Dec. 23, 2012; Glendale, AZ, USA; General view of University of Phoenix Stadium as reflected in a Chicago Bears helmet during the first half against the Arizona Cardinals. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

Draft Sleepers - Bears pan for gold

Dec 26, 2013; San Diego, CA, USA; Northern Illinois quarterback Jordan Lynch (6) throws a pass against the Utah State Aggies during the 2013 Poinsettia Bowl at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

I think most of us can agree when it comes to the first three rounds, the Bears have a pretty good idea what to do.  It comes down to who they like at DT, CB and Safety and what round they can get their choice.

Where it will get interesting is what they do with the rounds following.  The have four additional picks, with two in the sixth round.   They have a lot of options and needs, but I would like to highlight five players that might fall through the cracks and become those gold nuggets we call sleepers.

Quarterback:  Jordan Lynch, Northern Illinois

Jordan wrapped up his college career finishing third for the Heisman Trophy. Known as a tough athlete and one that could be labelled multifaceted.  At QB, he had some impressive numbers, finishing with a passing percentage of 61%, 6200 yards with 51 TD passes against 14 interceptions.  He was impressive with his running skills, were he had 4,300 yards rushing, a 6.6 yards per carry average and 48 rushing TD’s.

His athletic skills don’t end there. At the combine, he participated in defensive back drills and impressed the scouts with his footwork and fluid hips.  Along with these talents he has good leadership capabilities which is something Trestman looks for in a QB.  As a Quarterback, he has good mechanics, works his progressions well and doesn’t force the play, hence only 14 career interceptions.  The one draw back is his size, coming in at just 6′ tall. Overall, he fits the profile Trestman laid out for a backup Quarterback.

He fits the Bears in several ways, they can look at him at Quarterback, which they will do on April 18th.  Lynch said the Bears asked him to be ready for a workout at QB and nothing else. Not saying they won’t ask him to do other things, but the focus will be at QB.  They can also consider him as a running back or safety.  This will be the second time the Bears have spent time with him, and he is a high reward low risk pick.

Linebacker:  Xavious Boyd, Western Kentucky.

Many fans still believe the Bears are not set at LB as of yet.  The combination of ageing players, inexperienced replacements puts the LB group in a tenuous position. There is a lot riding on the seasoned players not getting hurt, and the younger players ready to step up.  With that said, it would not hurt the Bears to bring in a linebacker to be ready in case, any of the current linebacker’s get hurt or disappoint in their play.

Boyd is 6’2 230# and played outside linebacker where he finished 2013 with 15.5 tackles for a loss, 8 sacks and had over 100 tackles. He has good sideline to sideline presence with good instincts and competitive fire. His biggest game was against Tennessee where he had 13 tackles.  He has met with the Bears and is built along the lines of Lance Briggs.  I suspect he will be one of the 30 prospects the Bears will bring in. He was snubbed by the Combine but at his pro day he ran a 4.6 40 at 240#.

Wide Receiver:  Kevin Norwood, Alabama

It is my belief you can never have enough receivers, especially one that is 6’2″ and weighs 200#.  Norwood didn’t put up big numbers at Alabama due to the running game, but is a solid possession receiver, with good straight line speed and sure hands. Well suited to be a slot receiver and  is big enough to block out defensive backs.  He is also a good blocker and was McCarron’s go to guy when pressure was in play. He would be a nice fit into Trestman’s system.  He had gone unnoticed until his Pro Day where he had an excellent workout and got noticed, he ran a 4.48 40.

Tight End:  Colt Lyerla, Oregan

Could this be another Marquiss Wilson play?  All of us know Lyerla has his issues and like Wilson got kicked off his team. However. it is hard to overlook the skills he brings to the Bears. With his size and speed he can be used in all formations and WR sets. He runs his routes well, especially over the middle and slants and has good hands. He does need to work on his blocking for he doesn’t pack a big punch. He would be a day one or two selection for not his red flags,  Bears got lucky with Willson, can they do it again with Colt?

Running Back:  James White, Wisconsin

We all recognize that Matt Forte will not last forever, and Michael Ford is still an unknown.  While I don’t think RB is a priority, it would not be a bad idea for the Bears to bring in a few to see if there is an heir apparent if Ford is not the one.

White is an undersized running back, but one that does all things well. Good pass blocker, good hands and is agile.  He is tough only miss one game in four seasons, has good vision and runs north-south consistently. Also doesn’t fumble. Not flashy, but reliable and is competitive with a sneaky burst of power.  Well balanced running back that does all things well.

I will review next Thursday 5 more sleepers they Bears might look to draft.
















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