Bears Still Need a MLB Prospect

Discussion in 'Chicago Bears' started by soulman, Apr 21, 2014.

  1. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    Bears likely looking long-term at linebacker
    BY PATRICK FINLEY Staff Reporter April 20, 2014 9:01PM
    [​IMG]
    Florida State linebacker Christian Jones runs a drill at the NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis,

    WATCH LIST
    Christian Jones, Florida State, 6-3, 240
    If the Bears value versatility, Jones might be the perfect pick in the third or fourth round. Last year, he started every game at strong-side linebacker for the national champions. The year before, he started 10 on the weak side and twice in the middle Jones, who fits Phil Emery’s preference for size and athleticism, also played four years of special teams. The Bears would be happy to carve out that role for the rookie.

    Anthony Barr, UCLA, 6-5, 255:
    He spent his first two college years at running back but has been a revelation since. He’s probably an outside linebacker in a 3-4 scheme and might be gone before No. 14.

    Chris Borland, Wisconsin, 5-11, 248:
    The Big Ten defensive player of the year piles up tackles and forces fumbles, but his small arms and frame could keep him around until the second or third round, where the Bears could draft him as a middle linebacker.

    Khalil Mack, Buffalo, 6-3, 251:
    With an outstanding mid-major resume and top-tier finishes in four combine drills, Mack is nearly a can’t-miss prospect. However, he won’t be available to the Bears unless they trade up.

    C.J. Mosley, Alabama, 6-2, 234:
    The reigning Butkus Award winner “doesn’t get talked about enough,” NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah said, and he might be right. Mosley is as instinctive as they come.

    Shayne Skov, Stanford, 6-2, 245:
    Two years removed from a torn anterior cruciate ligament, Skov had 109 tackles for the Cardinal last season. He could give the Bears another option at middle linebacker starting in
    Updated: April 21, 2014 12:17AM


    Leading up to the NFL draft, which begins May 8, the Sun-Times will take a position-by-position look at the Bears’ needs and which players might be available to fill them.

    Coming off a borderline catastrophic season for their linebackers, the Bears have chosen to rebuild the unit not with new faces but with familiar ones. The team re-signed D.J. Williams, whom it expects to start at middle linebacker after he suffered a torn pectoral muscle in Week 6 last season.

    Weak-side linebacker Lance Briggs is back, too, though he will wear a harness on his left shoulder to protect it after suffering a fracture last season.

    And the Shea McClellin experiment will begin at strong-side linebacker, with the former defensive end shifting to compete with second-year player Jon Bostic for the starting job. Neither has played the position in the pros.

    Bostic and backup weak-side linebacker Khaseem Greene were among the first four players the Bears drafted last year. So why would the team consider drafting another linebacker? Think 2015.

    Briggs’ contract expires at the end of the season, and Williams is signed to a one-year deal. Even if McClellin shines as a rush-first linebacker — and that’s no guarantee — the Bears would have to be confident Bostic and Greene could start in 2015. That seems like a leap.

    Bostic was brought in to replace Brian Urlacher, but his move to the outside after one season means he’s more likely to take Lance Briggs’ place. So the Bears still need a long-term middle linebacker.

    Bostic and Greene struggled in place of Briggs and Williams last season. From Williams’ injury through the end of the year, Bostic and Greene were given only two positive game grades apiece by Pro Football Focus.
    But circumstances figure to prevent the Bears from selecting a linebacker in the first round. The team has other needs — safety and defensive tackle — that are more pressing.

    It also seems unlikely that either of the two premier linebackers in the draft — Khalil Mack of Buffalo and Anthony Barr of UCLA — will last to No. 14. Alabama’s C.J. Mosley might be available, and he’d be an ideal long-term middle linebacker. But with Williams in the fold, it’s unclear how much Mosley would play this season.

    Instead, look for the Bears to find a linebacker starting in the third round. They’ll hope he can provide depth for now and push Bostic and Greene next year, when competition for a starting job could heat up.

