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The Bear’s Den, April 28, 2021

The 2021 NFL Draft is one day away, and the Bears have a first round pick this year (at the moment, anyway...)

Cardinals at Bears
Chicago Bears linebackers Lance Briggs (55) and Geno Hayes (58) celebrate Charles Tillman’s touchdown in the third quarter at University of Phoenix Stadium on Sunday, December 23, 2012, in Phoenix, Arizona. The Chicago Bears defeated the Arizona Cardinals, 28-13.
Brian Cassella/Chicago Tribune/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

THE DAILY SPONGIE SPECIAL

BEARRRSSSS

Report: Bears to exercise 5th-year option on LB Roquan Smith - 670 The Score - The Bears will exercise the fifth-year option on star linebacker Roquan Smith, keeping him under contract in Chicago through the 2022 season.

Robinson sets focus on making Bears history, not his future - 670 The Score - After signing his franchise tender for the 2021 season, Bears receiver Allen Robinson is focusing on making history in the team’s record books rather than his looming contract uncertainty.

Bears unclear whether players will attend voluntary workouts - 670 The Score - It remains unclear how many Bears players will be in attendance for the in-person portion of the voluntary offseason program later in the spring. Earlier in April, Bears players released a statement saying the “majority” wouldn’t attend.

Bears need to strike delicate balance in unpredictable draft - 670 The Score - From Kevin White and Mitchell Trubisky to Eddie Jackson and Roquan Smith, the Bears’ draft results have been mixed under general manager Ryan Pace. But the process remains the same for Pace and his brass as they balance the present with the future.

Bears name Robinson, Mooney as their Piccolo Award winners - 670 The Score - The Bears on Tuesday named receivers Allen Robinson and Darnell Mooney as their winners of the Piccolo Award, given annually to a veteran and a rookie who best exemplify the courage, loyalty, teamwork, dedication and sense of humor of Brian Piccolo.

Reports: Bears Ownership Might Not Allow a Big Trade Up in the Draft - Bleacher Nation - Do George McCaskey and Ted Phillips feel it's necessary to handcuff their GM and head coach?

Do Any Linebackers Fit the Bears in the 2021 NFL Draft? - Bleacher Nation - If the Bears were as set at quarterback as they are at linebacker, our outlook on Chicago's future would be a whole lot sunnier.

It Looks Like Justin Fields' Draft Stock is Falling Drastically - Is Opportunity Calling for the Bears? - Seriously ... what gives? Ken's Note: Happens to black QB's this time of year, every year. And yes, I'm flat out charging there's racial stereotyping going on again this season in both the NFL backroom “old-boys network” and some of the “draft analysts”, as always.

Halas Intrigue Episode 158: Reading Ryan Pace - Chicago Sun-Times - Bears GM Ryan Pace spoke ahead of this week’s NFL Draft. But did he say anything?

Allen Robinson: Chicago Bears receiver talks franchise tag, offseason workouts - Chicago Tribune - Chicago Bears wide receiver Allen Robinson said he has “a pretty good mindset” as he prepares for the 2021 season despite playing under the franchise tag.

Chicago Bears' QB hunt different than in 2017 NFL draft - Chicago Tribune - The Chicago Bears are back in do-over mode at quarterback. The goal in this week's draft is to obtain a potential long-term answer at some point Thursday or Friday. But what is Ryan Pace's next move? And what if the board doesn't break the way the Bears want?

The Bears' 'cloud' at No. 20: Which NFL Draft prospects make sense in Round 1? – The Athletic - With the 20th pick, the Bears no doubt have a number of players on their big board they would take. We consider the best fits by position.

NFL Draft 2021: Hoge's Bears Mock Draft 4.0 - RSN - The 2021 NFL Draft is finally here and Adam Hoge has his final round of Chicago Bears picks ready, including a double-dose of quarterbacks.

Chicago Bears OTA participation in Question - Sports Illustrated - Chicago Bears general manager Ryan Pace thinks the team will have 90% to 100% participation in the voluntary on-field work being held starting May 17 but the players union issued a statement saying the majority of players would exercise their right to stay away.

Deep QB Class Awaits Says Chicago Bears GM - Sports Illustrated - Chicago Bears GM Ryan Pace called this a deep draft class at quarterback with talent available well into the draft, without making any type of commitment or tipping off his team's lean at the position.

Chicago Bears general manager Ryan Pace discusses 2021 NFL Draft - 5 things we learned (ChicagoBears.com headline, not DenmasterKen's) - Speaking with the media Tuesday, general manager Ryan Pace discussed the Bears’ options in the first round of the draft, the unique challenges of preparing for this year’s draft and more.

