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The Bears Den: April 30, 2015 - Pre-draft Chicago Bears news & notes

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Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Bears entertaining offers for Bennett - Adam Schefter: Pro Bowl TE Martellus Bennett is seeking a new contract and does not plan to show up in camp with Chicago, or anywhere else, without one, according to league sources ... Adam L. JahnsCould be worth 4th-, maybe 3rd-round pick ... Dan WiedererBears’ depth at TE remains thin, draft class is significantly weak.

Pace's grace period with Bears ends once his first draft pick is in - David Haugh: No matter how interesting or intelligent the NFL's youngest GM has appeared while making a strong first impression, Pace will shape more pertinent opinions of him based on what the Bears do Thursday with the No. 7 selection,

Five draft things we learned[sic] Bears GM Ryan Pace - Patrick Finley: The Bears have spoken with all six teams slated to pick in front of them in Thursday's NFL Draft, Pace said, as well as many of the teams below them.

Follow WCG on Twitter; like us on Facebook (& click on 'Follow').  Deadly when I play a dope melody.  Den pic in hi-res.

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2015 NFL Draft

Pace discusses preparations for draft - Larry Mayer: After spending the last four months with his staff studying the NFL’s top prospects, Ryan Pace is ready for his first draft as Bears GM.  Dan WiedererPace: 'The hay's in the barn'.

Pace wants top pick to help set Bears' course toward Super Bowl - Brad Biggs: Ryan Pace looking for a cornerstone draft that propels Bears to contender status, as the Saints did in the 2006 draft. Chris EmmaSteve Mariucci: Bears have a lot of ways to go at No. 7.

Can Bears roll a lucky 7? 1st-round pick will be a tone-setter - Dan Wiederer: The Bears hope they've solidified their preparations to leave little to chance when their moment arrives Thursday night. A payoff is needed. It's Ryan Pace's job to provide it. The dice are now his.

Kevin White: Bears will pick me at 7, if available - Patrick Finley: West Virginia alum, who is represented by the same agent as Alshon Jeffery, would be surprised if he lasted past the Bears’ No. 7 selection in Thursday night’s NFL draft at the Auditorium Theatre.

Vic Beasley feels like best fit for Bears - Is-Hub Arkush: Other than being about an inch shorter and 10-to-12 pounds lighter, Vic Beasley might just remind you of Aldon Smith, without the baggage.

Draft preview - Adam Hoge: If USC DT Leonard Williams ends up in the right spot with a D-line coach who can get him to refine his technique, we’re talking about Hall of Fame potential here.

Draft preview: Receiver - James Neveau: After trading Brandon Marshall to the Jets, the Bears find themselves in need of a wide receiver. Which player could they take in the draft?

Draft preview: Safety - James Neveau: The Bears did bring in Antrel Rolle this offseason to work with Vic Fangio, but do they need to add another safety at the draft this week?

Top defensive prospects feel at home in Chicago - Phil Thompson: Danny Shelton and Shane Ray make their cases for the Bears to draft them; the pass rushers say why they want to join the Bears and play for Vic Fangio.  Not-Hub AtkinsBears first-round options argue their cases in Grant Park.

[Video] - Is-Hub Arkush, Not-Hub Fishbain, and Fruit of Hub's Loins take one final look at the NFL Draft, from Halas Hall as festivities kick-off in Chicago.

[Video] - Wanny on how teams prepare in final hours before the draft; Jim Miller on his draft day experience.

Chicago’s ready for its draft spotlight - Larry Mayer: Back in Chicago for the first time in 51 years, the NFL draft is bigger than ever before, and the city is more than ready for it.  (NFL.com): Draft Town activities and attractions.

Chicago doesn't need the NFL's circus - Mike Imrem: Chicago turned itself over to the NFL. Streets have been closed down, Grant Park has been overrun and folks have been inconvenienced … all because of a football draft. Anything else we can do for you, Commissioner Goodell?

ESPN, NFL Network believe Chicago will reinvigorate draft coverage - Ed Sherman: Assuming it stays this way, with the Jets selecting sixth and the Bears seventh in the first round, viewers will see the difference quickly in this year's draft.

[Video] NFL Network - Brittney Payton gives a tour of the 2015 NFL "Draft Town" in Chicago, breaking down where team's[sic] will be set up making their picks and explaining how fans can enjoy the festivities even without a ticket.

[Video] NFL Network - Melissa Stark with a behind-the-scenes tour of where all the future draft picks will wait to hear there[sic] name called, and the path they'll take to center stage.

