R & B’s Offseason Update: February

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R & B’s Offseason Update: February

Ryan Durburg

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This article was co-written by Ryan Durburg and Bobby Winebrenner.

R’s Take:

With the 2018 NFL draft in the near future and many holes that need to be filled, who will the Bears select with the 8th overall pick? GM Ryan Pace has already cleared house and made it explicit that Chicago is ready for a new brand in the upcoming season. Watching Trubisky drop back in the pocket and have to throw to practice squad receivers because all our ‘good’ receivers are hurt, was truly disappointing. Cameron Meredith has shown that he can play and Kevin White has the potential to be a solid receiver. However, two potentially solid receivers won’t make the Bears a playoff caliber team by any stretch.

That said, the answer for Chicago is clear: we need to draft a big name wide receiver who will truly have an impact on our offense. This upcoming draft class for receivers is not very deep in talent, but the obvious draft pick with number eight is Calvin Ridley. The 6’1”, 190 lb. wideout from Alabama put up some impressive numbers in an offense with a quarterback who could hardly throw. Ridley tallied 63 receptions with 967 yards and 5 touchdowns. These aren’t stats that turn too many heads, but we see a similarity to receivers like Jarvis Landry and Odell Beckham Jr. which is truly promising for a team with no receiving core. At this point in time, Ridley is a cheap option who can develop into a great receiver over time.

B’s Take:

Free Agency and the NFL Draft are both important looming events for the Chicago Bears moving forward. With numerous holes to fill, fans can’t expect to see the 1st round pick cure all our needs. In his rookie season, it was painful watching Trubisky fail to connect with his subpar receivers. It’s obvious that receiver is a gaping hole that Pace and the rest of the front office needs to fill, but at the #8spot  in the 1st round this seems to much of a reach to me.

The top receiver in this year’s class–Calvin Ridley from Alabama–should be a mid-to-late 1st rounder and the Bears would be better off taking a sure thing with their 4th straight top 10 selection. The receiver class this year is deep, so the Bears should take a wideout with a later round pick, and select an o-linemen or an edge rusher at eight. In an ideal world, either CB/FS Minkah Fitzpatrick from Alabama or OG Quenton Nelson from Notre Dame are available. If not, the Bears should trade down to a QB needy team, and get something back for their valuable pick. The Monsters of the Midway really only have 4 big holes, WR, CB, OL, and LB depth.

Free Agency and the Draft should both be enough to satisfy these needs, so Bears fans can be hopeful heading into the 2018 season. Mike Glennon and Willie Young were both released this morning along with some other players this past week, so the Bears will have plenty of cash to spend this offseason. My hope is that the Bears can work out a trade for Jarvis Landry, who was recently franchise tagged, and draft a player at one of their other holes. Then, they could opt to take another receiver late in the draft where many successful wideouts have come out. All in all, the Bears have many different paths they can take to fill their limited holes in order to make this team a competitive squad in a difficult conference.