I know what you’re thinking. We’re all thinking it. It’s the worst combination of four words in the human language.
Football season is over.
Let us take a moment of silence for a fantastic NFL season. Honestly one of the best seasons of the past decade that I can remember. The regular season brought us teams that no one expected to do well like the Rams and Jaguars, and gave us one of the greatest underdog victories the Super Bowl has ever had to offer.
But now that it’s all over it’s time to talk offseason moves.
As a Bears fan this post will be mostly Bears related.
First off I want to start by talking about the future of the team. I believe in Ryan Pace and I like the vision that he has put in place for this team. He knows this team is young and I like the style of offense for Trubisky to develop under.
He is a phenomenal athlete and I believe that the west coast style offense will be the best system for him to get acclimated under. It is all about quick throws and there is always a hot route in case the pocket collapses.
I also like the move of bringing in Mark Helfrich as OC. I like the RPO scheme that he specializes in and ran at Oregon. I believe it is the future of football. With Trubisky being a good athlete, teams will have to be mindful of him as a runner as well making him that much more dynamic.
I fully believe in Trubearsky and I am all in on Ryan Pace and the rebuild. I expect the Bears to make strides at contending in two years time.
They have a great young defense who finished in the top half of the league and get their DC back in Vic Fangio who I believe was one of the best moves Pace made so far this offseason. A familiar face at the coaching position is always a good thing for a young defense.
With that being said the Bears are two years away from contending if and only if they continue to make the right moves. So let’s talk about this offseason and the moves they HAVE to make.
The Bears are in a great spot in the draft sitting at 8. It’s a spot where they can do just about anything they want. They don’t need a QB so the potential for Darnold, Rosen, Allen and Mayfield aren’t even on their minds, which is a huge plus.
What I hope to see from the draft:
OG Quenton Nelson, Notre Dame — Round 1
Protecting Trubearsky (copyright pending) is going to be a KEY next season. For him to develop properly he will need to have 100% trust in his line. The Bears already have a good interior line, one of the best, with Guards Kyle Long and Josh Sitton, and Center Cody Whitehair. In 468 pass-blocking situations, Sitton only gave up 6 QB hurries. On the other hand, their Tackles this year were miserable. Bobbie Massie and Charles Leno, Jr. gave up 73 QB hurries. It is clear the Bears need to get more athletic at the Tackle position because defensive ends are only getting bigger, stronger and faster.
Quenton Nelson is a fierce blocker. Plug him in on the line and he immediately makes them better. He can pull, trap and is a good enough athlete to stop speedy pass rushers. This will be huge for the Bears because there is nothing better than a good offensive line to protect a young and inexperienced Quarterback.
If they go with the defense and Tremaine Edmunds, ILB Virginia Tech, is there, I wouldn’t be upset with that pick either. He’s a versatile athlete who can play multiple positions. Edmunds is a great pass rusher as a linebacker due to his great speed. He had 14.0 TFL for a total of -52 yards. He had a whopping 60 tackles and 49 assists this past year. Not to mention the 5.5 sacks he had this year as a linebacker. It is no wonder scouts are foaming at the mouth over this guy.
I would also be okay if a guy like Minkah Fitzpatrick, S Alabama, fell and the Bears snagged him. Minkah is a flat-out beast. I have been following Alabama football since I was probably 12 years old and Minkah has been one of the cores to the Alabama defense that has awarded him with two National Championships. In his junior year contest Fitzpatrick finished with 60 total tackles, eight of those for a loss. He corralled just one interception and had 7 pass deflections.
I have seen a lot of mock drafts, per Matt Miller and Mel Kiper Jr., that the Bears will take Calvin Ridley, WR Alabama, with the eighth pick. If this happens I will cut all ties with Pace and lose all trust in his vision. If they take Ridley in the draft they will have wasted every bit of progress they’ve made so far. There are far more needs in the draft than a wide receiver that early. There are plenty of receivers in this draft and the Bears could end up getting a steal at that position much later.
Talking about receivers, let’s shift gears toward free agency. The Bears biggest FA targets should be WR’s. There are a lot of talented proven veterans in the league that could immediately impact the Bears terrible receiving core, like Jarvis Landry, WR Miami Dolphins. The 25 year-old is my number one target. He is a guy with great hands, who will make plays for Trubisky in the 50-50 balls. He is simply put a pass catcher. Only AB and Julio Jones have caught more passes since coming in the league. He’s not a No. 1 guy, so the Bears will be able to save money on him as well. His downfall is that he is a little slow. Only a 4.77 40 guy, he lacks explosiveness and at times fails to create lots of space.
Next acquisition is Paul Richardson, WR Seattle Seahawks. Richardson is by no means a flashy guy. But he works hard. He has been a great option for Russell Wilson and is coming off a career best year where he caught SEVEN touchdowns. He started 13 games this year and caught 44 of his 80 targets for 703 yards. A really good year for him might draw his price up, but I am sure the Bears will not overspend on a guy like Richardson.
Finally, my third FA target is Jimmy Graham, TE Seattle Seahawks. I know what you’re thinking, why wouldn’t he be my number one target? A proven guy who has had great success on both the Saints and Seahawks. His production went down significantly after his trade to the Hawks but he had a great season last year corralling 57 receptions for 520 yards and 10 Touchdowns. Graham is a big body and one of the best most reliable tight ends in the league. So after hearing all this you’re probably wondering why he’s target number three. Well, he’s 31 years old and has battle injuries throughout his career. Getting Graham would be big for the Bears because of the style of Offense that Nagy runs. Look at Travis Kelce, Nagy practically made his career. The Bears already have a good young tight end in Adam Shaheen who shows lots of promise in the near future. If the Bears can get Graham on a team friendly deal he could be a great weapon for Trubisky. Shoot, I mean Trubearsky (copyright still pending) and a good person for Shaheen to learn under and split downs with.
The time is now for the Bears to make some noise. The potential in the pot is about to boil over, and this could be the year where things start to shift gears in the Windy City.