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The Bears Den: April 28, 2015 - Pre-draft Chicago Bears news & notes

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Alshon Jeffery is angling for a new contract and has attended the Bears' voluntary workouts to date. Can he step up to be the #1 receiver now that Brandon Marshall is no longer with the team?

Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

Draft looming, Bears to start volunteer practice - Patrick Finley: John Fox and his staff will get their first view of their players on the field but, short of a major injury in the limited practices, little that happens this week will directly affect who is drafted.  Five subplots to watch at Bears' voluntary minicamp.

Five storylines to watch at Bears voluntary minicamp - Not-Hub Fishbain: Teams with new coaches get to hold an additional voluntary minicamp for veteran plays [presumably also the players - Den], and the Bears will have theirs at Halas Hall from Tuesday to Thursday, leading right into the NFL Draft.

Follow WCG on Twitter; like us on Facebook (& click on 'Follow').  I'm killin' your brain like a poisonous mushroom.  Den pic in hi-res.

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2015 Draft notes

Draft preview: Receiver - Bob LeGere: Last year's class of big, fast, talented receivers was exceptional. This year's group is bigger, faster and better. Can Alshon Jeffery replace Brandon Marshall as Bears' No.1?

Kevin White would be 'very happy' if Bears draft him - (CBS): West Virginia receiver joined the Mully and Hanley Show, gives a scouting report on himself, and talks about his development as a receiver [with link to Audio].

Draft preview: Running back - Moon Mullin: Matt Forte continues to give elite one-size-fits-all consistency at the position, but is aged 29 and entering the final year of his contract, which are concerns given John Fox’s stated intention to rely on the run game.

Dominoes on O-line could sway Bears' draft - Brad Biggs: The Bears were solid in 2013, but injuries turned the front five into a constantly shifting unit, and it's an area in need of improvement.

[Video] - Arthur FitzHub: Although he's listed as an OT, LSU's La’El Collins may best be suited for guard in the NFL.

[Video] ESPN - Jeff Dickerson breaks down his first-round selection in the ESPN mock draft, OT Brandon Scherff.

Draft preview - Adam Hoge: Oregon QB Marcus Mariota has the physical and mental makeup of a franchise QB, he just needs to be given the time to adjust to NFL game. If Mariota somehow slips to the Bears, the time is now to strike on the future of the position on the team.

[Video] - Not-Hub Fishbain: With the Bears moving to a 3-4 defense, could Mississippi State ILB Benardrick McKinney be a good fit?

Draft preview - Greg Gabriel with a look at LSU corner Jalen Collins and DE/OLB Danielle Hunter ... University of Washington OLBs Shaq Thompson & Hau’oli Kikaha

Draft preview - Doug Farrar takes a look at the Bears' biggest needs: Pernell McPhee is best when he's moving to different gaps from down to down; Vic Fangio will need an elite edge rusher to bring the Monsters of the Midway back to form.

Shane Ray cited for marijuana possession - Dane Brugler: Already one of the true wild cards of the 2015 NFL Draft due to injury, Missouri pass rusher Shane Ray was cited Monday morning for possession of 35 grams or less of marijuana.  Lance Zierlein2015 Draft's biggest boom-or-bust prospects.

Draft preview - Jason La Canfora: One of the best scouts in the NFL says there's only five can't-miss players in this draft [and the Bears have been linked to every one of them - Den].  Bucky Brooks has six elite prospects ... Mike Mayock's top 100.

Six draft trades we'd love to see - Marc Sessler: Jay Cutler, Matt Forte, and a slew of high picks for the Buccaneers' #1 overall, so Lovie Smith can fawn over veterans from his time with the Bears?

How will stars of scouting combine fare in the draft? - Sam Farmer: NFL history is full of prospects who stood out at the combine but whose careers didn't match that potential.

[Video] SportsTalk Live - With the 2015 NFL draft fast approaching, the panel discuss what direction the Bears could go.

[Video] - Wanny and Jim Miller discuss what Bears should do in NFL draft.

Top 2015 draft medical issues - Dr. David Chao takes a look at the top medical issues for the upcoming draft, a list that covers a number of players projected to the Bears in recent months.

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Bearsss

Bears minicamp offers first look at linebackers - Bob LeGere: No final decisions will be made at the Bears' voluntary minicamp that runs from Tuesday through Thursday, but it will be the first opportunity for coaches to get a look at players who are converting from 4-3 DE to 3-4 OLB.

George McCaskey talks draft, Ryan Pace, Ray McDonald & more - (CBS): The Bears chairman joined the Mully and Hanley Show to discuss a range of issues, as well as sharing his thoughts and memories of Doug Buffone [with link to Audio].

Bears history - Larry Mayer: Doug Buffone, who passed away last Monday at the age of 70, appeared in 186 games over 14 seasons with the Bears from 1966-79 — and his final one may have been the most memorable.

Bears picks gained fame elsewhere - Larry Mayer: You may be surprised to learn that former Cowboys QB Don Meredith, ex-baseball stars Walt Dropo and Norm Cash, and pro wrestling legend Verne Gagne were all drafted by the Bears.

[Video] Inside the Bears - Lyndsay Petruny talks to Otis Wilson about his 55-Alive after school program that helps Chicago students stay active.

Draft City: Chicago - (NFL.com): For the first time in 51 years, the NFL draft is returning to the Windy City. Take a ride on the "L" and dive into Chicago's rich football history with NFL Media's interactive tour.

Check WCGer Sackman's selection of Bears-themed tops here, or some t-shirt designs here.

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Polish sausage

Street closures around Grant Park begin ahead of Draft - (Sun-Times): Drivers should be ready to tackle some traffic headaches downtown as crews prepare for the event.

[Video] - Brittney Payton joins "NFL AM" to the highlight the things to do in Chicago during the draft.

Know thy enemy: Packers - (AP): The Packers will retire Brett Favre's jersey on Thanksgiving against the Bears ...  Patrick FinleyBrett Favre: 'Only fitting' to be honored vs Bears.

Know thy enemies - Sam Farmer casts an eye over the NFC North teams' needs heading into the draft.

Know thy enemy: Vikings - Mike Fisher: Despite all the rumors, the Cowboys and Vikings have not talked at all about a possible Adrian Peterson trade.

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Mike Tice, wearing the #86 jersey, makes his first appearance at 0:46 - he was, arguably, better at being an offensive coordinator than doing whatever it is he's doing in this video.  The Blue Wave rolled the Seahawks to 8-8 in 1985, third in the old AFC West behind the Raiders and Broncos, and ahead of the Chargers and Chiefs.