that, so you get a guy who is undersized and fast. As long as he can make it to the play and get the guy on the ground I'm good. And it's not like he's getting trucked by big backs or anything. From what I recall, even Urlacher had a bad wrap for a long time for not being able to handle o-linemen. That's why they went and got the beef to keep him clean.
Which leads me to being happy that they added another big body to the line. Obviously, they're going all in with light, athletic guys at ILB and even at OLB with Floyd. So make sure to get as many quality big guys in that D-line mix as possible to try and keep those guys clean. I personally love this idea. It really is a passing league now, so get a bunch of light quick linebackers who can cover and blitz. Maybe they get pushed around a little in the run game, but honestly? If you want to try to win the game by running up the middle on us in today's NFL go ahead and try.
This Bears offense isn't going to be one you can try and beat with 20 points or something. They're going to be scoring points and you are generally going to have to throw to keep up. So I'd just as soon build the whole defense on speed and cover ability. But again, love the idea of adding beef to the D-line. Quantity and quality there is going to be what stops teams from running straight at these tiny ILB we've got.
Then to the second round. I don't get people getting worked up over this trade. Anthony Miller seems like a very highly regarded player at a position of need for this year. The Patriots can afford to play around with waiting until next year to take their second round pick because they're already guaranteed a playoff spot this coming year. The Bears are trying to get into the playoffs this year for the first time in forever. They're trying to develop their second year QB and get a new offense to gel and also provide insurance to their injury prone receiving corps. And they're trying to do it with quality.
They wanted the impact LB in the first round, who is virtually universally regarded as a good pick, they needed to address interior line with a high pick and then they saw a guy they really liked at a position of need. Boom, done. Move next year's second and figure it out later.
I really like this guy though. He fills such a key need at slot guy who is a great route runner with great hands and knows how to get open. NFL.com Kendall Wright on him which is fine but he looks wayyyyy better than that. Based on that letter he wrote to the GMs, he's clearly motivated to become a high quality player. He cites Steve Smith a bunch of times, which is cool to me because Smith was a very hard worker who never took plays off and was consistently improving. But when I watch his tape I see him in the Marvin Harrison/Isaac Bruce. I won't say how far down that spectrum he can be, of course. I tried to watch his routes and his double moves, but I think my WR evaluation card is revoked for the time being after the Tanner Gentry debacle of 2017.
He really is getting a lot of love though, and his hands look very good in his highlights. And as he notes in that letter he does seem to always be wide open in those highlights, albeit against lesser competition. Love that he's one of these guys who has had to work for it though, and that he's in the mold of a slot receiver/route runner. Should translate quicker than the Tanner Gentry "go deep and jump" mold.
Then you've got the center. He seems highly rated everywhere. Pace is clearly using the Saints model of spending assets to firm up the interior line and then fill in at tackle. Which I think is great because Trubisky seems good at avoiding the outside rushers but he should be a lot better off if the interior line holding up. I wanted Landry, but he dropped a full round from where he was projected so clearly there's something I don't know. He's not a perfect prospect, given his size, so if they wanted to firm up the interior line and wait for an edge prospect they really like I'm going to put this one on "Fangio is in the room and they passed."
The ILB for the fourth round I'm going on trusting Pace. He's got a pretty good track record with drafting in the 4th round. His first draft he used the 4th/5th round on project secondary guys and none of them worked, but that was a long time ago with Emery's scouts. I'm interested to see if he plays alongside Smith long term or if they have a different plan, because together they are some pretty small guys. I've read where the in Fangio's defense they've got a Mike LB who takes on the o-line a bit more and a Joker (or Jack?) LB who is free to run around more. I'm guessing that to start it's going to be Travathan in that Mike role. Interested to see what happens at whatever point Travathan moves on, because the 4th seems pretty high to take a guy who you'd view as a career backup.
I'm interested to see if they move Kwit to edge. I'm hoping so, because they need rotation players there and I'd like to see how he can do. I'd guess they bring back Houston now. Then next year hopefully it'll be a great draft for edge and they can get a guy they really like.
And lastly, this team is going to be very good. I think they're making the playoffs, but I think this offseason has solidified that they will be competing for it at least. Pace is kicking ass right now. Anyone who doesn't see it now will see it this coming year. And Kyle, good on you for being out ahead of this train with the positivity. Good times are coming.
Last edited by Thrilho
on Sat Apr 28, 2018 7:50 pm, edited 2 times in total.