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The Bear's Den: April 26, 2016

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TWO MORE DAYS, BABY!!! Just two more days until the first round of the NFL Draft, to be held right here in the stormy, husky, brawling city of the big shoulders... where the draft will be shoveling, wrecking, planning, building, breaking, and rebuilding... and we at WindyCityGridiron will be your cyber Carl Sandburgs, guiding you through it all in our deep dish Chicago style blues playing Bear's Den, mixing our metaphors and dropping the news all over you...

We're SO GLAD YOU MADE IT!
We're SO GLAD YOU MADE IT!
Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

BEAR DOWN!!!!

DRAFT / FREE AGENCY

Weaver: Chicago Bears have a chance to reset - Cover32 - Evan Silva from Rotoworld reminded us this weekend that the Chicago Bears only had three top 105 picks in Pace's first draft and six total.

Todd McShay's Ultimate 2016 NFL Draft Preview - Most overrated and underrated. Biggest risers and fallers. Best athletes pound-for-pound. Todd McShay dissects it all in his NFL draft preview.

LeGere: Could Chicago Bears resist if Buckeyes' Elliott falls in draft? - DailyHerald.com - While the Chicago Bears hope Jeremy Langford and Ka'Deem Carey can fill the void left by Matt Forte, it would be difficult to ignore Ohio State running back Ezekiel Elliott if he is available when the Bears make the 11th overall pick in Thursday's NFL draft,

Biggs: Why 11th pick in the NFL draft offers Bears advantages - Chicago Tribune - There are plenty of directions for the Bears to consider but defense is the pressing need and at No. 11, they're in a good spot for a number of reasons.

Sherman: The NFL draft's other stars: the draftniks - Chicago Tribune - When the last pick is taken in this year's NFL draft, Todd McShay plans to take the following week off "to decompress." Then the ESPN draft analyst will begin evaluations on the players who will be in the 2017 draft.

Fishbain: Examining the Chicago Bears' NFL Draft needs on offense - Chicago Football - Bears comfortable at WR, OG, but need depth at RB, TE, OT. This year, Pace has nine picks, and still a big need on defense, but the Bears’ offense is down two starters from 2015 – Martellus Bennett and Matt Forte. Here’s our position-by-position examination of the needs facing the Bears on the offensive side of the ball for the NFL draft, which begins Thursday in Chicago.

Ottochian: Ranking the top-5 nose tackles - Bears Wire - This draft is deep along the defensive line, and there are plenty of dominant nose tackles to hold down the middle of any defense.

Kaberon: Draft needs of Bears' NFC North foes - ChicagoBears.com - ChicagoBears.com breaks down the most pressing needs of the Bears' division foes and the prospects they could select in the first round of the draft.

Campbell: NFL draft preview: Defensive linemen - Chicago Tribune - A year after planning to plug the line with stopgaps, the Bears badly need young talent to improve a unit that allowed 4.47 yards per carry, 26th in the NFL.

Cox: Exclusive interview with UTSA tight end David Morgan II - Bears Wire - Texas-San Antonio tight end David Morgan II is arguably the best blocking TE in the draft, and we spoke to him about his NFL future.

Ottochain: The biggest boom-or-bust players in the 2016 NFL draft - Bears Wire - NFL teams are weighing whether to take a chance on players with medical or character concerns that could be great prospects otherwise.

CHICAGO DRAFT AUDIO & VIDEO RESOURCES

Hub's Crew Podcast: Former NFL player Stephen White of SB Nation talks NFL Draft prospects - Chicago Football - In our final pre-draft podcast, we get the nitty-gritty nuts and bolts on Bears targets from former NFL player and current SB Nation writer Stephen White (@sgw94).

What will Bears, NFC North rivals look to do in NFL Draft? - CSN Chicago - Rotoworld's Evan Silva went team by team to preview the upcoming NFL Draft. Check out what Silva had to say about the Bears and the rest of the NFC North.

Assessing the Bears' needs entering the NFL Draft - CSN Chicago - The Draft Central crew breaks down what the Bears need entering the 2016 NFL Draft.

Should the Bears go with best available or draft for need? - CSN Chicago - On the SportsNet Central: Draft Central show, the panel argued the age old question of drafting for need or best available player.

Who can the Bears expect to have as options at No. 11? - CSN Chicago - The Bears Draft Central crew looks at potential options the Bears will have when they select in the first round at No. 11.

Will the Bears draft a quarterback? - CSN Chicago - The Bears Draft Central crew looks at whether the Bears will use a draft choice on a quarterback.

Bears Draft Central Hurry Up - CSN Chicago - The Bears Draft Central crew does a hurry-up segment, answering Bears-related draft questions.

Should a team roll the dice on LB Jaylon Smith? - CSN Chicago - The Bears Draft Central crew discusses where injured Notre Dame linebacker Jaylon Smith should be drafted.

