Ten Thoughts on Chicago’s 2016 Draft & Aftermath

| May 1st, 2016


(1) The Leonard Floyd pick will be the most heavily scrutinized moving forward but he will actually have little pressure on him in 2016. With Houston, Young and McPhee already situated at OLB, Floyd will be able to assimilate into Vic Fangio’s defense by doing what he does best: getting after the quarterback.

(2) Cody Whitehair is ready to play right now and the Bears should start him at left guard immediately. What does this mean? It means the team should follow the old offensive line maxim and play their best five. Leno. Whitehair. Slauson at center. Long. Massie.

(3) No, I’m not confident Hroniss Grasu is the future at center for the Bears. And that’s fine. You’re allowed to swing and miss in the name of athleticism. Giving him another season to develop, with Slauson at center, is probably the best thing for him.

(4) I like Pat O’Donnell. I really do. But North Dakota State’s Ben LeCompte – who accepted the Bears invite to camp – is a special player and a special kid. Don’t be surprised to see an actual competition emerge this summer. (The Bears didn’t go out and invite the best punter in the land to camp for no reason.) Read this piece on one of the best punting performances I’ve ever seen.

(5) I won’t be surprised to see Jonathan Bullard have a more productive Bears career thanFloyd and that’s not knocking Floyd. Bullard is a grinder. Staying away from all the draftspeak, Bullard just made life horrible for offensive linemen and he went up against some terrific ones in the SEC.

(6) You would sign right now for one of three defensive backs – Bush, Hall, Houston-Carson – to be a productive member of the defense.

(7) I wonder what odds Vegas will give me on Harvard tight end Ben Braunecker making the 2016 roster. Tight ends don’t exist in the college game anymore (because the college game is silly) but Braunecker fits the John Fox bill. Tough. Smart. Loves to run block.

(8) Another UFA you should read about is Villanova linebacker Don Cherry. (The story linked here does a nice job.) You’ll be rooting for this kid come Bourbonnais.

(9) Nick Kwiatkoski, with his name built for Chicago, highlighted:

(10) No QB, no problem. While I wish the Bears would have taken Branden Doughty before the draft’s end, I can’t fault them for not pulling the trigger. Signing Brian Hoyer to a one-year, $2M deal means that the two games Jay misses this season won’t be automatic losses. Hoyer isn’t any good but his teammates like him and he won’t implode.

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