    Email: pfinley@suntimes.com
    Twitter: @patrickfinley
  2. riczaj01

    riczaj01 DaBears Ditka DBS Writer

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    Been saying this for awhile, the LB core that once looked really strong, at least at OLB, looks really weak w/Briggs in a shoulder sling b/c you know are 2 small steps away from Shea/Bostic/Greene as the starting LB core; w/no backups behind them, let alone quality.
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  3. Bearsinhouston

    Bearsinhouston Position Coach

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    His last sentance is the key. I don't think too many great MLB have been picked in rounds three and later though.

    Bears could be looking for long-term linebacker answers in the draft
    Posted by Mike Florio on April 20, 2014, 11:52 PM EDT
    [​IMG] Getty Images
    As the Chicago Bears attempt to fix quickly a defense that performed poorly in 2013, the franchise could be applying a longer-term view to one of the positions for which its renowned.

    Linebacker.

    As explained by Patrick Finley of the Chicago Sun-Times, the Bears may need to target a middle linebacker in 2014 with a plan to use him in 2015. For now, D.J. Williams (pictured) remains the man in the middle, with Lance Briggs still holding down the weak side and Shea McClellin getting a crack at taking over the strong side. By next year, Briggs and Williams could be gone.

    Drafted last year to be a middle linebacker, Bostic is headed to the outside this year. He’ll likely get a chance to develop into a potential replacement for Briggs. That leaves a hole behind Williams in the middle.

    Finley pegs round three as the point at which the Bears could start looking for a future middle linebacker. Plenty of factors come into play, including whether many potential middle linebackers remain after the first two rounds.
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  4. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    I almost didn't post this but changed my mind. It's a perfect example of how sportswriters write an article that makes very little sense. Maybe his boss told him a needed a column of at least 500 words or more. I don't know but I do know that all of this could have been condensed to about 100 words if this is what the writer had to say. These guys are just pure lazy.

    Look at the first sentence in the last paragraph.
    "Instead, look for the Bears to find a linebacker starting in the third round".

    So it he maintains a LB pick won't come until the 3rd round or after then pray tell why does he even mention players like Mack, Barr, and Mosely none of whom have a chance of dropping out of round one? In fact Mack and Barr probably won't even be on the board when the Bears pick.

    Wouldn't have made far more sense to include three other LBs who rank as 3rd and later picks?
  5. Bearsinhouston

    Bearsinhouston Position Coach

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    yeah, except those guys don't get anyone excited. Gotta get guys excited. Forget the facts.
  6. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    Not tons of them but there are a few who were drafted lower because of their size. That's one reason I like Borland later on. He could slip back into the 4th or even 5th round because of his measurables.

    But my point in posting this is that stooge who wrote it finishes by saying that he's looking for the Bears to address MLB in round three or after. Well then why include 3 sure 1st round picks in the summary instead of 3 more 3rd round to 5th round picks? As a summary of potential picks in those rounds this is almost useless. And these guys actually get paid for crap like this.
  7. riczaj01

    riczaj01 DaBears Ditka DBS Writer

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    BiH, it's not about getting guys that are exciting, but getting guys that can actually preform, and normally guys in the 3rd or later won't when it comes to MLB.
  8. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    Excitement, Exshimtement. If you're gonna write something informational, as this pretends to be, then use data that's applicable to what you wrote. If he worked for me I send him back to journalism school.
  9. ZifanQ

    ZifanQ Pro-Bowler

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    I would say draft MLB in the 1st round next year. This draft we need DT/Safety. MLB is a major need, but DT/Safety is bigger need imo.
  10. Bearsinhouston

    Bearsinhouston Position Coach

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    Ric - I think you misunderstood my comment. The article put in the guys name that were unreachable in the 3rd in order to get people excited. My comments were based on the motivation of the article.
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  11. Bearsinhouston

    Bearsinhouston Position Coach

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    yeah, I agreed and that was the basis of my post. Too much tongue in cheek (not in a gay way though) I guess.
  12. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    Exactly. If the author wants to be as informational as he proposes to be then include Bullough, Barrow and Smallwood or any other ILBs likely to go in the 3rd round or after not sure fire 1st round picks.

