All posts by jordangallup

Every Fan Base Wants Brandon Marshall

Brad Biggs broke the news today that Chicago Bears WR Brandon Marshall is on the trading block for a mid round pick. Since then, twitter went crazy and Brandon Marshall was trending across the US for hours. There were hundreds of tweets from literally every fan base, wanting their team to trade for him.

AFC East

AFC North

AFC South

AFC West

NFC East

NFC South

NFC West

And even the NFC North

Bears Draft Prospect: Brandon Scherff

It’s easy to think that the Bears will draft a defensive player with the 7th overall pick, but GM Ryan Pace has stated that he will take the best player available and has made mistakes in the past by reaching for players in positions that the New Orleans Saints needed.

The Bears should take a look at University of Iowa Offensive Lineman, Brandon Scherff. He’s mean, he’s strong, and he plays until the whistle blows. Some have him listed as a tackle in the NFL, while Mike Mayock says that even though he could be great at all 5 offensive line positions, if Scherff is moved inside to guard, he would be an All Pro.

With Bushrod and Mills struggling at times, Garza likely in his last year, and Slauson’s injuries, Scherff would make a for a great pick and would be an instant starter. How great would it be to see him paired on the line with 2 time pro bowler, Kyle Long for the next decade.

There’s a chance that the top 5 defensive players like Leonard Williams, Randy Gregory, Dante Fowler, Danny Shelton, and Shane Ray could all be gone by the Bears pick.

Bears Draft Prospect: Dante Fowler Jr

Dante Fowler Jr is a 3-4 OLB or 4-3 DE that Matt Miller and many other draft experts have listed as their 3rd or 4th overall edge rusher. But this week, Mike Mayock said he sees Fowler as the top edge rusher in the class. At 15-20 lbs heavier than Shane Ray and Randy Gregory, Mayock says that Fowler is just as explosive and compares him to Pro Bowler Justin Houston.

At 6’3″ 265 lbs, Fowler has the size and speed to fit in a 3-4 or a 4-3 making him a great fit for a John Fox/ Vic Fangio defense. With other teams ahead of the Bears looking for an edge rusher, the only question now is, will he be available at the #7 overall pick?

Bears Hybrid Defense

All signs are pointing to the Bears switching to a 3-4 defense, but even head coach John Fox has talked about how you shouldn’t define a defense as a 3-4 or a 4-3. While some defenders don’t make sense in a pure 3-4, like Jared Allen or Will Sutton, it doesn’t make financial sense to cut them either. With 2014’s dead money totally over $18 million, mostly from Julius Peppers, Michael Bush, Gabe Carimi, Adam Podlesh and a few other veterans, Bears will have quite a bit of money to spend this offseason, 9th most amount in the NFL. We don’t really know much about Ryan Pace, but there is a chance he could go big. Like Ndamukong Suh big. Other rumors have Patrick Willis getting cut in San Francisco and new defensive coordinator Vic Fangio knows him well.

What could all this look like? Best case scenario, the front 7 of a hybrid defense could look like thisNd. Also mocking NT Danny Shelton to the Bears with their 7th overall pick.

Christian Jones, Lamarr Houston, Danny Shelton, Ndamukong Suh, Shea McClellin, Jon Bostic, Patrick Willis
Christian Jones, Lamarr Houston, Danny Shelton, Ndamukong Suh, Shea McClellin, Jon Bostic, Patrick Willis
Jared Allen, Lamarr Houston, Ndamukong Suh, Willie Young, Jon Bostic, Patrick Willis, Christian Jones
Jared Allen, Lamarr Houston, Ndamukong Suh, Willie Young, Jon Bostic, Patrick Willis, Christian Jones

 

Bears still need to improve the secondary in free agency and the draft. 2nd or 3rd round options could be safety Jaquiski Tartt, cornerback Marcus Peters, or safety Gerod Holliman. All defensive backs would improve from a front 7 lineup like this though. 

Chicago Bears on National Signing Day

Today is National Signing Day or College Football’s Draft Day. Each high school recruit is given a ranking on a star scale with 5 stars being the highest. Then each school is graded by the number of recruits they signed and the number of stars those recruits were given, similar to Draft Day grades. Many times, the star ratings end up meaning nothing. For example, JJ Watt was a 2 star recruit out of high school and many 5 star recruits go undrafted in the NFL.

Throughout the years, the Bears have drafted some 5 recruits and currently have 3 on the roster.

2002 Devin Hester (28th overall) Miami

2003 Greg Olsen (10th overall) Miami

2005 Martellus Bennett (8th overall) Texas A&M

2007 Jimmy Clausen (1st overall) Notre Dame

2010 Christian Jones (20th overall) Florida State

Jimmy Clausen

Bears Draft Prospect: Danny Shelton

At 6’2″ 343 lbs, Danny Shelton would be a perfect fit as a 3-4 Nose Tackle. We talked about it in Podcast Episode 20, but if Vic Fangio and John Fox move to a 3-4 or at least some form of it, Shelton could be a great pick at 7th overall. If you are looking for an NFL comparison, think Vince Wilfork and Dontari Poe. Danny Shelton is not only a big body, but he’s explosive too. He had a good week of practice at the Senior Bowl and the Bears are said to have met with him there.

Chris Ballard, the next Bears GM?

Will Chris Ballard be the next General Manager for the Chicago Bears?

Chris Ballard spent 12 years at Halas Hall working as the Bears Southwest Area Scout (2001-2011) for Jerry Angelo and then as the Director of Pro Scouting (2012) for Phil Emery, before leaving for the Kansas City Chiefs as their Director of Player Personnel.

Chicago Bears GM candidate Chris Ballard and Phil Emery

According to his Chiefs bio, Ballard helped Chicago draft Pro Bowlers Matt Forte, Johnny Knox, Charles Tillman, Tommie Harris, Nathan Vasher and Henry Melton. He was also directly involved in many notable acquisitions and trades, including the signings of Brandon Marshall, Michael Bush, Jermon Bushrod, Martellus Bennett, D.J. Williams and James Andersen.

All those Pro Bowlers listed above were in Ballard’s scouting region and players he went to bat for.

In Ballard’s first year in Kansas City, he helped the 2-14 Chiefs add 30 new players to their 53 man roster and make the playoffs.

Ballard is expected to interview with the Bears on Wednesday after turning down General Manager interviews in Tampa Bay last year and the New York Jets this year.

Bears other GM interview is set for Tuesday with the Tennessee Titans’ Lake Dawson.

However, some think Bears would be hiring another Phil Emery if Ballard is the new GM.

Fun fact: Chris Ballard was a coach at Texas A&M Kingsville when Bears Center Roberto Garza played there.