Chicago Bears WRs Allen Robinson II, Darnell Mooney named recipients of 2020 Brian Piccolo Award - ChicagoBears.com - The Bears on Tuesday announced that receivers Allen Robinson II and Darnell Mooney are the 2020 veteran and rookie winners, respectively, of the prestigious Brian Piccolo Award.

17 Solid Options at the 20th Overall Pick - Da Bears Blog - Even if they aren’t able to move up for a quarterback, the Chicago Bears should still get a really good player with the 20th pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.

Bears’ Allen Robinson ‘in a good place’ for 2021 - Chicago Sun-Times - The star wide receiver, unhappy with the franchise tag, won’t commit to participating in the voluntary portion of the offseason program, but he indicated he will be on board for this season.

Why drafting a QB could be the Bears’ plan all along - Chicago Sun-Times - The only thing scarier than the Bears’ quarterback hunt not going according to plan this offseason is the notion that it did.

Darnell Mooney thrives, Anthony Miller slides as Bears GM Ryan Pace drafts erratically on offense - Chicago Sun-Times - Pace’s skill-player picks have been hit-and-miss, but he has reached a point where he can’t afford any more misses.

Bears exercise Roquan Smith’s 2022 option - ProFootballTalk - Linebacker Roquan Smith won’t be leaving the Bears as a free agent next year.

RIP GENO HAYES

Geno Hayes, former Bears, Buccaneers linebacker, dies at 33 - Geno Hayes, a former NFL linebacker who starred at Florida State, has died. He was 33. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Tuesday confirmed his death. He had liver disease and had been in hospice care.

POLISH SAUSAGE

Unprecedented run of quarterbacks likely in Round 1 - ProFootballTalk - It goes without saying that the first three picks will be quarterbacks, with the Jaguars set to take Trevor Lawrence first, the Jets taking Zach Wilson second and the 49ers choosing among Mac Jones, Trey Lance and Justin Fields third.

Trey Lance: I’m excited to prove people wrong again - ProFootballTalk - One of the knocks on quarterback Trey Lance as he enters the 2021 draft has been his lack of experience.

KNOW THINE ENEMY

Taylor Decker in favor of Lions selecting an offensive lineman in the first round - ProFootballTalk - One of their best offensive linemen would like to see Detroit bring in another player to help the five up front.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT ON WINDY CITY GRIDIRON

LunchPail DraftCast: We go deep, like a running back - Windy City Gridiron - In the latest LunchPail DraftCast, the guys break down notable running back prospects in the 2021 NFL Draft.

Infante: Bears exercise fifth-year option on Roquan Smith - Windy City Gridiron - The second-team All-Pro linebacker will make $9.735 million in 2022.

Householder: Chicago Bears WRs Robinson, Mooney receive Brian Piccolo Award - Windy City Gridiron - One of the Chicago Bears’ most-treasured traditional awards is given to one rookie and one veteran

Curl, Snyder - Scrambling for a Quarterback: Observations from 10 Years of Drafting - Windy City Gridiron - In my last piece I suggested the Parcells test is at best outdated and at worse never useful. I wanted to see if I could do any better.

Aaron Leming’s 2021 First Round Mock Draft - Windy City Gridiron - What better way to kick of NFL Draft week than to have the 100,000th mock draft of the year? We’ve got you covered just a couple of days away from the draft.

THE RULES

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Windy City Gridiron Podcast Channel which includes Bear With Me from Robert Schmitz, Bears Over Beers featuring Jeff Berckes & EJ Snyder, Bears Banter hosted by Bill Zimmerman, Rule of 3 with R. Schmitz, Danny Meehan, and Brandon Robinson, and the occasional T Formation Conversation from Lester A. Wiltfong Jr.; EJ also co-hosts The Bootleg Football Podcast with Brett Kollmann; R. Schmitz has a film breakdown show on YouTube titled Run Pass Opinion; Will Robinson II has his WhiskeyRanger YouTube channel, and Steven’s Streaming Twitch Channel from Steven Schweickert.

Click on our names to follow us on Twitter: Jeff Berckes; Patti Curl; Eric Christopher Duerrwaechter; Kev H; Sam Householder; Jacob Infante; Aaron Lemming; Ken Mitchell; Jack R Salo; Steven Schweickert; Jack Silverstein; EJ Snyder; Lester Wiltfong, Jr.; Whiskey Ranger; Robert Schmitz; Robert Zeglinski; Bill Zimmerman; Like us on Facebook.