Jenkins has so much to prove, Mooney’s footage props, 2019 draft mistakes and more bear balls
The MLB Draft is TONIGHT. And while it doesn’t possess the gravity that its NFL counterpart does, there are a slew of players and teams whose trajectories will change as the dust settles. Please make good choices. Unless you are the cardinals. Do the exact opposite. Thanks in advance.
- There are just 11 days left until the Bears open Halas Hall to fans for the first open practice of training camp of the summer. I want to have my eyes on the usual suspects – Justin Fields, Darnell Mooney, Cole Kmet, Roquan Smith and the like. But there’s no positional group I’m looking forward to following more than my offensive line. In particular, Teven Jenkins:
- As Jacob Infante pointed out above, we don’t know where Jenkins will line up in Week 1. Even still…Jenkins has everything you’d expect from a starting offensive lineman. The combination of size, strength, and skill should give him an edge over others who don’t have these tools. Also, because Jenkins is playing with some upside (as seen above), it will be easy for fans to root for him. But at the game stage, everyone fighting for an O-line spot is working with a clean slate. And with a new diet and plan in place, Jenkins’ prospect pedigree doesn’t hold the weight it would otherwise if Ryan Pace and Matt Nagy returned for another season. Jenkins has so much to prove (and to so many people). I hope he is up to the challenge.
- Bill Belichick is a Hall of Famer and a game changer in football circles. But this 2019 NFL Draft class is a big burger of nothing right now. ESPN’s Mike Reiss sorts out the mess following N’Keal Harry’s trade to the Bears. The Pats still have some solid contributors (RB Damien Harris, P Jake Bailey) on the roster, the big picture isn’t so pretty. Goes to show that even grown-ups have days off. In the case of the 2019 NFL Draft, Belichick and the gang had a free weekend.
- In case you were curious, the Bears’ 2019 NFL Draft class isn’t faring much better. Not only did the Bears not have a lot of draft capital to work with, but the handful of picks they made did little to bring prosperity to the Bears. David Montgomery is a solid entry-level rusher who has exceeded the expectations that usually come with third-inning picks. And he’s certainly outperformed his rookie contract so far. But fourth-round pick Riley Ridley and seventh-round pick Kerrith Whyte Jr. failed to even complete their first contracts with the Bears before being fired. Stephen Denmark, another seventh round selection, has never even made it into an NFL regular season game. The tag team of missed chances and minimal swings really did a number on the Bears’ long-term image.
- Given the Bears’ needs as a receiver, I wonder if this is the right time to note that the Bears dropped the draft of Terry McLaurin (a two-time 1,000-yard receiver who just signed a mega- extension to Washington) with this 73rd overall pick. in the 2019 NFL Draft. McLaurin went 76th, and the rest is history.
- As a reminder, having a multitude of mid-game choices can be very helpful in the team building process. And this class of 2019 is a good reminder of that. In addition to Montgomery and McLaurin, this third round included stud Steeler WR Diontae Johnson (66th), quality rushers who went to the Bills (Devin Singletary) and Pats (Damien Harris), and a strong tight end (Dawson Knox , Bills). Day 3 wasn’t too shabby either. Maxx Crosby (Raiders) and Tony Pollard (Cowboys) were in the fourth round. Hunter Renfrow (Raiders) was a fifth-round pick. Gardner Minshew II (Jaguars) was in Round 6. It’s almost like having pick volume is important in order to get the most out of your end-of-round time on draft weekend.
- Hey! Let’s not forget the UDFAs. Ben Levine (PFR) meets the highest earning players who weren’t drafted in their respective classes. There are a bunch of players who have spent at least some time with the Bears in their careers. Robbie Gould is probably the most notable to make real contributions to the team. But we should also call on Jason Peters (2021), Chase Daniel (2018-20) and Mario Addison (2011) for their glow after not hearing their names called draft weekend.
- Bears fans are expecting big things from Darnell Mooney this season. And the betting market seems to think another strong year is in the works:
- This 2018 Bears defense was #elite:
- Madden’s NFL franchise mode has been worth it for a while. I’m interested in these updates:
- I have no interest in trying to stop the Packers from running back AJ Dillon when his head is full of steam:
- Hopefully someone on the Bears *WILL* be interested in doing it when he faces the Packers in 63 days.
- Another year of Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews in Chicago would be a nice surprise for a team rebuilding the way the Blackhawks are after gutting much of their roster on NHL Draft Day:
- It’s pretty neat to see the Drew League getting some love after being one of those “if you know, you know” offers for so long:
- Here’s the Cubs’ lineup to try to avoid entering the All-Star Break on a 10-game losing streak: