NFC North Preview: Off-season Recap and Predictions

NFC North preview

The NFC North has been dominated by Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers for a while now. With big time players moving in-division, the NFC North could be close this year. Here’s a look at what each team did this offseason, and how I believe they will finish in this NFC North preview.

NFC North Preview

4. Chicago Bears

Key losses – RB Damien Williams, WR Jakeem Grant, P Pat O’Donnell, QB Nick Foles, WR Allen Robinson, DE Bilal Nichols, OG Alex Bars, QB Andy Dalton, OG James Daniels, CB Artie Burns, DE Akiem Hicks, OT Jason Peters, DE Khalil Mack

Key additions – HC Matt Eberflus, DT Justin Jones, DE Al-Quadin Muhammad, C Lucas Patrick, WR Byron Pringle, QB Trevor Siemian, OT Riley Reiff, OLB Nicolas Morrow, TE Ryan Griffin, WR N’Keal Harry, CB Kyler Gordon, S Jaquan Brisker, WR Velus Jones Jr.

Re-signed – S DeAndre Houston-Carson (1-year)

Extensions – LS Patrick Scales (1-year, $1.2 million)

After going 6-11 in the regular season, the Bears fired head coach Matt Nagy after four seasons. Matt Eberflus takes over after spending last season in Indianapolis as defensive coordinator. The rookie head coach will try to turn the franchise around with Justin Fields going into his second NFL season.

Fields came in looking like a rookie last season, and it didn’t help that Nagy was calling the plays, as they finished 24th in total offense. They ranked even worse in points, as they were 27th in the NFL. They didn’t do much in the offseason to fill those holes, either.

We’ll have to see if Justin Fields makes the leap in with a new coach, but the offensive line won’t help. They rank in the bottom five of the league in the NFL, and could be dead last. However, David Montgomery is back with Khalil Herbert in the backfield — but I don’t expect much from them.

The last part of the offense is the receiving corps, and it is easily the worst in the NFL. Darnell Mooney is still there and still has potential, but isn’t close to a #1 wideout. Behind him they have Equanimeous St. Brown, Byron Pringle, and Velus Jones Jr. Those three have combined for 37 receptions in a combined six seasons. They can still prove to be weapons on an NFL offense, but I don’t expect it.

With Khalil Mack gone, that leaves Robert Quinn and Roquan Smith as the leaders of this defense. Quinn leads a defensive line that is one of the worst in the league, and will most likely fall lower than their ranking of 23rd against the run last season. Smith will help that cause and newly acquired Nicholas Morrow will fill in nicely next to him. It’s an, at-best, average linebacker group in the NFL.

The final part of this team is the secondary. You’re probably thinking there has to be one good part of this team. Well… there’s not. The secondary is very young with two rookies starting. One of those players is Kyler Gordon, who will be opposite of Jaylon Johnson at cornerback. They can eventually both grow to be a great duo, but are too inexperienced and young right now. Jaquan Brisker is the other rookie starting at safety alongside Eddie Jackson, who is the oldest in the secondary.

Prediction

I expect another long season for Bears fans with a new regime. I have them going 3-14, and 1-5 against the NFC North. With Nagy now gone, they will be looking to rebuild the right way.

3. Detroit Lions

Key losses – OLB Jalen Reeves-Maybin, DE Trey Flowers, DT Nick Williams

Key additions – WR DJ Chark, CB Mike Hughes, LB Chris Board, ILB Jarrad Davis, OT Kendall Lamm, S Deshon Elliott, RB Justin Jackson, DE Aidan Hutchinson, WR Jameson Williams, DE Josh Paschal, S Kerby Joseph

Re-signed – FB Jason Cabinda (2-years), K Riley Patterson (1-year), LB Alex Anzalone (1-year), S Tracy Walker (3-years), C Evan Brown (1-year), OLB Charles Harris (2-years), WR Kalif Raymond (1-year)

The first season since 2008 without Matthew Stafford went about as you’d expect for the Detroit Lions. They finished 3-13-1, earning the first overall selection in the 2022 NFL Draft. They ended up drafting twice in the top ten and are looking to start moving in the right direction this year in head coach Dan Campbell’s second season.