BEARRRSSSS

Campbell: Bears rookie report, assessing building blocks after first season - Chicago TribuneKen's Note: This story is actually from January but I am linking it here to give some fresh perspective of the players Ryan Pace chose, as an indicator of the types of players he may well look at this year...

Perez: Alshon Jeffery a no-show at voluntary offseason workouts - Bears Wire - Chicago Bears franchise player Alshon Jeffery was a no-show at the team's voluntary offseason workout program.

BEARRRSSSS FOR LIFE

Dickerson: Chicago Bears' best draft class featured seven future starters - ESPN - The Bears had two outstanding draft classes, including one that played a huge role in their winning Super Bowl XX.

Chicago Bears in the Hall - Sid Luckman - Sid Luckman played 12 seasons for the Chicago Bears beginning in 1939. At the time he retired after the 1950 campaign, many observers proclaimed that he was the finest T-formation quarterback ever to play pro football.

ITB (video): The Thayer family restaurant - ChciagoBears.com - If you head to the Thayer Bros. restaurant in Joliet, don't be surprised if you see '85 Super Bowl champ Tom Thayer busing your table and preparing your food.

Mayer: Notable Bears third-round draft picks - ChicagoBears.com - Two of the best players at their respective positions in Bears history were selected in the third round of the draft, center Olin Kreutz in 1998 and linebacker Lance Briggs in 2003.

POLISH SAUSAGE

Dan Hampton dishes his best 'home-gating' NFL Draft tips - WFLD - After months of buildup and a noticeable void of football news, NFL Draft week is finally here.

Florio: Report says NFL asked Rams to keep their plans for first pick quiet - ProFootballTalk - So why didn't the Rams declare their intentions with the first overall pick in the draft after acquiring it from the Titans? The Rams adopted that approach at least partially because the NFL asked them to. Sam Farmer of the L.A. Times, via TheBigLead.

Smith: NFL wins Deflategate appeal, Tom Brady suspension back on - ProFootballTalk - The NFL has won the latest round in its Deflategate legal battle, and Tom Brady is once again suspended for the first four games of the season. The U.S.

Alper: NFL "pleased" appeals court ruled Goodell acted properly - ProFootballTalk - The NFL got a big win on Monday when their appeal of Judge Richard Berman's decision to overturn Patriots quarterback Tom Brady's four-game suspension was successful.

Spielman: Emanuel still holding out hope for NFL Draft three-peat - Chicago Sun-Times - Three days before the NFL Draft returns to Chicago for a second year, Mayor Rahm Emanuel held out hope of persuading the league to return in 2017.

Lee & Berlin: Guide to NFL Draft activities in Grant Park - Chicago Tribune - The overwhelming success of last year’s NFL draft in Chicago, which drew thousands of die-hard sports fans and curious observers to the free three-day event, will mean a bigger, flashier slate of attractions set to begin Thursday in Grant Park.

Goodbread: Oregon's Vernon Adams says he's better than Jared Goff - NFL.com - Former Oregon QB Vernon Adams believes he's better than Cal's Jared Goff.

KNOW THY ENEMY

What will Bears, NFC North rivals look to do in NFL Draft? - CSN Chicago - Rotoworld's Evan Silva went team by team to preview the upcoming NFL Draft. Check out what Silva had to say about the Bears and the rest of the NFC North.

Boston: Five players for the Green Bay Packers to avoid in 2016 NFL Draft - Lombardiave.com - Looking ahead to this week's 2016 NFL Draft, which five players should the Green Bay Packers avoid? Here are five names they should throw off the board.

Manziel Mayhem Makes Vikings Look Brilliant - Vikings Journal - Thus far in his career, Teddy Bridgewaters numbers have been average at best. Through 29 games, he has thrown for just 6,150 yards and 28 touchdowns while also tossing 21 interceptions. On the ground, the mobile QB has averaged 4.4 yards per c...

Twentyman: Teammates happy to see DeAndre Levy back on the field - DetroitLions.com - Linebacker DeAndre Levy's teammates are glad to have him back on the field for offseason workouts.

Young: Will Vikings Select 4th Round 1 Receiver Since Randy Moss? - Vikings.com - With the Vikings currently slated to have the 23rd overall pick Thursday night, many mock drafts predict them to take a wide receiver in the first round. Matt Vensel of the Star Tribune delved into the Vikings history at wide receiver as well as what goes into making a selection at that position.

Reisman: Lions GM job was reportedly Eliot Wolf's job to lose - Pride Of Detroit - The Lions wanted Eliot Wolf as their new general manager, but Green Bay wouldn't let him go.

DRAFT PROSPECTS OF INTEREST TO BEARS FANS

Draft Profile: DT Andrew Billings ready to be immediate defensive contributor - SportsDay - Andrew Billings, defensive tackleHeight: 6-1Weight: 311Projected round: 1-2Billings was expected to return to school by many, but a favorable draft...

Durkin’s Prospect Watch: CB Vernon Hargreaves - CBS Chicago - What immediately stands out when watching Hargreaves' tape is his twitch and explosiveness.