The Chicago Bears are a team out of answers. The month of November has been just about as bad as it could get, going completely winless topped off by being absolutely embarrassed by a red-hot Eagles team. With an offense running in circles combined with a head coach that has lost total control of the reins, it’s fair to chock this season up as a massive failure already.
There isn’t much to proud of this season outside of the pleasant surprise of the defense and the flashes of brilliance from Mitchell Trubisky. They’re a team with potential but it’s clear that this was not the year of the Bear.
Because of this, it’s time to start looking towards the offseason. We can try to soak as much from the little happiness this flaming ball of garbage of a season is giving us but with the offseason only weeks away, it’s time to prepare for a draft that may be the key to a playoff appearance in 2018.
So in order to begin to familiarize ourselves with some of the potential Bears from this draft, here are the ten brightest prospects for Chicago.
10.Sam Hubbard, DE, Ohio State
Ohio State has a reputation for strong pass rushing defensive ends and Sam Hubbard appears to be no different. With his high upper body strength and active hands, he can absolutely get after quarterbacks, something that teams can never have enough of. The Bears could really use another disruptive end opposite of Akiem Hicks.
9.Roquan Smith, LB, Georgia
The Bears have some recent history of good linebackers out of Georgia and there’s no reason Roquan Smith can’t keep that trend going. He’s versatile, athletic in coverage and is still a very able tackler. He lacks traditional size for a linebacker but his speed and tackle in space ability is worth a first rounder, especially in an evolving league where the linebacker position is increasingly needed to cover the pass while still being able to be the primary run stoppers. Smith is the linebacker type of the future.
The Bears are a team that could very well use a talented young linebacker, as both Jerrell Freeman and Danny Trevathan simply can’t find ways to stay healthy and outside of Christian Jones, there really isn’t anything too spectacular to replace them. Smith could be the perfect fit for a Bears team void of a star linebacker.
8.Arden Key, OLB, LSU
Key is an instinctive pass rusher with versatility in bunches. He has a myriad of moves and a six foot six frame gives him all the upside in the world. He’s the prototypical edge rusher and with some refining to his awareness, could dominate at the next level. Every team could use some more firepower in the pass rush department and Key could be a great pickup on a team that lacks much edge rushing outside of Leonard Floyd.
7.Connor Williams, OT, Texas
Going into this year, most expected the Bears o-line to be pretty solid. But over midway into this season, injuries and downright horrible tackle play have hindered the Bears for much of the season. The line as a whole hasn’t been totally bad but they have been dying for tackle help for a while now and it’s time to finally pull the trigger on this.
Connor Williams has the size and quickness to succeed in pass protection and the length to contain speedy edge rushers. He’s easily the second best lineman prospect in this draft. But who’s the top prospect you may ask? Well…
6.Mike McGlinchey, OT, Notre Dame
Standing at a massive six foot eight and packing 315 pounds of superstar potential, McGlinchey has all the tools to become an elite NFL lineman. His size alone already makes him scary enough but combined with his levels of agility and fluidity creates a lethal package.
With the lack of even a decent tackle on the roster, grabbing McGlinchey if he was available would do wonders for an offense poised to explode in the coming seasons.
5. Derwin James, S, Florida State
James is an athletic monster, capable of benching 400(!) pounds and flaunting the brute strength of lineman packed in a six foot three, 211-pound defensive back. It’s breathtaking his ability to run right through offensive lineman, something he does on the regular. His coverage skills are just as impressive as his run stopping ability. He’s dynamic enough to play either safety or corner and will flourish in either position. The Bears have a secondary run dry of talent and an impact player like James is exactly what they need. He can be the number one corner if they need him too and he can be an elite safety overtop.
He’s apart of the new wave of defensive backs, those who can play any position in the secondary and even linebacker is needed at a high level. With the spread offenses dominating the college game these days and the secondary asked to do much more than they used to, James is among those who have evolved to fit the versatility needs of college secondaries. And with the NFL following suit, players like Jabrill Peppers and Jalen Ramsey are gaining more and more value every day. Every team needs a player like James in today’s league and one with so much muscle is irresistible.
4.Courtland Sutton, WR, SMU
If you couldn’t tell by simply watching any amount of the Bears offense this season, let me spell it out for you. The Bears need a wide receiver. And if the Bears can’t nab the number one prospect (whom I will speak about later), Courtland Sutton will do just fine. A big bodied receiver, he is a prime red zone threat and a danger to score every single time he’s on the field. His athletic gifts at six foot four create the potential for a top receiver.
The Bears have next to zero scoring options in the red zone or simply put, anywhere on the field. With nine touchdowns on the season, his scoring prowess is nothing to be ignored. The explosive pop he would bring to the offense would be a godsend for a rookie quarterback struggling to get the passing game rolling.
3.Bradley Chubb, DE, N.C State
Chubb is by far the best defensive lineman prospect in this draft and for good reason. He’s a meaty man with 275 pounds under his six foot four frame, athletic enough to pass rush and strong enough in run defense, a la Julius Peppers.
Leonard Floyd has blossomed into among the best young pass rushers in the game and Akiem Hicks has blown up into a Pro Bowl level defensive end, but with Pernell McPhee underachieving gravely and Willie Young often ending up on injured reserve, the Bears are a team that would love to get their hands on a new defensive weapon.
2.Minkah Fitzpatrick, CB/S, Alabama
Fitzpatrick is an athletic freak of nature. He is a six foot two, 220-pound player armed with a 37-inch vert and 4.45 speed. His versatility cannot be overstated and his big-play ability is unmatched in the country. He will man up with the opposition’s top target, drop back in zone coverage, heck roll him down as a linebacker for all he cares, there is next to nothing Fitzpatrick can’t do on the defensive side of the ball.
The Bears thought they had a number one corner in former first-rounder Kyle Fuller but despite a comeback year, he still hasn’t taken on this role. Who knows if he ever will be. The secondary is worlds ahead of last seasons’ but the glaring need of a star defensive back will always hold this defense back. Fitzpatrick fits that role and if he is available, the Bears simply have to take him.
Oh yeah, he was also a former teammate of Eddie Jackson. If he is anything like Jackson coming into this league, the Bears have quite the exciting secondary on their hands.
1.Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama
And here’s the number one receiver prospect I was talking about. No matter how you interpret this season, the need for a receiver blares louder than any other need or desire for the roster. Kevin White was the bust of a century, Cameron Meredith’s future in question with torn ACL and the pipes have run dry for the foreseeable future. When the second leading receiver on the team is a rookie running back, you know you’re in trouble.
Enter Calvin Ridley. The speedy receiver is widely considered the top receiver prospect and for good reason. His hands have impressed and his route running for a six foot one player is dangerous. With a little more mass, he could very well transform into one of the best receivers in the game