Jalen Hurts, Cole Kmet names to watch as Bears enter combine week

The Chicago Bears arrive at the NFL combine with multiple roster holes to fill and modest resources available to do so.

General manager Ryan Pace will no doubt attempt to address certain problem areas in free agency – where Chicago currently sits near the bottom of the league in salary-cap space — but building through the draft will be paramount.

The Bears have missed the playoffs eight of the last nine years for a variety of reasons, but draft miscues rank near the top. The Bears had four straight top-10 picks from 2015 to ’18 and just one postseason appearance (2018) to show for it.

Wide receiver Kevin White — the seventh overall pick in 2015 — is out of the league.nike nfl jerseys cheap paypal

Linebacker Leonard Floyd — the ninth overall selection in 2016 — is a full-time starter but not the kind of impactful player you’d expect from someone taken that high.8

Quarterback Mitchell Trubisky — the second overall pick in 2017 — regressed last season and is at the crossroads of his career in Chicago.

Linebacker Roquan Smith — chosen eighth overall in 2018 — followed up a solid rookie season with an up-and-down second year that included a one-game benching for personal reasons and ended with a trip to injured reserve because of a torn pectoral muscle.

For every Alshon Jeffery (second round, 2012), Kyle Fuller (first round, 2014), Eddie Goldman (second round, 2015), Cody Whitehair (second round, 2016), Nick Kwiatkoski (fourth round, 2016), Eddie Jackson (fourth round, 2017), Tarik Cohen (fourth round, 2017) and Bilal Nichols (fifth round, 2018), there have been as many, if not more, forgettable picks such as Shea McClellin (first round, 2012), Brandon Hardin (third round, 2012), Jon Bostic (second round, 2013), Ego Ferguson (second round, 2014), Will Sutton (third round, 2014), Hroniss Grasu (third round, 2015), Jonathan Bullard (third round, 2016) and Adam Shaheen (second round, 2017).

The Bears are still without a first-round draft choice because of the Khalil Mack trade, but Pace presently has seven picks, including No. 43 and No. 50 overall in the second round. Chicago could also be awarded a compensatory draft pick for losing safety Adrian Amos in free agency last spring.cheap nike nfl jerseys china

The Bears have several areas of need — tight end, quarterback, offensive line, safety, wide receiver and cornerback.

Bears ‘committed’ to Mitchell Trubisky as starter in ’20

Bears general manager Ryan Pace reaffirmed the team’s commitment to starting quarterback Mitchell Trubisky in 2020, but Chicago could change its offensive philosophy next season.

“To be clear, yes it is,” Pace said Tuesday morning at the NFL combine, when asked if the Bears’ commitment to Trubisky is unchanged. “We believe in Mitch. Mitch knows he needs to be better. We need to be better around him. And that’s our goal.”

The second overall pick of the 2017 NFL draft, Trubisky finished the year 28th in total QBR (39.4), tied for 27th in touchdown passes (17), 21st in passing yards (3,138), 32nd in yards gained per pass attempt (6.1) and 28th in traditional quarterback rating (83.0).cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

In 2018, Matt Nagy’s first season as head coach, the Bears went 12-4 as Trubisky passed for 3,223 yards, 24 touchdowns and 12 interceptions and rushed for 421 yards and three touchdowns.7

“I think every quarterback is growing in different areas, and a big growth for a quarterback is understanding coverages, mastering your offense, being comfortable with all the new things coordinators are throwing at you,” Pace said.

“… I remember with Drew [Brees], he went through that in 2004 in San Diego; just immersed himself in that. That’s Mitch’s mindset right now. Just being obsessed with learning NFL defenses, mastering our offense. And when you do those things, it allows you to play faster and with better instincts.”

Trubisky underwent surgery in January to repair a partially torn labrum in his left shoulder but is expected to be ready when training camp opens in July. He suffered the labrum tear and dislocated his non-throwing shoulder in Week 4 against the Minnesota Vikings but missed just one game.nike nfl jerseys cheap paypal

Pace emphasized that the Bears want competition at all positions — including quarterback — but the GM stopped short of revealing whether Chicago intends to add another quarterback via free agency or the draft.

The Bears enter the 2020 season with a clear sense of urgency — particularly on offense, where Chicago ranked 29th in points per game and total yards per game, 27th in rushing yards per game and 25th in passing yards per game.

Nagy shook up the offensive staff last month by firing three assistants; hiring Bill Lazor to be offensive coordinator, John DeFilippo as quarterbacks coach, Juan Castillo as offensive line coach and Clancy Barone as tight ends coach; and promoting Dave Ragone to passing game coordinator.

“As we go through this offseason here, we need to figure out offensively what is our identity,” Nagy said. “I think more specifically, too, in the run game, we struggled there. So we got to figure out what our identity is, and that’s going to be an objective for us. … There’s a sense of urgency for us going into this year. It needs to happen sooner.”