They’re tied to Jared Goff for a little bit longer, after ranking 22nd in total offense last season. D’Andre Swift looked solid in his second season, averaging 4.1 yards per carry and will look to improve with a top five offensive line. It’s an offensive line that includes three first round picks that Detroit nailed.

Tight end features T.J. Hockenson, who hasn’t lived up to the hype yet, but has still been a quality starter. Amon-Ra St. Brown shined towards the end of last season, and now has some quality counterparts. DJ Chark comes over from Jacksonville and will help open up the field along with rookie Jameson Williams. However, Williams is still recovering from a torn ACL, but should be ready a few weeks into the season.

The defense ranked 29th last year, but is getting a big boost from #1 overall pick Aidan Hutchinson. He joins a defensive line that has potential, but will still be a bottom-ten unit in the league. They won’t be getting a lot of help from linebackers Alex Anzalone and Chris Board, either. Both players have been unable to prove to be quality starters in this league.

The secondary will still rank towards the bottom of the league, but it will be interesting to see if cornerback Amani Oruwariye can build off a good 2021. Jeff Okudah is still coming back from an Achilles injury, so Mike Hughes will be opposite Oruwariye. The safety tandem of Tracy Walker and DeShone Elliott is average, so I wouldn’t expect too much from this defense.

Prediction

I like the direction Dan Campbell is taking this team, but they need to put some wins up this year. I believe they will, finishing the season 7-10, and 1-5 against the rest of the NFC North.

2. Minnesota Vikings

Key losses – S Xavier Woods, OLB Anthony Barr, OLB Nick Vigil, TE Tyler Conklin, C Mason Cole

Key additions – HC Kevin O’Connell, OLB Za’Darius Smith, DT Harrison Phillips, ILB Jordan Hicks, OG Chris Reed, OG Jesse Davis, TE Johnny Mundt, S Lewis Cine, CB Andrew Booth Jr., OG Ed Ingram, LB Brian Asamoah

Re-signed – CB Patrick Peterson (1-year)

Extensions – QB Kirk Cousins (1-year, $35 million)

The Vikings missed the playoffs for the second straight season, going 8-9 and finishing second in the NFC North. They fired Mike Zimmer and decided to bring in Kevin O’Connell, former Rams offensive coordinator. O’Connell will look to lead the Vikings to the playoffs, and hopefully farther.

Last year’s offense ranked 12th in the NFL, but could take a jump this year. O’Connell is bringing a Super Bowl-quality playbook to help quarterback Kirk Cousins. Cousins is also getting help from amazing offensive weapons. Dalvin Cook is back to take the load off of Cousins’ plate, looking for his fourth consecutive 1,000-yard season.

However, Cook is running behind a below-average offensive line. If Christian Darrisaw can improve off of a good 2021 as a rookie, this line can move to top 15 in the league. The receiving corps is loaded, with Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen starring. Tight end Irv Smith Jr. is looking to make a jump and open up the field for Jefferson and Thielen. It should be a top-10 offense this year with O’Connell at the helm.

The defensive side of the ball struggled last season, finishing 30th in the NFL. They got some help up front with edge rusher Za’Darius Smith and defensive tackle Harrison Phillips. It’s now a top-15 defensive line in the league. Jordan Hicks and Eric Kendricks help create a top ten linebacker corps in the league and will look to fill the lanes.

The secondary is slightly above average after adding two players in this year’s draft. Lewis Cline is one of them who could start along side Harrison Smith to create a nice safety tandem. The cornerbacks feature Patrick Peterson, who is aging, and Cameron Dantzler, who looks to shine this season. It is a much-improved secondary looking to be a top-15 group in the league.

Prediction

I believe the Vikings did well this offseason and will make it back to the playoffs this season. I have them finishing 10-7 after going 4-2 in the division. Expect a monster season from Kirk Cousins and Justin Jefferson.

