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The Weekend Bears Den: April 23-24, 2016

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It's finally Pre-Draft Weekend! In just a few short days, we will see what the future of the Bears franchise will look like. Will we trade up? Will we trade down? Will we take BPA or select for biggest need? We don't know now, but it won't be long until we do!

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BEAR DOWN!!!!

DRAFT / FREE AGENCY

De Luca: NFL draft 'very likely' to leave Chicago for 2017 - Chicago Sun-Times - Though commissioner Roger Goodell was thrilled with Chicago’s staging of the NFL draft last year, and is bracing for a bigger event downtown next week he expects it to be held elsewhere in 2017. During an informal meeting with Associated Press Sports Editors, Goodell said Thursday it’s "very likely" the draft will move on after this year.

Orr: Sheldon Rankins is Mr. Boring, why this excites execs - NFL.com - What do Tim Tebow and Johnny Manziel have in common? Both aced the pre-draft process. Needless to say, that doesn't ensure success. Conor Orr explains the draw of Mr. Boring, Sheldon Rankins.

Chadiha: The Ascent, Noah Spence's pursuit of Redemption - NFL.com - Noah Spence grabbed a blank sheet of legal-sized paper and a reliable ballpoint pen, then hunkered down and exhaled. He racked his brain for ideas before distilling them into simple, digestible aspirations. Spence already had spent two months settling into his new home at Eastern Kentucky, all the while wondering how his life had careened so far off-course. As he sat in his two-bedroom apartment, he wanted to feel more like the old Noah and less like the guy who lost his Ohio State career to drug addiction.

Rosenthal: Seven NFL general managers who need a big draft - NFL.com - NFL general managers are always only one draft away from changing their careers. Here are seven general managers under extra pressure to deliver at the 2016 NFL Draft.

Ottochain: 2016 NFL draft: Top sleepers at every offensive position - Bears Wire - There are some quality sleepers in the 2016 NFL Draft that should stick on offense in the NFL. Here are some of the best.

Wiederer: With 9 picks, will Bears GM Ryan Pace move around in draft? - Chicago Tribune - With a nine-pack of picks (one in each round plus extra picks in the fourth and sixth rounds) Bears GM Ryan Pace should have many potential paths.

Zierlein: 10 believable things amid all the NFL draft misinformation - NFL.com - With so much smoke billowing from NFL draft rumor mills, what information can we trust with a week to go before the big event? See Lance Zierlein's list of 10 believable things.

Dickerson: What happens if Ezekiel Elliott falls to Chicago Bears at No. 11? - ESPN - In this week's mailbag, Jeff Dickerson looks at who the Bears might consider taking in the draft's first round.

Ottochian: Josh Norman would be a huge upgrade for the Bears - Bears Wire - (NOTE: Article pre-dates the information that Norman was reportedly signing with Washington) The Chicago Bears are interested in free agent cornerback Josh Norman, and he would be a major upgrade for this defense.

Mullen: Bears NFL Draft Preview: Is running back a priority? | CSN Chicago - Even with three running backs on the roster, Matt Forte's departure left a hole at RB for Bears. (KEN's NOTE: There are more than three RB's on the roster, Langford, Carey and Rodgers, yes... but don't forget Perry who is a big-time ST player)

Mullen: Bears NFL Draft Preview: Always a need for edge pressure - CSN Chicago - John 'Moon' Mullin goes position-by-position as the Bears approach the 2015 NFL Draft. Next up is the linebacker position.

Wiederer: NFL draft preview, edge rushers - Chicago Tribune - The Bears need speed off the edge, so it will come as no surprise if they use this draft to add an edge rusher or two, perhaps as early as the first round.

Householder: Will the Bears benefit from top five draft trades? - Windy City Gridiron
There has been a lot of draft picks moving around in the top ten selections. Is there a chance those moves will boil down with better players being available to Chicago?

Farrar: 2016 NFL draft count down, Sports Illustrated’s top prospects - SI.com
The 2016 NFL draft is quickly approaching. Keep track of all of our scouting reports for the top 50 prospects here. Helmet tip to Mike DItka's Cigar for the link.

BEARRRSSSS

Dullea: Chicago Bears' Jeffery now the "King of the North" - Cover32 - The Bears' "King Jeffery" now dominates the NFC North's receivers. Are there any potential usurpers?

Mullin : OL competition could intensify - CSN Chicago - Mullin goes position-by-position as the Bears approach the 2016 NFL Draft. Next up is the offensive line.

Cox: Full exclusive interview with Bears defensive back Demontre Hurst | Bears Wire - Listen to Bears Wire's exclusive interview with Chicago Bears' defensive back Demontre Hurst in its entirety.

Mayer: Notable Bears fourth-round draft picks - ChicagoBears.com - Over the last several decades, the Bears have selected several players in the fourth round of the draft who developed into key long-term contributors.

Spielman: Bears putting finishing touches on Soldier Field ad plan - Chicago Sun-Times - Park District general counsel Tim King said fans need not worry about advertising creep. "There’s a concept. It’s very subtle, very tasteful designs."

BEARRRSSSS FOR LIFE

Chicago Bears in the Hall - Bill Hewitt - Bill Hewitt made his mark in nine National Football League seasons in a number of ways, but two stand out. He shunned the use of a helmet until the NFL finally forced him to wear this protective device in 1939, his eighth season. Hewitt's reason was simple-he felt a helmet handicapped his play.

POLISH SAUSAGE

PFF: Regrading the 2015 NFL Draft's First Round - It's only a one-year sample, but a number of players lived up to expectations while still others were limited to part-time roles, and there are question marks as to whether or not they can handle the bigger workload. Unfortunately, a few first-rounders didn't see the field at all in their first year due to injury, so losing a year of production puts on even more pressure as we head into year two.

NFL, CFL announce joint officiating program - NFL.com - The NFL and CFL announced a joint officiating program in which NFL officials will work preseason and regular season games during the Canadian league's season.

Draft Of The Past: Tell Us a Story with Ted Albrecht - Chicago Tribune - NFL veteran Ted Albrecht shares his story about the day he was drafted to the Chicago Bears.

KNOW THY ENEMY

Hasan: Identifying Future Vikings: Positional Cutoffs and the 2016 NFL Draft Class - Daily Norseman - Do the Vikings have athletic or measurable cutoffs for each position? If they do, who meets them and how drastically might it narrow down the Vikings board?

Rothstein: Golden Tate wants to start 'building the empire' of the Detroit Lions - ESPNGolden Tate sees big things ahead for the Lions if they have the mentality 'we can win every game, even blow them out.'

Gantt: Lions G.M. says Robert Nkemdiche has "red flags," but not off board yet - ProFootballTalk - Lions General Manager Bob Quinn is free to admit that there are "red flags" with defensive tackle Robert Nkemdiche. But he also understands that the complicated part of the draft process is how much weight to put on those concerns, knowing that at some point you have to consider whether the tale...

DRAFT PROSPECTS OF INTEREST TO BEARS FANS

NFL Draft Profile: Mississippi OL Laremy Tunsil | CSN Chicago

NFL Draft Profile: Alabama DT A'Shawn Robinson | CSN Chicago

NFL Draft Profile: Northwestern RB Dan Vitale | CSN Chicago

You will need to open the following below on YouTube but it's worth the watch. RIP Prince. Best Super Bowl halftime ever, nothing else is even close.