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Bears Q&A: Draft picks, UDFA’s & more

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NFL: Chicago Bears-Rookie Minicamp Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports

We asked for questions on Twitter and here at Windy City Gridiron, and you obliged.

The Bears have finished up Rookie Minicamp this weekend and are moving into the next phase of the offseason.

Without further adieu, let’s get right to the questions:

On twitter, StanleyK‏ (@StanleyK934) asked: “For me the most interesting positions battles this offseason are the specialist jobs. UDFA Andy Phillips (K) is prime candidate, but minicamp invites Scott Daly (LS) and Chris Fraser (P) also have a chance. Your take?”

Honestly, I think Scott Daly’s best hope is to stick around long enough to put some snaps on tape for other teams to look at, but I doubt he warrants a roster spot even on the 90 man offseason list... too many big battles at places like tight end, wide receiver and defensive back. Incumbent long snapper Patrick Scales did a good job last year, so it’s hard to imagine the Bears looking to replace him.

I haven’t heard how Chris Fraser fared in minicamp, but he’s going to have to REALLY impress for a shot at getting on/staying on the 90-man roster. Incumbent punter Pat O’Donnell hasn’t set the world on fire his first couple of years in the league, but he’s serviceable.

Priority UDFA Andy Phillips is a bit of a different story. The 28-year-old showed outstanding long range accuracy in college at Utah. He did this at Rice-Eccles stadium in Salt Lake City, which isn’t known for having balmy winter weather (it was a host stadium for the 2002 Winter Olympics). As Lester Wiltfong Jr. said in his latest T Formation Conversation Podcast, current Bears kicker Connor Barth is “just a guy” so there is a huge opportunity for Phillips here in Chicago.

Lil trigger‏ (@monstermike419) on twitter asked: “What percentage chance would you give Braverman of making the team.”

Right now, I give Braverman about a 10-percent chance, mostly because of his draft status, not because of what he has shown on the field. Chicago will have a huge turnover at wide wide receiver this season with the departure of Alshon Jeffery, Eddie Royal & Marquess Wilson.

Additionally, in a similar question on WCG, 75bearsfan asked: “What is your evaluation of the Bears WR Corps? We have...concerns.”

Here’s how I see it playing out:

Guys who are 100 percent safe: Cameron Meridith, Kevin White, Kendall Wright and Markus Wheaton.

If the Bears go with what they opened up with last year, six wide recievers, that leaves two spots up for grabs between Joshua Bellamy, Deonte Thompson, Rueben Randall, Kermit Whitfield, Tanner Gentry and Jhauan Seals. Randall has experience, Bellamy is our best special teamer and Thompson has a lot of special teams value... plus Gentry’s explosiveness... it’s REALLY hard to see who Braverman beats out.

On twitter, Kev‏ (@Kev_WCG) asked: “Can you ask Kev why he's so mean to everyone all the time? Asking for a friend.”

My answer: Yes, Kev. I can.

Marquess de Sade at WCG asked “In four years are we going to wish we had taken Desmond King, Corn Elder, Damontae Kazee, Jayon Brown, or Roderick Johnson over Jordan Morgan?”

Probably at least one of these guys, yes... but... the kicker is, it will take several years to find that out. The draft is a crap-shoot and by the time it reaches the fifth round it is pretty much “get lucky” time. If you go by the odds, chances are ONE of those six players will have a successful NFL career, but odds are none of them will make the Pro Bowl.

Below is a great post on Arrowhead Pride from a couple of years ago; take a look at the odds you get of success per draft round by position... it’s not encouraging for 5th rounders.

WesternChief: What the stats tell us about drafting positions by round - Arrowhead Pride - The best times to draft certain positions based on the last 10 years.

On WCG, caveman8fb asked “By drafting mostly developmental players, do you think Pace will be here through 2019 regardless of the team’s record?”

I would say yes, absolutely... within reason. By that, I mean should the Bears go 2-14 the next 2 years and show no progress whatever, then obviously no, he won’t be. If we stay 3-13 in 2017 and 2018, he would be gone (that would probably mean a Trubisky flop). If, however, we show progress, then he will be here in 2019. John Fox? That’s a whole different kettle of fish.

Propheteer asked at WCG: “What do you expect out of Tarik Cohen this season? I thought this was Pace’s worst draft pick by far. A team in a full rebuild can’t afford a gadget/role player like him. I wanted Kazee instead of the human joystick bust.”

Ryan Pace has been looking for Darren Sproles 2.0 since he came here, because he saw how explosive and disruptive a player like Sproles can be when Pace had him in New Orleans. IF (and that’s a big IF) Cohen can be that type of player, then he will be a steal of the draft. If he busts? Not so much.

One thing to keep in mind is that Cohen may also end up in the return role. He did virtually none of that in college more because he was nearly all of his school’s offense and they couldn’t risk him as a returner. Look for Chicago to change this.

Additionally, look at the Arrowhead Pride link above: Very, very few fourth rounders make much of a difference in the NFL.

We will have no idea about any of these guys until we see them on the field.