The Chicago Bears are busy enjoying a nice 10-day break from football after winning three games in 12 days. It seems their front office is using that time wisely.
They know that next offseason could be an important one. It will be the first time since 2010 the team will go into a draft without their 1st or 2nd round picks. While they don’t regret the trades that sacrificed them, which netted Khalil Mack and Anthony Miller, it’s no excuse to have a down year. They still have to draft well if this team is going to continue to ascend.
Normally in such cases, the best thing to do is mine talent from the big programs. The ones that tend to always produce NFL players. Just look at one of their best picks in years. Eddie Jackson came to them out of Alabama in the 4th round. Now he’s rapidly ascending into Defensive Player of the Year conversations. Even players from big schools who might get overlooked can turn out to be great.
That might explain why GM Ryan Pace has extra eyes in position for the hotly-anticipated Ohio State vs. Michigan game.
Chicago Bears could secure some strong talent from either team
Outside of Alabama and Auburn, there isn’t a rivalry in college football that’s better than this one. It tends to always mean a lot for both teams and is often a showcase for notable players to shine. While the top prospects are unlikely to be within reach for the Bears next year, there are a few names that could be worth watching for later on. Here are a few of them.
Chase Winovich (EDGE, Michigan)
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A team can never have enough edge rushers and the Bears seem to be a bit light on them outside of Khalil Mack. He’s not going to win awards for his pure athleticism, but Winovich is a savvy rusher with violent hands, intelligence and a relentless motor. He takes advantage of opportunities whenever they’re presented. Think of him as a poor man’s Clay Matthews.
Lavert Hill (CB, Michigan)
Defensive backs who can cover are always at a premium in the NFL. However, teams always end up seeking out the bigger ones first. Lavert Hill is only 5’11 so he could easily slip down the boards. That would suit the Bears just fine. He’s got the athleticism and fluidity to cover in space and is also physical in his tackling. With Bryce Callahan a free agent next year, he could be a replacement.
Isaiah Prince (OT, Ohio State)
Ohio State has become a bit of a factory for good offensive linemen in recent years. Prince certainly looks the type just from a physical standpoint. He’s big, long and nimble with a good power base and the necessary quickness to handle most pass rushers. His issues are almost entirely fundamental. There’s a lot of work to do in that department.
Michael Jordan (OG, Ohio State)
Chicago’s had good fortune with guys named Michael Jordan in the past. Jokes aside, Jordan is another big, athletic blocker with a ton of upside. He’s more polished than Prince but could be a quality choice for that right guard position what with Kyle Long’s future very much in question after yet another brutal injury.