Ten Thoughts on the NFL: Chicago Bears and beyond

Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sport

NFL teams were on the field doing actual football related stuff the last few days. Check out my thoughts this week, and be sure to drop a few of your own in the comment section.

1) I said it before the NFL Draft, but I'll say it again here. I think Mike Evans will be the most productive of all the wide outs from the 2014 draft class. A 6'5", 230 pound wide out with hands and athleticism is a match up nightmare.

2) Cleveland Browns rookie Johnny Manziel rubbed a lot of people the wrong way while at Texas A&M, but keep in perspective this was a 19 year old red-shirt freshman that exploded onto the scene winning the Heisman Trophy just days after turning 20. His every move was dissected by the paparazzi and the media, and yes, he did put himself in some bad situations, but he was also growing up in the spotlight.

I guarantee that if you take a cross section of random 20 year olds, you'll find a lot of dumbasses.

Manziel has to mature to gain the respect of his new teammates and coaches, and it sounds like he's up to the challenge.

"I'm a rookie. I need to earn my place and earn my keep," he said, per the team's official twitter feed. "I don't want to have anything handed to me that I don't deserve."

Up until now he's had it fairly easy, but the adversity he faces on the Browns and in the NFL will reveal his true character.

3) The 2015 NFL Draft is already zeroing in on a date, and April 30th is the front runner. That's a week earlier than this year, but still later than previous years.

And remember that Easter show that pushed back the draft this year? Apparently Radio City Music Hall cancelled the event, which pissed off the NFL. The venue sat unused during the "normal" draft weekend, and the irritation by the NFL could cause them to go elsewhere in 2015.

4) This is a cool story.

After graduating from Tulane on Saturday, the New Orleans Saints surprised Devin Walker with a contract at rookie mini camp.

5) Another feel good story from last week involved my high school alma mater.

Last season the Chicago Bears rookie class visited Round Lake High School to help paint the hallway and the weight room we called "The Dungeon", and last week Roberto Garza donated some weightlifting equipment to the school.

6) The Michael Sam documentary that was a bad idea on every level has been postponed. Sam has a tough enough road ahead of him just trying to make the St. Louis Rams roster, why add to the pressure with a camera in his face at every turn?

I understand wanting to document his path, but to be just a football player is the most important thing in his life right now.

7) Robert Mathis was suspended for taking a fertility drug just days after it was reported that the NFL will soften their stance on marijuana.

8) If you're not a fan of the trash talking football players, then you may be happy your team passed on safety Calvin Pryor in the NFL Draft. The New York Jets rookie has already announced his intention to talk smack this year.

I have no problem if a player chooses to run his mouth, but he better be ready to back up his bravado.

9) Former Chicago Bears and Minnesota Vikings offensive tackle J'Marcus Webb is still plugging along. He just signed a one year deal with the Kansas City Chiefs. Would you believe that Webb, who is about to enter his 5th NFL season, is still only 25 years old?

10) Earlier this morning, Chicago GM Phil Emery confirmed that ex-CFL star Chris Williams and his 4.39 40, will have the first shot at being the primary kick and punt returner for the Bears, which reminds me, Could Chris Williams be a more versatile version of Devin Hester?

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