The Chicago Bears free agent moves were solid, but not spectacular. The team, in desperate need of a quarterback, signed Mike Glennon away from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, then added pieces to the puzzle that still exists on defense.
Will Demps (Safety), Marcus Cooper (Cornerback), Prince Amukamara (Cornerback) and John Jenkins (Defensive Tackle) all have a chance to start this season. Jenkins might be the only one who comes off the bench this season as a reserve behind Eddie Goldman at nose tackle. In fact, Jenkins has enough natural talent to challenge Goldman if the third-year pro continues to get bit by the injury bug.
The key to the Chicago Bears success is defense, Glennon, who replaces much-maligned quarterback Jay Cutler, will need a solid performance on the other side of the ball to be successful. Cutler won when the Bears played stingy defense.
If the defense is the key to a winning season (the team won three games in 2016), then this is a chance to improve mightily from the third pick in the NFL Draft. The best thing Bears’ fans could want is a struggle to decide whether the team looks to help the defensive line first or adds secondary help. Either way, there will be a noticeable upgrade at either position.
The Chicago Bears may also want to replace wide receiver Alshon Jeffery’s position in the draft. Being that, they were not able to secure a top free agent pass catcher. Meanwhile, the team is still hopeful Kevin White will turn into the top option at wide receiver. Even though his track record of injuries makes many wonder if he can ever achieve that status. Right after addressing defensive needs, general manager Ryan Pace and head coach John Fox must find a suitable option for Glennon to work with.
Here’s how I see the first three rounds of the Chicago Bears’ draft breaking down.
Round 1, Pick 3 – Jonathan Allen, Defensive Lineman, Alabama – That huge cheer you just heard was from Jacksonville. They are looking to draft Leonard Fournette. Taking Allen off the board makes the decision that much easier.
Allen can play inside or on the edge as a rusher. The move would make Jonathan Bullard a quality backup in the Chicago Bears 3-4 scheme. He is not as flashy as Solomon Thomas of Stanford or Myles Garrett of Texas A&M. What he is, and this helps the Bears, is a heady, consistent player on the defensive line.
Round 2, Pick 36 – Quincy Wilson, Cornerback, Florida – Wilson may not be Jamal Adams or Marshon Lattimore. Nonetheless, he is just a notch below.
Wilson is considered a “gambler” with size. A hard-hitting defensive back who has covered some of the best receivers playing in the SEC. That’s a bonus for a team that plays, Detroit, Green Bay and Minnesota twice a season. Wilson will prove to be one of the best defensive backs to come out of this draft class.
He is solid in press coverage and should be matched up with the opponent’s top wide receiver.
Round 3, Pick 67 – ArDarius Stewart, Wide Receiver, Alabama – A truly underrated player. Although, he is someone who could become a solid playmaker on the next level. However, he lacks ideal size at 5-foot-11 and 204 pounds. Hopefully, since he has nice speed (4.49 in the 40), he can become a possession receiver, opposite White.
He caught 54 passes for 864 yards and eight scores and rushing for 68 yards on eight carries. He was a first-team All-SEC pick despite missing three games.