This is Kyle’s debut post for Windy City Chronicle. Kyle spent four years at Indiana University in the scouting and player personnel department. We are glad to bring along his love of the game and in-depth football knowledge! -Thomas Gibbons, Owner of Windy City Chronicle.
By Kyle Raugh:
Man, it feels good to finally start sharing my opinions on the team I love with fans that feel the same way as I do. I have been a Bears/NFL fan ever since my brain started archiving memories as a child. Watching the draft with my pops turned into an obsession, one that has never faded. I’ve been in love with this game my whole life, and I don’t ever see those feelings fading. Lets keep an open mind about how our opinions can differ and bond on the fact that we all love the same team and game! I hope I live up to all of your expectations. With that being said, lets dig into what this article is all about.
There’s so much that goes into what makes up the NFL draft. Scouts are on the road 200 plus days a year, and most of that is just getting a feel for what’s going on between prospects ears and how they approach life. Diagnosing talent for these guys isn’t the hard part; it’s getting a read on them psychologically. All of these prospects have talent when it comes to the game of football, some have a lot more than others, and that’s easy to see when watching game tape. You see bust after bust every year in the draft and that’s because we don’t really know what makes these guys tick. So don’t barrage a fan base and team with how idiotic they are based off of their draft history. There’s a lot more to this than just football.
Just to save us some time, I am going to exclude Bradley Chubb and Saquan Barkley out of this article. We would be hitting the lottery if they fell to us, so in the event that it happens, run to your local gas station and buy a ticket as fast as you can.
Ill start the players off with someone who may not make it to us either and that is Quenton Nelson.
Quenton Nelson: OG, Notre Dame
Let’s start this off by saying that it’s not a sexy pick. Some fans may get frustrated because it’s a prospect you won’t see making flashy plays, but this game starts in the trenches, without investing in your OL, even the best QBs can struggle.
Nelson is elite in every category, but lacks elite foot speed to a degree. Right now, Nelson is the apple of Chicago’s eye, but you likely won’t see him visiting with Chicago pre-draft. This is only because the Bears new OL coach Harry Hiestand knows so much about him already. Nelson is the best offensive lineman to come out in years and would be a star for the Bears for years to come.
Tremaine Edmunds: LB, Virginia Tech
In my opinion, Edmunds is a top five prospect in most NFL drafts, but will be there for the Bears due to how many QB’s will go before the eighth overall pick. If you’re thinking I am crazy for being so high on this guy, you need to remember that he is only nineteen years old. Edmunds has so much room to grow and may be one of the highest upside players in this year’s draft. His rare blend on size, speed and athletic ability will make him the face of an NFL defense for years to come. If we get this guy, Brian Urlacher may be reborn into the Bears defense.
Roquan Smith: LB, Georgia.
Smith trails Edmunds in the LB category for me, but would be a nice consolation prize. Smith is a smaller LB with incredible burst thats paired with an incredible ability to read/react to the play. He’s fluid enough to cover any RB out of the backfield and can play sideline to sideline with his speed. Just like Edmunds, Smith has the ability to be the face of a defense for years to come. He may struggle when tasked to cover NFL tightends and could have trouble getting off blocks due to his size.
Denzel Ward: CB, Ohio State.
I love Ward, but I think eighth overall is a little rich. Ward is a guy who has the versatility to operate in the slot and as an outside corner. He does an incredible job of attacking the football in the air and also possesses great footwork, along with great body control. He has almost everything you want in a CB except he is lacking height, with a slight build. When taking a corner this high you expect him to have the ability to shut down another teams number one wide receiver, but I struggle to expect him to challenge guys like Julio Jones, although very few can. One reason I would be okay with this pick is due to the QB’s we face in our division. We need as many play-makers in the secondary as we can get.
There are a few players that certainly have the talent to warrant the eighth overall pick but may not fill a need for the Bears. Derwin James and Minkah Fitzpatrick both fit this bill. James is a versatile, tone setting safety that every team in the NFL dreams of. I think he operates best as a safety, but I think he could operate as a corner and linebacker as well. If the Bears are enamored with him, they could pull the trigger.
Fitzpatrick is a chess piece in the defensive backfield and can operate as the quarterback of your defense. If the Bears believe he can play CB, then they may grab him with their first pick.
Although I would not be okay with this pick, watch out for Marcus Davenport from UT-San Antonio. Ryan Pace loves physical freaks with upside so I wouldn’t be surprised if he falls in love with this kid. Davenport is a little bit of a project, so expect him to go in the late teens or twenties but don’t be surprised if a team reaches for him.
If you have not already, follow my new twitter account:@TheNFLSector and leave a comment about the article itself or articles you’d like to see in the future!