1. Green Bay Packers

Key losses – C Lucas Patrick, P Corey Bojorquez, OT Billy Turner, WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling, OLB Za’Darius Smith, CB Chandon Sullivan, ILB Oren Burks, WR Davante Adams

Key additions – P Pat O’Donnell, DE Jarran Reed, WR Sammy Watkins, LB Quay Walker, DL Devonte Wyatt, WR Christian Watson, WR Romeo Doubs, OL Sean Rhyan

Re-signed – CB Rasul Douglas (3-years), Robert Tonyan Jr. (1-year), LB De’Vondre Campbell (5-years)

Extensions – CB Jaire Alexander (4-years, $84 million), QB Aaron Rodgers (3-years, $150 million), LB Preston Smith (4-years, $52 million)

The Packers ran away with the NFC North last year and earned the #1 seed in the NFC all-together. They finished 13-4, before losing in the divisional round to the San Francisco 49ers. They traded away superstar wideout Davante Adams, so we’ll see if quarterback Aaron Rodgers can win his third straight MVP without him.

The offense ranked tenth last year, and is now without its top target from a year ago. Rookie wide receivers Romeo Doubs and Christian Watson will have to step up to carry the load. Tight end Robert Tonyan is looking to shine again after a breakout season with 11 touchdowns, and could help Rodgers make the passing game top ten.

Rodgers will be protected by a top-tier offensive line. There is a minor worry at tackl,e with Elgton Jenkins still working back from an ACL tear. The running back room is phenomenal with AJ Dillon being the bruiser, and Aaron Jones being a quality dual-threat back. This offense will be scary as long as they have #12 under center.

The defense was phenomenal last season, as they ranked ninth in total defense. They lost Za’Darius Smith to the Vikings, but still bring in a great front seven. The defensive line ranks in my top five, while the linebacker unit is in the top ten. De’Vondre Campbell leads the linebackers, alongside rookie Quay Walker. The defensive line includes superstar Kenny Clark, who gets help from pass rusher Rashan Gary.

The secondary could be the biggest strength of this team. With superstar Jaire Alexander, they have lockdown ability along with a top-flight safety tandem in Darnell Savage and Adrian Amos. This defense should be elite this season, as they don’t have a major weakness.

Prediction

The Packers have the back-to-back MVP, so I don’t expect them to lose this division. I have them finishing 12-5, and 6-0 against the NFC North. Expect a superstar to emerge on that offense.

Should the Atlanta Falcons trade for Bears OT Teven Jenkins?

Photo Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

NFL Training Camp has officially started back, and with that all kinds of rumors and stories have already started. One of the more recent rumors is that the Bears are already looking to move on from the second year offensive tackle who they drafted from Oklahoma State in 2021. As of now, there are no rumors of teams who have been in contact with the Bears. However, there is one team that should absolutely be in on the former second round pick, Teven Jenkins: the Atlanta Falcons.

Falcons Offensive Line Woes

The Falcons offensive line was ranked 27th by PFF after the 2021 season and could benefit from potential reinforcements along the offensive line. One of the weakest aspects of the offensive line for the Falcons is right tackle, where fourth-year veteran and former first round pick Kaleb McGary has yet to establish himself as anything more than a stop-gap solution with the Falcons declining McGary’s fifth-year option.

Photo Credit: https://www.atlantafalcons.com/

To add fuel to the fire, McGary’s PFF grade was a 62.8 in 2021 while giving up 9 sacks over 986 snaps played. McGary graded out with a 50.6 PFF grade in the pass blocking category which was below average. However, he scored a 72.2 PFF grade in the run blocking category, which adds a little worth.

Teven Jenkins Could Help the Falcons…Eventually

On the other side, Teven Jenkins was a fan favorite of many in the NFL draft community for the 2021 draft, but has struggled to live up to the hype that he had. His rookie season was hampered heavily by a back injury that included a surgery which caused him to miss most of his rookie season. Even when the rookie could get on the field, the Bears chose to play him at left tackle as opposed to his normal right tackle position.

Jenkins did not fair much better than McGary in terms of PFF grades with Jenkins scoring a 47.5 during his limited 160 snaps played, with 2 sacks allowed. Which is much worse than McGary, but one thing that impacts Jenkins market is that he would be under team control for a longer period of time, with more potential to improve and build on those traits that teams loved when he was a prospect.

