We can now officially declare the start of Mock Draft season since ESPN’s Mel Kiper has released his Mock Draft 1.0. He likes Florida State’s Timmy Jernigan to the Bears at #14. Here’s his thumbnail:
Timmy Jernigan *Chicago Bears (8-8)
COLLEGE: Florida St. AGE: 21 HT: 6-2 WT: 298 POS: DT
Analysis: This would be a dream scenario for the Bears, who were repeatedly gashed by the run down the stretch in 2013 due to a lack of interior defenders. They even had to move undersized 4-3 defensive ends inside. Jernigan is an active run-stuffer, a player who disrupts the run game with penetration due to unusual quickness for his size, and with leverage and violent hands that make him hard to move. He’d come in and help Chicago rebuild that interior rotation.
The Chicago Tribune’s David Haugh thinks that Phil Emery put the pressure squarely on himself this offseason. He’s got to prove he can build a defense:
By blaming injuries and the roster more than Tucker, the Bears clearly put the onus on general manager Phil Emery to do something he has yet to do in Chicago: Prove he knows how to build a defense. It doesn’t even have to be a great defense. Thanks to the explosive, expansive offense Emery put together, it barely has to be good. Average will do.
While some people are thinking about the draft, others are thinking about Free Agency. The Bears have an obvious need at safety and NFL Mocks has a couple of really good possibilities for the Bears, TJ Ward and Jairus Byrd, if only they can balance their salary cap.
Jermon Bushrod was named to USA Football’s All-Fundamental team.
The fifth annual USA Football All-Fundamentals Team recognizes NFL players who employ proper technique, particularly when blocking and tackling, which fosters better on-field performance and inherent safety benefits.
Despite his size and powerful build, Bushrod keeps a low pad level to gain leverage on defenders. He maintains balance to counter quicker pass rushers and uses proper hand placement to control defenders.
You can vote for Bushrod to be a team captain, which gets him a $3000 equipment grant to donate. Go vote, it’s the Chicago way!
Moon Mullin talks about the new coaches in the NFC North and how they’ll affect the Bears.
Tweet of the day comes from Stephen Paea:
New Pajamas for the crew pic.twitter.com/xjmxjgKsRp
— Stephen Paea (@PAEA92) January 16, 2014
Aw, aren’t they cute!