    There's at least a dozen members here who all could have written a better article than this bozo and yet he got paid to write it! It's a waste of newsprint as far as meeting it's intended purpose. And what's worse it that he probably doesn't even realize it.
  13. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    The basic point he makes is valid though. It's just the rest that sucks.

    We do need to draft or find an UDFA MLB prospect now if only for depth. He may or may not develop but it's time to put a guy in the hopper. Then we could also look for another LB next year. In fact we should probably be drafting one every year just to upgrade.

    We were incredibly lucky for years that players like Briggs, Urlacher, Hilly, and Roach missed very few games between them. During the next go round we may not be that lucky and last year, for example, we weren't.

    I don't like Bostic at all in the middle and if McClellin lands the SLB spot we still need another MLB this year to at least understudy DWill. We may not get another year out of him after this one so we'll need another MLB next year too. That guy we may draft higher.
  14. MPbears68

    MPbears68 Pro-Bowler

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    Yeah, it was a poorly written article and including top-10 pick LBs in there who the Bears have zero shot at was pretty dumb. The whole idea is to find a mid-round guy for depth. He may or may not ever become anything more than that. A guy like Skov or the MSU dude (forget his name) would be a nice pickup in the 3rd-4th IMO.
  15. riczaj01

    riczaj01 DaBears Ditka DBS Writer

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    MP yep sadly unless the S's and DT's and CB's are gone, same w/the 2nd, I don't see the team making the MLB jump in the 1st, which is where you find day 1 long term starters.
  16. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    Bullough is the MSU guy. There are a handful of mid round MLB prospects. What this draft lacks is a Luke Kuechley. That was the guy I would have loved to have gotten.
  17. MPbears68

    MPbears68 Pro-Bowler

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    Yeah, LK is a baller and the closet thing to an Urlacher type we may see for a long time. Had no shot at him but he would have been ideal.
  18. riczaj01

    riczaj01 DaBears Ditka DBS Writer

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    http://espn.go.com/blog/chicago/bears/

    Same type of article w/a better Top 5/10

    "...Five potential targets
    1. C.J. Mosley, Alabama
    2. Shayne Skov, Stanford
    3. Chris Borland, Wisconsin
    4. Preston Brown, Louisville
    5. Max Bullough, Michigan State

    The next five: 6. Avery Williamson, Kentucky; 7. Yawin Smallwood, Connecticut; 8. Khairi Fortt, California; 9. DeDe Lattimore, South Florida; 10. Glenn Carson, Penn State.
    Position grade: B"

    If the team decided to go w/Mosely or Skov in the first or 2nd round I'd be less then pleased but would understand the move.
  19. lklrlolnlilklsox

    lklrlolnlilklsox Position Coach

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    I still believe Bostic has a future as a high quality LB, but his head just wasn't there at MLB last season. He and Greene were heavily handicapped by the guys in front of them last season, so let's not sell them down the river just yet. I've been against it, but I really would like to see Shea get a strong look in the middle. LB could be right at the top of Emery's board, and it wouldn't kill me to grab Mosely. There's just so many holes for ready to play depth on D, and DT and S need immediate starters.
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  20. Bearsinhouston

    Bearsinhouston Position Coach

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    The number of holes this team has filled in FA this year and last is epic. Can you imagine how this team would do without all of last years and this years FA picks? That is exactly where we would be at right now with JA still here. He really never was very active in FA, and when he did dip into it, was rarely effective.

    Add to that the mediocre draft picks.... Just thinking about starting out where we were two years ago and then another two years of stagnating FA picks and so so drafts. I think we would be where the Vikings are. Dead last, and that is my real assessment. I honestly think we would be the worst in the division given where we were and where I think JA would have taken us.

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