Will a Trade Happen?

Between the Falcons already showing this off-season that they aren’t afraid to pickup a reclamation project — or two — with the additions of Bryan Edwards and Rashaan Evans from Las Vegas and Tennessee; and the Bears-to-Falcons pipeline running strong this offseason with multiple additions from Chicago coming to Atlanta, it almost feels like a move that will happen. Terry Fontenot and Arthur Smith are attempting to reload the Falcons roster while maintaining the ability to stay competitive. Teven Jenkins could be a good step in that direction for the Falcons.

What do you think Falcons fans? Should the dirty birds attempt to trade for the Bears potential draft bust? Let us know @falcons_atb on Twitter!

Ranking All 13 NFL Alternate Helmets

This season, the NFL has allowed teams to have more than one colored helmet to wear. The rule change saw 13 NFL franchises introduce new helmets for their alternate uniforms.

Before I begin, I want to clarify what I ranked these helmets based on. There were three factors that went into my ranking: 1. Does the helmet itself look good? 2. Does the helmet fit with the rest of the uniform? 3. Could the team have done more with the helmet? With that in mind, here is my ranking for these new helmets.

The New NFL Alternate Helmets: 13-6

Chicago Bears alternate helmet for the 2022 NFL season
Photo Credit: Jacob Funk/Chicago Bears

13. Chicago Bears

I attend a school that wears orange helmets with its orange uniforms. It doesn’t work too well. Same thing goes for the Bears. The traditional navy helmet works so much better with any of Chicago’s jerseys, especially its orange one. This alternate helmet is a miss for one of the NFL’s most iconic teams.

12. Arizona Cardinals

The Cardinals messed up big time with their new helmets. Arizona plans to wear these with its color rush uniforms. The red pops out with the black real well with those, so why not do the same with the helmets? If these had a red face mask, this could’ve been one of the better helmets. But instead, they go with a bland, black design.

11. Washington Commanders

I’m glad that Washington didn’t leave the “numbers on the helmet” look behind when it rebranded. However, the execution this time around feels poor. The “W” in the front doesn’t sit well. Maybe a stripe, like the Commanders’ primary helmets, would’ve been better. This helmet isn’t bad by any means, but ten other teams did a better job than Washington.

10. Carolina Panthers

This one might have to grow on me a bit. I like the all black concept the Panthers created, but this helmet feels almost too dark. From the photos, it’s difficult to see the Panthers logo. The colors mesh well together, but nothing pops out to the eye.

9. Houston Texans

The helmet itself is one of the best that have been introduced. What’s upsetting is the Texans plan to wear these with their red uniforms, according to gridiron-uniforms.com. These would look significantly better with their blue-with-red-lettering color rush jerseys. The all-red look Houston plans to wear doesn’t sit with me well.

8. New Orleans Saints

The Saints introduced a new look this offseason, and it’s not bad. The fleur-de-lis down the middle helps this helmet represents New Orleans well, and black and gold go together like bread and butter. However, nothing about this helmet stands out; it’s a bit bland. Maybe a gold face mask would help?

7. New York Jets

Now we’re getting to the helmets I really like. The Jets’ nailed this one. New York’s black uniforms look even better with this helmet. The green on the logo and face mask (take note, Cardinals) pop out and give the uniform more vibrance.

6. Philadelphia Eagles

The Eagles kept their helmet change simple, and I’m all for it. They switched from an already-fresh midnight green and black look to a more fitting all black uniform. A slight change for the better.

NFL Alternate Helmets: The Top 5

Dallas Cowboys bring back the alternate uniforms and helmets for 2022
Photo Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

5. Dallas Cowboys

The Thanksgiving uniforms worn in the late 2000s and early 2010s are iconic. Dallas finally gets the chance to bring them back this year. The simplicity of the helmet gives the Cowboys an old school look, something that somewhat resembles a cowboy. The white pops out with the rest of the uniform, and I love it.

