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NFL Draft, Rounds Two & Three, Open Thread

| April 29th, 2022

Pick # 39

Washington, CB, Kyler Gordon

From NFL.com: “Cornerback who comes with an elite, high-performance engine but a GPS still in the process of loading. Gordon’s dynamic athletic qualities will show up in testing, but more importantly, they are all over his tape. His blend of play strength and explosive burst affects the passing game from press, off-man and zone coverages. He plays with an alpha demeanor and hitting is definitely part of his overall package. Gordon lacks polish and needs to play with better route recognition and anticipation, but if those elements click, his ball production could be near the top of the league as one of the top playmakers in the game.”


Pick #48

Penn State, S, Jaquan Brisker

From NFL.com: “Athletic safety prospect whose versatility and toughness will endear him to coaches during the evaluation process. Brisker continued to pick up elements of the defensive scheme and his play has steadily transformed from hesitant in 2019 to downright instinctive in 2021. He has the versatility to become a moving chess piece in a variety of coverages and has the size and talent to match up with both “Y” and “F” tight ends. He played with a banged-up shoulder in 2021 so his 2020 tape is a clearer indicator of his run support acumen. Brisker is an ascending talent with the NFL traits to become a long-time starter as a Day 2 draft pick.”


Pick #71

Tennessee, WR, Velus Jones Jr. 

From NFL.com: “Special-teams specialist with good size. Despite spending six seasons in college between his time at USC and Tennessee, Jones has very modest production as a wideout, but flashed potential in that area in 2021. He’s fearless with the ball in his hands after the catch and as a kick returner. He’s not a very fundamentally sound route-runner but might not need to be if teams view him as a catch-and-run specialist in the quick game underneath. Jones has a chance to ride his special teams versatility into a specialist spot on a roster.”

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Notes on “Draftable” Players Still Available from Folks Around the League

| April 29th, 2022


Historically, I don’t start thinking about the NFL Draft until the Monday of draft week. Despite the Draft Industrial Complex’s ridiculous year-to-year growth, it’s all you need. 75% of the players drafted this week will be completely irrelevant at the professional level. 10% (max) will be serious contributors. The draft requiring months-upon-months of analysis is a completely modern phenomenon. There used to be 1-2 draft gurus. The draft used to be held in the anonymity of weekend afternoons. And you know what? Teams were probably better at drafting then.

Here are a few notes I got from folks around the league regarding names available for the Bears tonight and the rest of the weekend. I don’t particularly care how the Bears approach Friday night; they need a lot of players. But I would like to see one of those picks be used on wide receiver.

  • On Andrew’s guy George Pickens: “He’s a turd. Absolute head case.”
    • A second scout on Pickens: “Watch him block. He’s going to be a very good pro.”
  • On Wood’s guy Calvin Austin: “Love him. If we didn’t have [REDACTED], we’d be all over him.”
  • On my guy Slade Bolden: “Free agent. Can’t run.”
  • On Christian Watson: “Somebody is going to take him way too high but in the second round, grab him.”
  • On Alec Pierce: “Somebody is going to take Garrett Wilson at 10 and somebody is going to take Alec Pierce at 50 and while Wilson may have a better career it won’t be a huge difference.”
  • On the quarterbacks: “Willis is not good on the whiteboard. Corral has off-field concerns.  I think Howell will be a little better than them all.”
  • On Nick Petit-Frere: “Not a lot of bad snaps, except against Michigan. Solid pro if he can get stronger.”
  • On Luke Goedeke: “Tough/nasty. More of a guard but could get you out of a game at tackle.”

And a general note on the entire draft.

DBB: Why is this draft so unpredictable?

Answer: Because there is no top tier talent. There is no Chase Young, Myles Garrett, Trevor Lawrence….when there are dominant players at QB, LT, pass rusher…we know how the top ten will shake out. There is good and some really good talent in this draft. But very few, if any, surefire blue chippers.  

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My (Somewhat Ironic) Draft Guy: Alabama WR Slade Bolden

| April 25th, 2022


Lance Zierlein.

From his draft profile on NFL.com:

Slot target who will catch and gain what is available but is unlikely to do much beyond that. Bolden has adequate quickness for the Alabama scheme but isn’t an explosive separator. He has the hands and toughness to work in the middle of the field but will see diminishing catch windows the further he gets from the line of scrimmage. He doesn’t have the speed or catch radius to help inaccurate passers and he doesn’t appear to have enough talent to shine outside of the Alabama juggernaut.


Tweet.


Video.


Thoughts.

