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The Bears Den: April 27, 2015 - Offseason Chicago Bears news & notes

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Are this offensive duo preparing to skip minicamp... or are they simply working on Bennett blocking for Forte all the way to the endzone instead of running ahead of him, when the only defensive players who could stop #22 were catching up from behind?

Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports

Minicamp participation uncertain for Forte, Bennett - Jeff Dickerson: Are key offensive veterans Matt Forte and Martellus Bennett staying away because they're unhappy with their contracts?

Follow WCG on Twitter; like us on Facebook (& click on 'Follow').  My, my, my!  Den pic in hi-res.

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2015 Draft notes

Draft preview: D-line - Dan Wiederer: With the Bears' depth at end, in particular, in the 3-4 front being thin, the team will push to address their needs at both DT and DE throughout this draft.

Draft preview - Greg Gabriel's scouting profiles on Florida State DT Eddie Goldman, Oregon DE Arik Armstead, and Mississippi State LB Benardrick McKinney.

Draft preview: Rush LB - Moon Mullin: One or two from among Vic Beasley, Alvin Dupree, Dante Fowler, Eric Kendricks, Randy Gregory, Shane Ray and a couple of others can be expected to emerge as an impact NFL player. But not every team is convinced.

[Video] - SI.com's Aaron Nagler and Andrew Perloff debate over who is the better pass rusher in the draft, Dante Fowler or Vic Beasley.

Draft preview: Safety - Bob LeGere: Teams looking for immediate safety help in the draft this year, like the Bears, probably can't afford to wait. It's a weak class.  Safety remains position of need for Bears.

Draft preview: Cornerback - Moon Mullin: The level of need, as with certain other positions, doesn’t completely mean that the Bears have what they need in this position cluster, only that it is off the "critical" list.

Draft preview: O-line - Bob LeGere: There will be plenty of OT talent remaining on Day Two, but teams seeking help inside at guard or center won't have as much to choose from.  O-line must carry on without Roberto Garza.

Draft preview - Greg Gabriel with a look at a pair of mid-to-late round OTs, South Carolina's Corey Robinson and North Carolina State's Rob Crisp ... Centers Andy Gallik & B.J. Finney, RB Jeremy Langford.

Draft preview: QB - Moon Mullin: The 2015 draft class is considered QB-lite, though there are enough Joe Montanas, Tom Bradys and other success stories to make a pick from a seemingly pedestrian group more than a little intriguing.

Bears should know that trading up for QBs rarely works - Adam L. Jahns: The Bears like Oregon’s Marcus Mariota, but the benefits of moving up to select a QB in the first round are rarely worth the cost.

Dan Hampton: Bears should target Amari Cooper - Not-Hub Swieca: After trading Brandon Marshall, who had a similar skillset to Alshon Jeffery, Dan Hampton believes the team has an opening to introduce a new dynamic on offense that would loosen coverage on Jeffery.

Draft preview - Greg Gabriel looks at three WR prospects: Miami's Phillip Dorsett, Ohio State's Devin Smith, and Auburn's Sammie Coates. [Sam discussed Dorsett and Coates on Friday in his article here.]

What can the Bears learn from past No. 7 picks in NFL draft? - Adam L. Jahns: The NFL draft is full of boom-or-bust picks at No. 7, including many of the positions the Bears have been linked to in this year’s draft.

Draft analysis - Two minor Not-Hubs discuss what direction the Bears should go with their top pick.

Looking at the best local NFL draft prospects - Adam L. Jahns with a look at some of the would-be draftees from the Chicago area, and their projections ... Larry MayerMinnesota's Maxx Williams tops thin crop of TEs.

[Video] CSNChicago NFL Draft preview show - Predicting No. 7 overall selection.

[Video] CSNChicago NFL Draft preview show - Jim Miller and Wanny join Chis Boden to discuss the Bears' new regime.

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Bearsss

Roster analysis - Not-Hub Fishbain: Phil Emery left Ryan Pace with some intriguing talents from his final draft as GM; how will they gel with the new coaching regime?

Ray McDonald cleared by NFL in 1 of 2 cases - (ESPN): NFL officials said Friday they have informed Bears defensive end Ray McDonald that he won't be disciplined by the league for a domestic violence incident that occurred at his San Jose home.

Bears mailbag - Jeff Dickerson's readers' Q&As on whom the Bears will take at No. 7, whether the team will be in on Penn State QB Christian Hackenberg in the 2016 draft ... more Qs&As.

Draft trade value, 1997-2014 - Football Outsiders with an estimate of how much value teams have acquired and given away in draft picks over the years. The Bears got steadily worse value over three five-year periods from 2000 to 2014.  Why trading up in is risky in general, as the Saints are failing to learn.

Ex-Bear news - Mariam Sobh: Former Bears TE Emery Moorehead, who is one of nearly 3,000 former NFL players suing the league over concussions, says "(playing in the NFL is) a tough career but it’s worth it" [with link to Video].

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Polish sausage

Draft analysis - Tony Villiotti takes a look at some recent Draft trends: By playing position (also, first round only), by conference, by home state, and how many rookies started at least eight games.

Draft history - The Tribune with 50 years of first-round draft picks.

Chicago could set new standards for future NFL Drafts - Adam L. Jahns: In Chicago, the NFL can increase the exposure of the draft, which already is a TV-ratings bonanza after months of endless, over-the-top buildup ... Ed ShermanChris Berman has seen draft's popularity soar ... Dan WiedererPay phone scouting? Five hours to make one pick? What else has changed?

As Draft Day nears, Chicago awaits its new NFL overlords - Phil Rosenthal: Once a city starts making concessions to win over a multibillion-dollar business, the multibillion-dollar business wins. The city and its people can still benefit. It just can't pretend it's some great windfall. You pay an inflated price for a ticket, you might as well enjoy the show.

The NFL draft takes place in Chicago this week! So what? - Rick Morrissey: Being told you’re hosting the draft is like a wife opening a Valentine’s Day present from her husband and laying eyes on a frying pan. What are we supposed to do with this?

Know thy enemy: Vikings - Ryan Wilson: While Adrian Peterson is free to feel slighted by the Vikings, he comes off looking poorly given the circumstances... which, as former teammate Chris Kluwe pointed out, included beating his four-year-old son with a switch.

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So, I was searching for the worst 80s rap songs to subject you to this week - a list that would, by definition, have to include MC Hammer - when I found a most appropriate subcategory for the buildup to the Draft.  No no, no need to thank me.  This is why I'm here. (In case you were wondering: The Dolphins went 8-8 in 1989, good for 3rd in the 5-team AFC East behind the Bills and Colts but ahead of the Patriots and Jets, and didn't make the playoffs.)