4. New York Giants

The Giants’ white throwback uniform has been a staple amongst fans for a few years now. It’s about time they brought the blue back. The darker shade of blue on the helmet gives the uniform a more classic look. On top of that, the “GIANTS” along the side is significantly better than the block “NY”. A perfect helmet for a classic uniform.

3. New England Patriots

The Pat Patriot look is back! The red, white, and blue look has long been one of the best looks in football. The white stands out with the red jersey really well, giving New England a patriotic look. As someone who watched many Patriots games growing up, I’m so happy to see these back in action.

2. Cincinnati Bengals

Finally. Ever since the Bengals introduced their all-white uniforms, fans have been screaming for the Bengals to wear while helmets. Everyone’s wish came true, and this looks so clean. The new helmets put these uniforms in the conversation for the best in the NFL.

1. Atlanta Falcons

When the Falcons got new uniforms in 2020, I was disappointed they went with black helmets instead of red. Now you see why. The red and black look with a sliver of gold bring back ’80s nostalgia, a more authentic throwback, and one of the cleanest looks in the NFL. It’s about time Atlanta brought these back. These are, without a doubt, the best of the NFL alternate helmets

The Chicago Bears Rebuild is Sabotaging Justin Fields

Justin Fields staring, like he's seen the plans for the Chicago Bears rebuild
Jon Durr-USA TODAY Sports

In the modern NFL, the plan is to build around a quarterback under his rookie contract, then figure out the rest later. The Chicago Bears rebuild, on the other hand, seems to be one where they’re playing checkers with chess pieces.

While team construction can take many paths, the one Chicago has taken makes no sense. Instead of taking their young quarterback and nurturing him, the Bears are making Justin Fields play out his career on hard mode.

Ah, you say Chicago’s offensive line was the worst in the NFL, and that Fields needs interior protection? Fear not, for the Bears have drafted tackles high up, and taken two developmental guard prospects in the later rounds of this year’s NFL draft

Fields needs a receiver room that can bail him out and make plays downfield, then. Of course, the Bears have had all their receivers leave except for Darnell Mooney, and have drafted a college WR2 as their top receiver pick.

But, what about giving Justin Fields an offensive head coach? Oh, they hired Colts defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus? Darn.

In many ways, this team is worse off than they were last year.

The offensive line (still) does not exist

Bears quarterbacks in 2021 were sacked on 9.7 percent of their dropbacks, which was the worst in the league. Anyone who watched a Bears game last year will tell you that Justin Fields had no room to throw, and was often scrambling for his life.

The best lineman on the entire roster was James Daniels, who has had to play musical chairs with his position. Joining him as the team’s best lineman was Jason Peters. Sure, he’ll be in the Hall of Fame, but even the Bears didn’t see fit to bring back a 40-year-old tackle for 2022.

It goes downhill from there, though. Cody Whitehair’s 66.2 PFF grade is a highlight. Teven Jenkins – who had a PFF grade of 47.5 last season – may be starting for this year in 2022.

Jenkins position has come about due to the departures on the line of scrimmage. Daniels is now a Steeler, while Germain Ifedi and Elijah Wilkinson left for Atlanta.

The Bears have attempted to bolster their interior, somewhat. Signing Lucas Patrick from Green Bay should help, but Patrick only posted a 57.2 PFF grade in 2021.

But, in the draft, they focused on grabbing tackles and developmental prospects. Their first offensive line pick was not until the fifth round, where they grabbed tackle Braxton Jones from Southern Utah. They didn’t grab an interior line prospect until the sixth round, which boggles the mind.

The 2022 line still has at least one starting position open, if not two. At left tackle and at guard, the starter has yet to be determined. It is wonderous, however, that this line has ended up worse than last year’s, especially at a time critical to Justin Fields’ development.

What receivers?

As bad as the offensive line situation is, the wide receiver room is worse.

Darnell Mooney is still with the Bears, but that’s about all one can say. Allen Robinson has gone off to be with the Rams. Damiere Byrd and Marquise Goodwin have left for Atlanta and Seattle, respectively. Return specialist Jakeem Grant has left for Cleveland.

