Good morning, frents!
Back from a few days off. Did you miss me?
Braves 8, Cubs 7
Bulls 110, Heat 102
Cubs at Braves (6:20, Marquee)
Tigers at Sox (7:10, NBCSCH)
Lightning at Hawks (7, NBCSCH+)
Red Stars at OL Reign (9, Paramount+)
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Are you feeling this draft?
We're finally in the thick of NFL Draft week, which is great news for those of you who are really into it and maybe even better news for those of you who are not — because it means we're finally near the end.
If you're like me, you fall somewhere in between. You're interested enough to brush up a little beforehand because who the Bears draft matters. BUT there's also no way you'll be clicking on the 2022 mocks that will start hitting the Internet the moment Mr. Irrelevant is selected.
With that in mind, here's a little primer before the premiere of the last two Midway Minute draft talks with two of my friends — longtime Bears writer Arthur Arkush and Luis Medina of Bleacher Nation Bears.
Scott Koral and I had great conversations with both. Check them out below before the Bears go on the clock on Thursday night.
When does the draft start?:
- The first round gets underway at 7 on Thursday.
- Rounds 2 and 3 are Friday night starting at 6.
- Everything wraps up at noon on Saturday with Rounds 4 through 7.
When are the Bears picking? Barring a trade, the Bears will pick 20th on Thursday. It's the first time since 2018 they're picking in the opening round, thanks to the Khalil Mack trade.
Here are two not-so-fun facts:
- This is the first time in Ryan Pace's tenure that he has a first-round pick and it is not located in the top 10.
- Only one of those four picks (Roquan Smith) is still with the team.
The Bears are also scheduled to pick 52nd (second round), 83rd (third), 164th (fifth) and at 204, 208, 221 and 228 in the sixth.
- The Bears fourth-round pick was sent to the Vikings last draft so they could move up and select Trevis Gipson in the fifth.
What do they need? You know darned well they need a quarterback because none of us are getting any younger and life is too short to watch Nick Foles and Andy Dalton put on Bears uniforms.
But the Bears also need plenty more, including a corner to replace Kyle Fuller, a bulldog offensive lineman to anchor that unit for the next decade and a stud wide receiver to make up for the eventual loss of Allen Robinson.
What's the deal with the quarterback crop? The only certainties seem to be Clemson's Trevor Lawrence hooking up with killjoy Urban Meyer in Jacksonville and the Jets taking BYU's Zach Wilson at No. 2.
The 49ers, who traded a king's ransom to move up to No. 3, are reportedly deciding between Alabama's Mac Jones and North Dakota State's Trey Lance. I have no idea why you'd give up that much to hope Bama has finally produced its first worthwhile quarterback in a half-century or pull someone out of the FCS who played about as much college ball as Mitch Trubisky, but you do you, Kyle Shanahan.
Who in front of the Bears could also pick a QB? While the Falcons pick fourth and need an eventual Matt Ryan replacement, it doesn't seem like this will be the year they do it. (Florida TE Kyle Pitts looks like Atlanta's guy.)
The Bears biggest competitors for Jones, Lance or Justin Fields could be the Lions (7), Broncos (9), Eagles (12), Patriots (15) or Washington (19).
The biggest questions to consider over the next few days: Should the Bears move up to the No. 6 spot currently owned by the Dolphins and how much would you feel comfortable giving up to move there?
Will Ryan Pace pick the right QB if he does make a deal? Almost certainly not. Though to be fair, everyone outside of the Jaguars will be rolling the dice on a potential franchise gamechanger and more than a few are going to end up regretting their decision. I'm not sure I'd trust the best talent-evaluator in history to pick the right QB in this draft, so I think the right move for the Bears is to stay put at No. 20 and take the best player available. It's not sexy, but nothing about the Bears has ever been.
News and results
It's still hard to believe Shaw is just 29, but it's also great to see he's making the right call for his family and his future. Head injuries are no joke and his retirement seemed imminent when he stepped away from the season back in February.
Win four straight, lose three straight. Just when you think the Cubs are back in, they get pushed back out. It's a reverse Godfather Part Three!
- Kris Bryant is hitting. Hitting grand slams, even! He also walked to raise his OPS to .993.
- You know who else is hitting? Anyone batting against Zach Davies, whose ERA is now 9.47. Are we sure he's not Kyle Davies (remember him?) in disguise, with Zach getting tied up in the dressing room like Enrico Pallazzo in "Naked Gun"? Look into this, Jed.
- The Cubs are 11th in runs scored — but they're 10th in most runs allowed. Look into this too, Jed.
- Next: Trevor Williams (2-1, 4.66) faces Ian Anderson (1-0, 3.27)
Which would be better for the Bulls — to make the playoffs or drop out and hope to get lucky in the lottery? Well, no matter the truth, they keep nudging their way toward the postseason — which was the point, they said, of their trade deadline moves.
- Nikola Vučević scored 24 and grabbed 11 rebounds, and Daniel Theis added 23 points with 12 boards to lead six players in double figures.
- The Bulls have won four of six to move within a game of the 10th spot in the East.
- • A 34-20 fourth quarter made the difference for the Bulls (26-35). Zach LaVine is still out; Bulls are 4-3 without him.
- Next: At the Knicks on Wednesday
— David Brown
- James Fegan on how Michael Kopech used all his time away to return to the Sox better than ever. The Athletic
- ESPN cameras caught one Cubs fan who's still really into Kris Bryant. NBC Sports Chicago
- Not only was U of C product Jay Berwanger the first Heisman Trophy winner, he was also the first pick in NFL draft history. But he never played a down in the league. Why? Sports History Network
- Rick Telander on the extensive travels of Charlie Moore, who's leaving DePaul for his fourth school. Sun-Times
- Buona Beef just unveiled an Italian beef sandwich using plant-based meat and I just have to ask a question. How do you ever go vegetarian in the first place if you like eating Italian beef? NBC Chicago
Lastly, the Alex Colome experience seems to be going great for the Twins.