Pro Football Focus, one of the best places to go for the insider stats of the game, is an interesting place to go for an opinion on where Bears talent rates visavis the rest of the NFC North.
PFF has zero Bears named to its NFCN all-division offensive team, not impressed that center Roberto Garza was named to the Pro Bowl squad and going with Minnesotas John Sullivan. The close call was at running back where both Adrian Peterson and Matt Forte both ended the year on IR. Peterson edged out Forte, the far-superior receiver, on the strength of pure running ability. (Not sure Forte or his agent are seeing it that way in their contract negotiations with the Bears.).
Where this gets really fun is on defense.
Julius Peppers was a gimme along with Jared Allen at defensive end. PFF went with a 3-4 arrangement, so only Kevin Williams from the Vikings is at tackle. Henry Melton had more sacks than any other NFCN D-tackle but was downgraded for run-stopping.
Clay Matthews, Stephen Tulloch from Detroit, Erin Henderson from Minnesota and Brian Urlacher are the linebackers? And not Lance Briggs?
Charles Tillman is one cornerback. OK, Pro Bowl guy. And Tim Jennings is the pick over Charles Woodson, who was left as really the nickel guy. Woodson was a lot of reputation in 2011 but really...
Chris Conte was at safety alongside Detroits Louis Delmas, but it isnt an honor Contes likely to frame and cherish: didnt do anything spectacularly over the season but wasnt bad at anything, either, and was beaten less than the other options.
Special teams are worth a chuckle. Robbie Gould, Devin Hester and Adam Podlesh are the picks at their positions. But Detroits John Wendling was the coverage guy over Corey Graham, whos in the Pro Bowl.
Well, its an opinion thing.
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.
Charles Harris, OLB, Missouri
6'3" | 253 lbs.
61 tackles, 12 TFL, 9 sacks
"High-cut pass rusher with good athleticism but concerns regarding his ability to drop anchor against the run. Ironically, Harris might be best suited as a penetrator which is something he fought against this season. His hands can be improved as pass rush weapons, but he has agility and footwork that can't be taught. Harris can play on the edge in a 4-3 or 3-4 front and should be the next in a line of early contributing defensive ends coming out of Missouri." — Lance Zierlein, NFL.com
Video analysis provided by Rotoworld and NBC Sports NFL Draft expert Josh Norris.
Click here for more NFL Draft Profiles
PHOENIX – Brandon Marshall never needed a whole lot of encouragement to step before a microphone but the NFL, which sometimes wished he'd put a sock in it, has now invited the former Bears wide receiver to speak up.
The NFL extended an invitation for Marshall, whose time in Chicago ended in some measure because of his insistence on pursuing the media portion of his career, to address the league higher-up's ostensibly as part of a communications bridge-building. Marshall jumped at the chance.
"They thought it was important for a player to come up and give a player's perspective and talk about the relationship between owners and players," Marshall said on Monday at the outset of the NFL owners meetings. "I think it's evident that our relationship could be so much better."
Marshall has been part of Showtime's "Inside the NFL" in recent years, flying to New York to participate in taping the show, and ultimately accepting a trade from the Bears to the Jets in 2015, which obviously cut down on his commute. The Jets released Marshall earlier this month, after which Marshall signed on with the Giants.
He told owners this week, "If we want our game to continue to be on that [positive] track, that it's on being super successful and being a pillar in our community and being a thread in our community, we have to make sure our relationship as players and owners is good."
[VIVID SEATS: Get your Bears tickets right here!]
The immediate response was more than a little positive: Per San Francisco 49ers owner Jed York:
Marshall predictably welcomed the forum and wants to see it expanded.
"I'd like to see more players be more involved in our owners meetings," Marshall said. "And not only at the owners meetings, but any time we're talking football, we should have players at the table. Commissioner Goodell is always open-minded. He always has that open-door policy. So I think he'll continue to listen and continue to evolve this part of our business."