Ten Thoughts on the NFL: Chicago Bears and beyond

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Check out my thoughts on the NFL, and be sure to drop a few of your own in the comment section.

1) The big trade buzz surrounding the NFL Draft centers on the St. Louis Rams trading the second pick overall. They also pick 13th, which places them in prime position still to select an impact player this draft.

If they can come anywhere close to the package that netted them that extra first this season (three firsts and a second from Washington for the right to draft Robert Griffin III), I think they have to trade the pick.

Heck even a move down in 2014, plus a number one next season would entice me to flip the pick. Home grown talent is the key to sustained success in the NFL, and the more picks you can acquire brings you closer to that playoff relevance.

2) In case you missed it, Thursday Night Football is moving to CBS for an eight week run and NFL executives are expecting more high profile games this season. Last year's games didn't have the highest brand of football, and games featured less than stellar teams like the Jacksonville Jaguars, Cleveland Browns, Tennessee Titans and the Oakland Raiders.

This season the NFL will want meaningful match-ups that will ensure ratings, which will allow them to sell the package of games off for even more the next time they open up the bidding.

The NFL has placed a clear emphasis on its Thursday night presence, as it expects its games to dominate prime time on Thursdays as they already do on Sundays and Mondays. Once it achieves higher Thursday ratings - New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft told reporters last month that he expects ratings to double on CBS compared to what the league has had for its NFL Network Thursday night games previously - the league can sell the Thursday night package at a higher cost.

I'm still not a fan of TNF games, but I understand the bottom line.

3) Lovie Smith and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers traded away a very productive wide out in Mike Williams. His first three years in the NFL he had 65, 65 and 63 receptions, then last year that number dipped down to just 22 when he had some injury issues.

Injuries weren't the only issues that Williams had, if you remember he was stabbed by his brother a couple weeks ago. Williams, who was acquired by the Buffalo Bills for a 6th round pick, is a Buffalo native, and he's being reunited with his coach from his last season in college, Doug Marrone.

If Williams can bounce back and stay out of trouble, this is a very good pick up for the Bills and their young offense.

4) NFL.com has been running down a greatest QB of all time tournament, and even though it appears that Johnny Unitas is about to win, I feel the runner up is the G.O.A.T.

Joe Montana's Super Bowl stats are unbelievable. Not only were his teams 4-0, but his passer rating in those games was 127.8, while throwing 11 touchdowns with no interceptions, while averaging 285 yards passing per game.

Johnny U was an outstanding quarterback, but Montana is the best ever.

5) I don't frequent the movie theater as much as I used to, but I still catch a ton of flicks on cable and through Netflix, and I definitely plan on seeing Draft Day at some point.

I'm a little surprised at the vitriol being spewed at a movie that hasn't even come out yet; then again, it does seem like the "in" thing to do to bash movies and TV shows.

It'll probably be real cheesy, but what sports movie isn't?

Do you plan on seeing Draft Day?

6) Rumors are linking the Atlanta Falcons and New York Jets to free agent running back Chris Johnson, with the Jets being the front runner. If I'm Johnson I think I'd go to the Falcons: they seem to be closer to a playoff spot, and they have better overall offensive talent.

7) Today is the day that the seven teams with new head coaches can begin their off season workout programs. Of those seven teams I think the Houston Texans will increase their win total the most. Then again, they only won two games last year, so even finishing at 6-10 would be equal strides.

Speaking about the off season workout programs, here is the tentative Chicago Bears schedule.

First Day: April 22

OTA Offseason Workouts: May 27-28, May 30, June 2-3, June 5, June 9-12

Mandatory Minicamp: June 17-19

8) Spotrac, who gathers and displays contract information from professional athletes, has a 2014 NFL Offseason Snapshot with neat-o graphs and charts.

  • Did you know the Bears signed the second most free agents this off season? They've signed 16 to the New York Giants' 18.
  • The Bears come in at 9th overall with $90,145,938 spent on free agency. Number one is the Bucs at $147,290,000 followed by the Denver Broncos at $127,250,000.
  • The Bears are 8th in the amount of guaranteed money given out in in this free agency period with $35,830,000. The Broncos have doled out the most in guarantees at $69,075,000.

9) In case you missed the uniform shuffle at Halas Hall, here are the numbers the newest Chicago Bears will be wearing along with a few returning uni changes.

DE Jared Allen 69
DE Lamarr Houston 99
DE Willie Young 97
DL Isreal Idoniji 71
WR Domenik Hixon 87
S Ryan Mundy 21
S Danny McCray 29
S M.D. Jennings 38
LB Jordan Senn 59

DT Nate Collins 98
LB Khaseem Greene 52
LB Shea McClellin 50

The newest Bear, center Brian de la Puente, wore #60 in New Orleans, and that number is currently being worn by back up center Taylor Boggs.

10) It's Chicago Bears mock draft time and we'll peek at the latest two round mock by SB Nation NFL Draft Editor Dan Kadar. He has the popular choice for the Bears at 14th overall, DT Aaron Donald of Pittsburgh, but his second rounder is someone different.

51. Chicago Bears: Andre Hal, CB, Vanderbilt
Chicago's transformation on defense could continue in the second round with a cornerback like Hal. He's a good fit for what the Bears do with their corners and is the top-rated cornerback on the board here.

First off (Insert Vanderbilt joke here), secondly, Hal is 5'10", 188 pounder with 4.5 speed in the 40. He's known for his all around game that includes return ability. Scouts say he's good in both zone and man, they call him a good tackler and he has a high football IQ.

However I've seen him with as low of a 6th-7th round grade, and some scouts are concerned with his size.

We have 31 days before the Draft, so we can expect about seventy million more mocks to look at before May 8th.

What are some of your NFL Thoughts this week?

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