[Video] NFL Network - Roger Goodell and Rahm Emanuel discuss the significance of Chicago as the host city for the 2015 NFL Draft.

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Bearsss

Jeffery intends to be top WR, but Bears looking for help - Adam L.Jahns: Alshon Jeffery knows he needs to be better, proving to the Bears’ new brass that he can be a true No.  1 receiver in the final year of his rookie contract. Was surprised by Brandon Marshall trade.

Bears decline fifth-year option on McClellin - Jeff Dickerson: The Bears declined to pick up the fifth-year option on 2012 first-round draft pick Shea McClellin, Ryan Pace confirmed Wednesday.  Adam L.JahnsUnderstands he hasn't been as productive as he should be, but hopes to stick with team.

Jared Allen embracing challenge of new position - Rich Campbell: Coming off one of the most unproductive seasons of his career, the longtime DE is learning to play OLB. In his 12th NFL season, the challenge has been invigorating.  Moon MullinLooking to move beyond 2014 'misery' .

McDonald excited about 'fresh start' - Larry Mayer: After fearing that his career might be over, Ray McDonald is eager to make the most of his opportunity with the Bears.

Team notes - Mini-Larry: Bears' last No. 7 pick Curtis Conway offers his take; Ryan Pace is the youngest head of a front office in the NFL, but appears to be confident leading into the first round; belief high that Adam Gase and Vic Fangio will help Bears to success.

Team notes - Bob LeGere: Young GM Pace excited to make first draft pick; John Fox to be more involved with both sides of the ball than Marc Trestman; Jared Allen believes he needed to be at Halas Hall to help in transition to 3-4 OLB.

Team notes - Not-Hub Fishbain: Ryan Pace feels 'really good' about seven prospects; Bears will not pick up the fifth-year option in Shea McClellin's contract; thoughts on finding a partner for Alshon Jeffery and on Matt Forte's absence.

[Video] SportsTalk Live - Martellus Bennett, Matt Forte updates.

Rookie salary cap projection - Dan Durkin does his best impersonation of WCG's own ioftenpanic.

Current Bears share their draft-day memories - Dan Wiederer, Rich Campbell: Pranks, playbooks and lots of barbecue: Current Bears remember their draft days.

Bears' draft rewind: 2014 - Jeff Dickerson with a look at Phil Emery's third and final draft, of which all eight picks are still currently on the roster.

Photos - ChicagoBears.com: The Bears returned to the fields for their second day of practice on Wednesday morning during the voluntary minicamp at Halas Hall.

[Video] NFL Network - Brittney Payton joins "NFL AM" to talk about "Draft Town," and interviews her mom Connie Payton, wife of the late Walter Payton, to recall what it was like when Walter was drafted.

[Video] NFL Network - Judy Battista goes through the career and legacy of Hall of Famer Dick Butkus, explaining he is a true "son of Chicago."

Photos - ChicagoBears.com: With the draft beginning tomorrow night, we take a look at photos of Bears players today and the year they were drafted.

Bears landed Butkus and Sayers in same draft 50 years ago - Alex Marvez: The Bears landed two of their most iconic players in Gale Sayers and Dick Butkus with the Nos. 3 and 4 overall respective picks in the 1965 draft, but neither made the playoffs.

Ex-Bear news - Richard Dent was arrested in the northern suburbs early Wednesday after police clocked him driving 107 mph in a 55 mph zone, authorities said.

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Ditka

Ditka: 'Bears are gonna get a good pick at No. 7' - David Just: Instead of trying to fill a particular need with the seventh pick of Thursday’s NFL Draft, the Bears might be best off simply taking BPA, says Mike Ditka.

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Polish sausage

The Business of Football - Andrew Brandt: Roger Goodell will step back into the line of fire at the NFL draft. He could benefit from showing a softer side, but vulnerability and human frailty aren’t part of the commissioner’s job description.

Draft analysis - Tony Villiotti with a guide of relevant historical information that provides a better perspective from which to interpret what is going on during the draft.

Which coach has drafted the best in the last decade? - Ross Benes looks at draft success by head coach [but isn't it usually down to the GM, with a few exceptions? - Den].

2015 NFL draft debate - Mike Freedman: Chicago deep dish or New York-style?

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Not in the divisional playoff, he wasn't.  To be fair, he couldn't... it was the Fog Bowl.  (The Eagles went 10-6 to top the NFC East, but lost to the Bears in that infamously low-visibility game.)