  • Draft him. Don’t let him slide to the UFA market, where he’ll inevitably sign with the Patriots. Those late-round picks rarely yield positive results. Take a shot on a player that could be a significant contributor at the NFL level. (NFL.com’s seven-round mock has the Pats taking him in the 6th round.)
  • Cooper Kupp ran a 4.62. Bolden runs a 4.66. Their athletic profiles are THAT different? By the way, here’s what Lance Zierlein – an analyst I love – said about Kupp: “His transition to NFL-level cornerbacks will take time, but he has the ability to become an early No. 3 receiver and eventual starter.” This is not an argument that Bolden is the next Kupp. He’s likely not. But these quick-hit slot guys are a young QB’s best friend. And Justin Fields needs some friends.
  • The criticism that “he played for a juggernaut in Alabama” seems silly to me. You want to draft players that went to crappy schools instead? Bolden fought his way onto the field and produced, competing against the most gifted roster in college football. Don’t be surprised if he becomes productive on specials, knowing it’s his quickest path to the game day roster.

[Editor’s Note: My NFL scout buddy thinks Bolden is a non-prospect.]

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My Draft Guy, Volume I: Kentucky G Darian Kinnard

| April 25th, 2022


This week, DBB is trying something new. Instead of just filling your screen with mindless mock drafts, wherein we guess what teams are going to do this week, all three of our writers are going to single out a player they love, specifically for the Bears, in this draft class. (In my case, because I own the site, I’m getting two!)

Today, we start with Darian Kinnard.


Video.


Lance Zierlein.

From his draft profile on NFL.com:

Three-year starter at right tackle with a right guard projection, Kinnard possesses a frame that is very girthy but well proportioned. He’s not a bad athlete but faces limitations with lateral and recovery movements. A transition inside should allow for more advantageous positioning as both a drive blocker and in pass protection. Kinnard is an all-day mauler relying heavily upon a nasty demeanor and physical advantages to overwhelm opponents. However, he could see a substantial downturn in success rate at the pro level unless he spends more time and energy improving his hand usage, footwork and overall technique.


Tweet.

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There’s Not Much Going On. It’s Fine (and Healthier) Not to Click.

| April 15th, 2022


For 18 of the 32 NFL teams, there are 348 days without football.

And that’s just too much time.

Too much time to gallantly scroll the witless wasteland of Twitter, engaging in unwinnable debates about whether a young player might be good in the future. Too much time antagonize other fan bases on Facebook or TikTok or Reddit or OnlyFans because, you know, their team stinks and your team doesn’t. Too much time to bemoan every free agent signing, no matter how little the investment, and study every draft “prospect”, even when 95% of those prospects have no chance of being a viable professional player.

It’s not the fault of the fans. Fans love football. But do they really love football that much more now than they did when the draft was held on weekend afternoons and when free agent signings were only known because you’d read about them in the paper a day or two after they happened? An overwhelming majority of NFL fans are not even on Twitter – a fact often forgotten by those of us who seem to spend our lives on the platform.

Truth is, there is now far too much media covering the sport (and sports generally) and that media is forced to operate on a 365-day calendar. There is no vacation from the clicks business. The newspapers need you to click and they’ve learned mock drafts are click gold. The Athletic needs new subscribers: that is their entire value proposition. CHGO needs to find their foothold in the marketplace. The only way to do these things is constant engagement. The only way to successfully engage is to launch “takes” into the sports atmosphere.

And my god, EVERYBODY HAS A PODCAST. LITERALLY, EVERYBODY. Well, there is one Bears-related entity that doesn’t have a podcast: me. “The Weekend Show” was fun to produce but it was always far more of an audio variety show than an actual Bears pod. (That sometimes sums up this entire enterprise.) I’ve been asked to do a podcast a hundred times. I’ve been asked why I don’t do a podcast two hundred. My answer is simple: I don’t have that much to say. And when I have something unique that requires my voice, I do one of those Twitter audio things and get it done in two minutes. Also, I’m not that interested in the stuff that doesn’t tangibly happen on the field.

You know, those other 348 days.

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Thursday Draft Profiles: Second Round Secondary Options [VIDEOS]

| April 14th, 2022

I don’t know which of the 115,000 individuals doing mock drafts are good at it. I try to read very few. But today I am using the mock of Ryan Wilson at CBS to establish which secondary players the Bears may see as options with their two second round selections.

The Bears have picks 33 and 52. So I’ve isolated the DBs Wilson has being selected between 35th and 50th.


Pick 34: Kyler Gordon, CB, Washington


Pick 35: Lewis Cine, S, Georgia


Pick 42: Roger McCreary, CB, Auburn


Pick 48: Jalen Pitre, S, Baylor

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