Draft Day 2: Bears have some enticing opportunities

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Draft Day 2: Bears have some enticing opportunities

Back when the draft was done over two days Rounds 1-3 on Saturday, 4-7 on Sunday teams looked forward to the overnight between the days. That was the time to inventory draft boards sometimes scrambled by day one events, and very often a gem had somehow slipped through.Alex Brown was such a nugget in 2002, a first-round talent whod drifted down for fuzzy reasons. So was Nathan Vasher in 2004. And Roosevelt Colvin and Warrick Holdman in 1999.The Bears hold the 18th pick of the second round, 50th overall. It will be up to GM Phil Emery and his staff to move on nuggets when the rounds start again Friday evening.Theres a couple different ways we can go in the second round, especially in the third, fourth and fifth rounds in terms of having flexibility the rest of the draft, Emery said. Getting a defensive end makes the rest of the scenario work for us the best possible way.The trade for Brandon Marshall and signings of Devin Thomas and Eric Weems dialed down urgency for addressing wide receiver. Running back Michael Bush, quarterback Jason Campbell andguard Chilo Rachal those and others gave the Bears quality veteran depth and allow the Bears to truly pursue a best player available.Wide receiverStephen Hill from Georgia Tech was the Combine sensation with his initial 40-yard dash time in the 4.2s. Some projections put him into the first round despite virtually no college production, in part because of a non-passing scheme.Hill rightly went nowhere in the first round. He will in the second, probably sooner rather than later.The same for Alshon Jeffery out of South Carolina. LSUs Rueben Randle did not get a first-round phone call but should not have long to wait on Friday.Offensive linePerhaps the biggest surprise ofRound 1was the number of offensive linemen projected as possible No. 1s who are still on the board: tackles Mike Adams from Ohio State, Jonathan Martin from Stanford, guards Cordy Glenn from Georgia and Amini Silatolu, and Wisconsin center Peter Konz.Most were on the cusp of Round 1, arguably overrated by some analysts, but they do represent quality now in Round 2. The Bears selected McClellin because they had him rated higher than any of the available offensive linemen when their turn came at No. 19.That player McClellin was at that spot at that time and he was the highest rated player we had, Emery said.CornerbackNational Football Post draft analyst Wes Bunting said during the NFL Scouting Combine that cornerback is a value area of the draft class. Three went in the first 17 picks but Bunting concluded that starter-level cornerbacks would be available in rounds 2 and 3.Brandon Boykin from Georgia, Nebraskas Alfonzo Dennard and Trumaine Johnson from Montana are that group. Janoris Jenkins from North Alabama was rated a first-round talent but with off-field issues that have him off many boards entirely.

Three Bears necessities to lay a broom on the Lions

Three Bears necessities to lay a broom on the Lions

If the Lions beat the Bears in Detroit, it'd be a recent rarity. No, not the Bears losing, but in this long series that reaches 175 games Sunday. One team or the other has swept the season series 11 of the last 12 years (the lone exception being 2011). The 17-14 Bears win Oct. 2 ended a string of six consecutive losses to their division rivals. At that point, both clubs were 1-3. The Bears have remained at that pace since, while the Lions have taken off, winning seven of eight.

It was Brian Hoyer's steady hand that guided that win, while a Vic Fangio defense missing Eddie Goldman, Pernell McPhee and Danny Trevathan forced Matthew Stafford into easily his worst game of the season.

1. STAY COMMITTED

That first meeting was Jordan Howard's first start, and his first 100-yard game, and the rook ran it 23 times for the first of five 100-yard rushing efforts (113). And since the two Bears touchdowns were scored by a couple of players who won't suit up Sunday (Eddie Royal and Zach Miller, from a quarterback who also won't be suiting up), keep feeding the beast. He's 117 yards from reaching the 1,000-yard mark (after just a dozen carries the first three games), and another 100-yard effort would give him the most for a rookie in Bears franchise history.

2. A FASTER START FOR MATT

...meaning Barkley, not Stafford. The Bears want to avoid a faster start by Stafford and the home offense, which was held to just one first down and 14 total plays on their first four possessions back in October. As Barkley makes his first NFL road start in a dome, he and his offensive teammates need to get out of the gate quicker than they have the last two home games. Before they got things rolling on the final drive of the first half against the San Francisco 49ers, they had four possessions that totaled 14 plays, 27 net yards and two first downs. In Barkley's first start two weeks ago against the Tennessee Titans, they surrounded one 13-play touchdown drive in the opening half with five possessions, totaling 16 plays, 108 yards, three first downs, and an interception.

[SHOP: Gear up Bears fans!]

3. HOO-RATIO

The Bears have lost the turnover battle in eight of their 12 games, and just twice have they won it. One of those instances was in Week 4. For a team that has just five interceptions all year, against a quarterback who's thrown just five picks, two came in the first meeting on the lakefront. And those picks were by (....wait for it....) Deiondre Hall (the rookie who'll play for the first time since that game), and Jacoby Glenn, who's now back on the practice squad. Now, yes, Stafford is a different beast in his den, and there's a completely different confidence level now for the NFC North leaders. But what if the defense can pull an encore? And can Leonard Floyd and Akiem Hicks pick up where they left off against another mobile quarterback? The Bears had just two sacks in the first meeting, registered by (....wait for it....) Mitch Unrein and Cornelius Washington.

** Finish up your snow removal by 11 a.m. Plop yourself in front of CSN, and watch ex-Bears Lance Briggs, Jim Miller and Alex Brown join Chris for Bears Pregame Live. Then as soon as the second quarter ends on CBS, log on here to CSNChicago.com as Jim and Chris break down the first 30 minutes and go over second half adjustments on Bears Halftime Live. Finally, as soon as the team's start sharing handshakes, flip back to CSN as the three ex-Bears and Chris provide 90 minutes of reaction, analysis, press conferences and locker room interviews from Detroit on Bears Postgame Live. **

Complete Bears-Lions coverage on CSN

Complete Bears-Lions coverage on CSN

The Bears and Detroit Lions square off Sunday at noon and CSN Chicago has you covered along the way.

Check out a schedule of Sunday's events:

— Meijer Bears Pregame Live with Chris Boden, Lance Briggs, Alex Brown and Jim Miller airs at 11 a.m. on CSN.

— Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois Bears Halftime Live streaming live on CSNChicago.com and ChicagoBears.com.

— State Farm Bears Postgame Live airing immediately after the game on CSN.

Important Twitter follows:

— John "Moon" Mullin (@CSNMoonMullin), CSNChicago

— Bears Talk (@CSNBears), CSNChicago

— Kip Lewis (@CSNKipLewis), CSNChicago

— Chris Boden (@CSNBoden), CSNChicago