With what little talent there was now out the door, Chicago needed receivers bad. Unfortunately, despite having the fifth most cap space in the NFL, they were only able to sign Byron Pringle from Kansas City, as well as Equanimeous St. Brown from Green Bay. Pringle should make a solid addition, but St. Brown had less than 100 yards receiving last year for Green Bay.

As bad as free agency was for the Bears, the draft ended up being worse. They only grabbed one receiver; Velus Jones Jr. out of Tennessee. Jones, however, was not even the top receiver for the Vols, and is also coming into the NFL as a 25-year-old rookie.

The only real bright spot is that Cole Kmet is a solid checkdown target at tight end, but that’s about it. Mostly, though, the receiver situation is barren.

2022’s receiving corps looks like it’ll be Brown, followed by Pringle, with St. Brown and Jones Jr. being targets in the slot. That’s a very bad situation to be in, especially for a second-year quarterback who is already far too antsy to run out of the pocket.

Hiring Matt Eberflus is also a huge question mark

It is a truism that all teams will hire the exact opposite guy that they just fired.

For the Bears, it was no different. Matt Nagy came in with experience as an offensive guy. When Nagy was fired, Chicago hired Matt Eberflus, who was the Colts defensive coordinator.

Eberflus is considered to be a good player manager, but his hiring is becoming a big problem for Justin Fields already, given his focus on defense. In an NFL confidential article for The Athletic, one evaluator stated “they want to get back to old-school Chicago football where they play great defense and good-enough offense.” Although that evaluator would say he was okay with their rebuild, it’s hard to argue that Fields development isn’t going to be hampered by it.

Indeed, if the coach is favoring his side of the ball more in hopes of a long-term rebuild, then that coach will be in for a rude awakening. We are living in a post-defense-wins-championships world. Any team that deviates from going offense-first is going to find themselves lagging behind real fast.

Justin Fields already suffers from mechanical issues that hamper his game. How is he supposed to work on those when the entire plan is to rely on his scrambling ability?

All these problems sum up to a Chicago Bears rebuild gone awry, and it’s too bad for Fields that he has to languish on this team.

Chicago Bears Offseason Guide: Three Moves For Ryan Poles To Make

Chicago Bears Off-Season
Image via Anthony Vazquez//Sun-Times

The Chicago Bears finally have new management. With the Ryan Poles and Matt Eberflus era ready to begin, no one knows how they will approach this team. Let’s take a look at three offseason moves the Chicago Bears could make.

1.) Bring In A Veteran Wide Receiver

Darnell Mooney should be a perfect partner for Justin Fields. Mooney’s deep threat ability is impressive and Justin Fields throws the best deep ball Chicago has seen since Jay Cutler. However, this offense needs more than one good weapon.

Allen Robinson is coming off of a brutal 2021 season. Some are pointing out that Matt Nagy iced him out of the offense because of a contract dispute. Others are just saying Robinson is washed up and this is the start of his decline. Either way, Allen Robinson will most likely not be back in 2022. Chicago needs new weapons on offense.

Bringing in a guy like Brandin Cooks could be the perfect solution. Cooks has had over 1,000 receiving yards in six of his last seven seasons. At 28 years old, he still has plenty of juice left in his game as well.

He’s a guy who Chicago would have to eat a lot of money for, but could provide a huge boost to this offense as well as help Justin Fields in his development. His 16 million dollar cap hit isn’t appealing, but Houston could look to trade him for nothing or even give up a draft pick to get him off of their books.

Chicago has 25 million dollars in salary cap space without making any cap saving moves heading into the 2022 off-season. If Ryan Poles wants to surround Justin Fields with talent in 2022, adding a proven veteran playmaker like Cooks would be a good under-the-radar move while gaining a late-round draft pick.

Another possibility is that Brandin Cooks becomes a cap-casualty in Houston and Chicago is able to sign him as a free agent at a much lower salary.

Projected Trade Compensation:

  • Chicago receives: Brandon Cooks, 2022 6th round (183rd overall) draft pick, 2022 6th round (206th overall) draft pick
  • Houston receives: 2022 6th round (185th overall) draft pick

2.) Trade Back From Pick #39

Ryan Poles inherited a less-than-ideal situation from former general manager Ryan Pace. With only five draft picks in 2022 and an aging roster. Chicago needs an injection of youth and talent.

