Could Clemson DE Bowers slip to Bears at 29?

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Could Clemson DE Bowers slip to Bears at 29?

Thursday, April 7, 2011
Posted: 2:43 p.m.

By John Mullin
CSNChicago.com

DaQuan Bowers is having one of the more intriguing pre-draft rides of any prospect. The Clemson defensive end has been everywhere from the No. 1 overall pick to a second-rounder, based on a suspect knee and just one mega-year (15.5 sacks as a junior, 4 total his first two seasons).

Pro Football Weekly draft analyst Nolan Nawrocki summarized the concerns very succinctly this week and it would not surprise Nolan to see Bowers sliding down as far as 29th, where the Bears live.

The fluctuations will stop in three weeks when Bowers is drafted, undoubtedly somewhere between the two previous extremes. But two Bears defensive ends have figured in his being where he is and will be.

One was the late Gaines Adams, who was like a big brother to me, Bowers said. We were very close. Hes one of the reasons I chose Clemson. I was hit real hard by his death, but I had to go on.

The other is Julius Peppers. Bowers has held Peppers up as a football model for himself, but with realistic limits. He is one of the premier defensive ends in the NFL, Bowers said, laughing, and I am just a scrawny little defensive end coming out of college attempting to play like him and be half as good as him.

The Bears are determined to upgrade their pass rush (rare is the season and team that doesnt annually list that as a priority) and some scenarios would have Bowers still around when the Bears turn comes at No. 29. If hes available, he becomes an interesting possibility, particularly because that could mean at least one team has presumably taken an offensive lineman ahead of them rather than Bowers.

Theres talk of talk

NFL players have sent a letter to U.S. District Court Judge Susan Nelson, who is handling the court action by players seeking an injunction to end the lockout. The gist is that the players are embracing her recommendations to participate in mediation under court oversight.

View from the Moon will refrain from lengthy discussion and description of the myriad details here and elsewhere in the process. But there are a couple of different mediation options and the owners arent expected to be in favor of this one. So its movement, sort of...

Grain-of-salt time is upon us

Florida CG Mike Pouncey tweeted (@MikePouncey) that he would be shocked if hes not in a Dallas Cowboys uniform next season, obviously based on the hugs he got while visiting there. Actually, if he is in a Dallas uniform, a pretty high percentage of the football world will be dealing with the shock. The Cowboys pick No. 9 and no draft preview has Pouncey going nearly that high.

Pouncey can be forgiven, though, for letting himself believe the platitudes of a visit. The Bears have lavished the same things on prospects; so have other teams. Thats just part of pre-draft visits. As Mike Florio notes at ProFootballTalk.com, Randy Moss once had that same impression from the Cowboys, prior to the 1998 draft, when Dallas was picking eighth. They didnt take Moss, who stayed around until No. 21 when Dennis Green and the Minnesota Vikings took him.

For what its worth, Pouncey at guard while brother Maurkice was at center, before going on to a Pro Bowl rookie season with the Pittsburgh Steelers rates at the top of at least one list.

LSU defensive tackle Drake Nevis, a keep-an-eye-on player for the Bears according to draft expert Wes Bunting at National Football Post, said Maurkice was the best single blocker Nevis faced in college and Mike is good, too, Nevis said, adding, When they were at guard and center, that was a tough batch. And a lot of people would say that was the best one-two tandem they ever faced.

John "Moon" Mullin is CSNChicago.com's Bears Insider, and appears regularly on Bears Postgame Live and Chicago Tribune Live. Follow Moon on Twitter for up-to-the-minute Bears information.

2017 NFL Draft Profile: Tennessee OLB Derek Barnett

2017 NFL Draft Profile: Tennessee OLB Derek Barnett

As part of our coverage leading up to the 2017 NFL Draft we will provide profiles of more than 100 prospects, including a scouting report and video interviews with each player.

