Open Rants by Grizzly

Published at 3/30/2018
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Here is my three part 2018 pre-draft special for the Bears. Part 1 is a general discussion; Part 2 is identifying and ranking the Bears greatest needs by A) position and B) prospect. Part 3 is my Bears specific Big Board and conclusions. Unlike Walt, Charlie and others I am not a player or prospect evaluator. My vocation and avocation is writing and strategy (mostly geopolitical). I don’t watch much film; what I do is compile respected talent opinions of experts and apply my skills as a strategist. For me, mocks are fun and fit right into my wheelhouse once I have the expert’s opinions. Chicago is my hometown and the Bears my hometown team, so nope you’ll never see a poor mock for the Bears from me. Yep, it is always painful for me to make the Packers picks. Golf is actually my game and I study golf course architecture and history to improve my game (via strategy).

I am a strong believer that “Best Player Available” (BPA) is a luxury that almost NEVER trumps (small t) need in the first two rounds. Unless you are a perennial deep playoff team or a perennial bottom dweller (tanking) for draft picks, it is extremely rare for a team to take the BPA. It is a fact though that as the draft rounds deepen BPA becomes a greater factor with each round. While some might include my beloved Bears as a perennial bottom dweller, I am not one of those. I like our GM, new coach, and and many of our players. I see our glass as half full.

I have a great deal of respect for Walt and Charlie and the site (that’s you also Dennis and Team Walt’s), but it is unlikely the Bears will take a Cornerback with their top pick. The Bears have very specific needs and these will be addressed before the Bears have the luxury of taking the BPA (I’d forecast the BPA option becomes available to the Bears at the earliest on our 4th pick and not before. Cornerback is A NEED, but not one of our top three needs in the 2018 Draft. There is also the fact that this is one of the strongest and deepest DB classes in recent memory. This dynamic also works against us selecting a Cornerback in the first two rounds, because talent will be through round 4. Because the Bears currently do not have a third round pick, this makes the first two rounds even more important.

   Before we discuss what position we will be drafting, we should clearly state our number one objective should be acquiring another pick(s) in the first three rounds. To skip ahead this means, unless Nelson or Chubb falls to us we should be ready, willing and able to trade back in round one. In fact, we should have a golden opportunity to do just that. Let’s look at the first five picks to support my assertion. Starting with the QB’s It is almost certain (in my opinion) three of the first five picks will be QB’s and it is also almost certain (in my opinion) four QB’s will be selected through (and including our pick). Next let’s look at the other prospects who should not reach us: Barkley, Chubb and Nelson.

Barkley will not make it to us because Browns should take him unless they take Chubb or less likely Nelson with one of their picks. If Barkley gets past Denver, Indy will most likely take him or TB will certainly take him. Chubb might get to Indy, but again he does not get past TB whose three biggest needs happen to be DE, G and RB. Likewise Nelson should not get to us either, because Denver, Indy and TB all need him. Therefore, we have seven picks who are unlikely to reach us (three plus the four QB’s).

In the unlikely event Cleveland takes Barkley and Chubb and passes on a QB, this also works in our favor because Mayfield (or even less likely one of the Big Three) falls to us and we trade it. Another plus is that maybe (though unlikely) Fitzpatrick, James, Ward, Smith, Edmunds or Davenport goes before our pick. More likely is that Jackson becomes more valuable because of supply and demand, the less supply the greater the demand. Don’t discount Jackson in this mix as he has his fans.

Next let’s look at teams who are either looking to jump over us or as trading partners with us. Buffalo is the elephant in the room at 12. In my new mock coming out on the 2nd I have them moving to 2 (for another King’s ransom) and then NYG trading back up (from 12) with Denver for a tidy profit. In this scenario Giants get Mayfield and significant other picks. Next, we look at Miami There we have our old friend Gase, who as a QB “whisperer” certainly wants his own QB. On a side note, obviously getting the most from the closest trading partner is almost always desired and Miami is at 11. Zona is another option at 15 and the Bolts at 17 are yet another option. Then there are the “Hail Mary” teams like Steelers and Pats, but that is less desirable for us, not so much because of position, but because it eliminates the brass ring of trading back again (twice). There are also teams who could fall in lust with a non QB who might fall ahead of us. Lastly, the other positive is the Jets-Indy trade is well above standard trade value and most likely whoever Buffalo trades up with will also be above standard trade value and this dynamic sets a precedent  for an over value trade for our pick.

Part 2 will discuss and rank the Bears specific needs first by position and second by prospect.

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