2017 Chicago Bears’ Draft & OTA Review

Ryan Pace gave up four picks to the 49ers to move up just one spot to secure Mitch Trubisky, the projected Bears’ quarterback of the future. The Bears swapped pick three for the second pick along with third and fourth round picks in 2017 and a third round pick in 2018. Pace also drafted three small college players and a versatile safety with cornerback skills. Defensive line, a priority need, was not addressed. The second overall pick in the draft, Mitch Trubisky, is in the classroom and getting up to speed mode for the Bears. The consensus top quarterback in the 2017 draft must learn the offense, get comfortable, know what to do and how to do it. Then he can just go out and play. There is no rush with veteran Mike Glennon leading the way. Head Coach John Fox mentioned that Trubisky may get special packages similar to what Fox did with Tim Tebow at Denver to ease him onto the field. The former Tar Heel made positive strides by the end of mandatory veteran minicamp. A year ago at this time Adam Shaheen was honing his craft at Division II Ashland College in Ohio. During the Bears’ OTAs he has impressed with his athletic ability, agility, and his ability to get into and out of his routes with quickness. His massive tight end stature makes him stand out and his skill makes him look like a man among boys, even at the pro level. Shaheen is a big target who was repeatedly found over the middle by quarterbacks Glennon and Trubisky. He has the tools to excel in the NFL at tight end plus he’s big, smart, smooth, and a quick study learning a new and complex offensive scheme. Generally, tight ends advancing to the NFL will struggle with blocking, but Shaheen has the strength, frame, and base to hold his own. He will battle with incumbent starter Zach Miller and free agent acquisition Dion Sims for playing time. Safety Eddie Jackson was acquired after the Bears traded picks number 117 and 197 to the Rams for pick 112 in the fourth round. The versatile big play defensive back has experience at both corner and safety. A confident and reliable player in any type of coverage, Jackson has been a wrap up tackler who is reliable in space. Not an impact hitter because of his slender frame. Will need more bulk to hold up on Sundays. The ex-Alabama captain suffered two major injuries in college. A torn ACL in April of 2014 and a broken leg in late October last fall. The latter injury has kept him from full go in OTAs. Jackson scored three touchdowns on interception returns of 50, 93, and 55 yards. He owns the Tide interception return record with 303 yards in nine picks. He also tallied two punt return touchdowns of 85 and 79 yards. Tarik Cohen, or the “Human Joystick” as he was called in college, is trying to carve out a niche in sub packages as a third down back and pass catcher. The last few years, teams are drafting smaller and quicker athletes who can do damage in space and can win one-on-one matchups. Cohen impressed the Bears’ coaching staff with his explosiveness and quickness. Jordan Morgan, a four-year starter at left tackle, projects to move inside to give the Bears’ depth behind Kyle Long and Josh Sitton at guard. The Kutztown two-time All-America pick was a dominant player on the Division II level, but really struggled at the Senior Bowl and the early going in OTAs. Morgan will need to get stronger and be able to adjust to the speed and quickness of the NFL game. A raw developmental prospect. GRADE: AVERAGE.

FREE AGENCY: The Bears brought in an abundance of new blood to transfuse a moribund roster to the tune of 128 million dollars. Quarterback Mike Glennon was signed to a three-year 45-million dollar deal with 18.5 million guaranteed. Other top dollar free agents include Dion Sims (TE), Marcus Cooper (CB), Quintin Demps (SS), Markus Wheaton (WR), and Prince Amukamara (CB).

NOTABLE UNDRAFTED COLLEGE FREE AGENTS: Dieugot Joseph (Florida International) OT, Freddie Stevenson (Florida State) FB, and Andy Phillips (Utah) PK.

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