Derek Barnett, OLB, Tennessee

6'3" | 259 lbs.

2016 stats:

56 tackles, 19 TFL, 13 sacks, INT, 5 PD, 2 FF

Projection:

First round

Scouting Report:

"Strong edge presence with NFL-caliber hand usage and play strength. Barnett is one of the most productive defensive linemen to come out of the SEC in quite some time despite lacking the length and twitch that teams usually look for off the edge. His awareness and play traits should keep him near the action and he has the talent to step into a starting base end spot right away. There could be coordinators who view him as an early down, outside backer in a 3-4 with the ability to put his hand in the ground on sub packages." — Lance Zierlein, NFL.com

Video analysis provided by Rotoworld and NBC Sports NFL Draft expert Josh Norris.

Click here for more NFL Draft Profiles

Bears Chairman George McCaskey sets 2017 demands for Ryan Pace, John Fox

Bears Chairman George McCaskey sets 2017 demands for Ryan Pace, John Fox

PHOENIX — When the 2014 season concluded, with all its drama, poor play and internal dysfunction, Bears Chairman George McCaskey passed along the unvarnished mood of Bears matriarch and owner Virginia McCaskey:
 
"She's pissed off," George McCaskey declared.
 
The 2016 season ended worse record-wise (3-13) than 2014 (5-11) but Bears ownership sees arrows pointing up, not down as they appeared after 2014, occasioning the jettisoning of the general manager and coaching staff.
 
"[Virginia] sees the progress, but like any Bears fan, she wants results," George McCaskey said, chuckling at the recollection of relaying his mother's mood. "That's the quote that won't go away."
 
"Progress" and "results" are vague terms, and sometimes relative. But Bears ownership is not setting a public fail-safe point for either general manager Ryan Pace or head coach John Fox to remain in place, although no scenario could presumably consider four wins actual "progress" from three.
 
"We want to continue to see progress, see the building blocks but there isn't any sort of particular threshold," McCaskey confirmed. "We're not on any particular timetable that somebody else is wanting to set for us. We're wanting to see continued progress toward our goal of sustained success."
 
"Sustained success" is not beyond the scope of possibility, assuming that a talent core can be established and includes a quarterback, which the personnel department under Pace believe it is on the brink of putting in place, whether around Mike Glennon, Mark Sanchez or a player to be drafted or traded for later.

[VIVID SEATS: Get your Bears tickets right here!]
 
GM Phil Emery adopted the buzz phrase of "multiple championships," but current leadership does sound less grandiose and more grounded. And where Emery drafts proved disastrous, the Pace administration has had clear hits, injuries notwithstanding, as recently as the 2016 class, which McCaskey mentioned in the context of Pace building the roster exactly the way ownership prefers.
 
"We have confidence in Ryan and John," McCaskey said. "We want to build through the draft. Ryan said that in his interview when he said he was interested in coming to the Bears and we like how he's stuck to that plan. We saw it last year when we had three rookies on the Pro Football Writers of America all-rookie team; Cody Whitehair, Leonard Floyd and Jordan Howard.
 
"And that's what we need to keep doing; keep building through the draft. I told Ryan he should get ripped this time of year every year for not being more active in free agency and that's because we're developing our own guys and rewarding our own guys."
 
McCaskey supported the actions, or lack of same, by Pace in the pursuit of max-dollar free agents this offseason. The Bears dropped out of sweepstakes for cornerback Stephon Gilmore and safety Tony Jefferson, among others, when prices spiked far beyond the parameters set by the Pace staff.
 
"I've been very impressed with [Pace] as a leader, as an evaluator of talent," McCaskey said. "And one of the things I've been most impressed by with him is the discipline he's shown just as recently as this free agency period. He didn't want to overpay guys. Too often, I think, you overpay guys who don't come through for you and then you have a big hole in your salary cap and you're behind the 8-ball. So I like the discipline he has shown, the restraint he has shown in free agency."