The NFL draft is often times called a “crap shoot” because of how unpredictable it is. Players drafted in the top 50 picks sometimes ‘bust’, players drafted outside of the top 50 sometimes hit. It’s common sense, but taking as many “dart-throws” as possible could be a good way of adding talent without a first round draft pick.

To gain extra picks, Chicago is going to have to trade back from #39 overall. At the top of the second round is where we often see the most trades of the draft. With teams having a night to reassess and reconstruct draft boards, there’s a great chance teams will be calling for that pick.

If Chicago could trade back with a contender trying to win-now, they might be able to add a few extra draft picks in 2022 in the process.

A potential trade with the Los Angeles Chargers could make some sense. Brandon Staley and the Chargers are fighting to make the playoffs in a tough AFC conference.

Los Angeles has eleven draft picks in the upcoming draft. Trading away a few late round picks while jumping up ten spots in the draft could be beneficial for both sides. The Chicago Bears offseason would be a major success if they pulled off a trade of this caliber, while still drafting a difference maker.

*Note: Chicago traded up from 52nd overall to 39th overall last year and gave up their 3rd round pick (83rd overall) in the process as well, a trade of this size isn’t unrealistic.

Potential Trade:

  • Chicago receives: Los Angeles Chargers 2nd round draft pick (49th overall, 4th round (119th overall), 5th round (158th overall), 6th round (195th overall), 7th round (251st overall)
  • Los Angeles receives: Chicago Bears 2nd round draft pick (39th overall)

3.) Prioritize Offense In The Draft

This is slightly more open ended for a Chicago Bears offseason move. Ryan Poles inherited Justin Fields. We assume that he likes Justin Fields and believes in him, but he did not make the choice to trade up for him and name him the next franchise quarterback.

Poles will have to find out as soon as possible if Justin Fields is the answer in Chicago. Similar to why the Bears need to bring in a veteran wide receiver, they also need to bring in young talent at offensive line and also at receiver.

Offensive Line Questions

Last season’s starting left tackle, right guard and right tackle Jason Peters, James Daniels and Germain Ifedi, respectively are all set to become a free agents. Teven Jenkins is still an unknown At left tackle. Poles has to operate as if he is the starter, but that shouldn’t hinder him from adding more talent along the offensive line.

Sam Mustifer was also below average as a starting center for Chicago last year and Poles could look to upgrade there as well.

Questions At Receiver

As mentioned above, Allen Robinson is most likely gone this offseason. Without many proven options on the roster to begin with, Chicago needs to continue to add playmakers, even if they do bring in a veteran like Brandin Cooks.

Drafting a wide receiver on day two of the draft would give Chicago a nice mix of veteran and youth talent.

A player like Chris Olave in the second round would be a perfect fit for Chicago. Although many draft analysts think me may be gone by then, Olave and Justin Fields’ chemistry from Ohio State would help both of their developments immensely.

Another option could be small-school standout, Christian Watson. Watson displayed surprising agility and route-running acumen at the Reese’s Senior Bowl last month. At 6’4” he would also add a different body-style to the receiver room as well when paired with 5’11” Darnell Mooney.

Adding two or three new pass-catchers to this offense should be a priority for Ryan Poles as he tries to distinguish if Justin Fields is a star quarterback or not.

Chicago Bears Offseason Conclusion

“There’s a heigh ceiling. It’s just putting him [Justin Fields] in a position to succeed and seeing how high that ceiling really is.”

— Ryan Poles

The Chicago Bears offseason is going to be filled with moves. The defense is aging and the offense is under-developed. However, finding out if Justin Fields can be a great quarterback will be the priority. Building an offense to cater to his strengths will be offensive coordinator Luke Getsy’s number one priority. Getting Luke Getsy all of the players he needs sounds like it will be Ryan Poles’ number one priority.


Be sure to follow us: @bears_atb and @ryanmcaloon on Twitter! Until next time, peace!