Tillman, Peppers earn honors for Bears

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Tillman, Peppers earn honors for Bears

They are on the outside looking in at the football goings-on this time of year but that doesnt mean the Bears are going unrecognized.

Cornerback Charles Tillman was selected not only to the first Pro Bowl of his career, but he also is one of the three finalists for the prestigious NFL Walter Payton Man of the Year award that will be presented on the Saturday of Super Bowl week in Indianapolis.

Tillmans competition are San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers and Baltimore Ravens center Matt Birk.

Walter himself won the award in 1977 when it was the Man of the Year award. The league renamed the award after Paytons death in 1999. Previous Bears winners have been the late Dave Duerson, Mike Singletary and Jim Flanigan, who shared the award with Tampa Bay linebacker Derrick Brooks in 2000.

The Payton MOY is the only NFL award that recognizes a player for his community service activities as well as excellence on the field.

Joining Tillman in Hawaii will be Julius Peppers after the league named the defensive end to replace Jason Pierre-Paul, who is in the Super Bowl with the New York Giants.

For Peppers this will be seven Pro Bowls and the first time since Richard Dent in 1984-85 that a Bears defensive end has gone in consecutive years.

Indications remain that running back Matt Forte will be making the trip to play, his sprained knee having checked out satisfactorily since the conclusion of the season. Forte is still without a contract.

BearsTalk Podcast: The three best defensive choices for Bears' first-round pick

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USA TODAY

BearsTalk Podcast: The three best defensive choices for Bears' first-round pick

CSN's Chris Boden is joined by Bears Insider John "Moon" Mullin and J.J. Stankevitz on the latest BearsTalk Podcast.

The guys discuss the depth and flexibility the Bears have given themselves through free agency without a big-name spalsh. They also talk about reports of the Bears meeting with quarterback Mark Sanchez.

Finally, the crew gives their thoughts on who the Bears should pick with the third overall selection in the upcoming draft and where Jay Cutler will land.

Take a listen:

2017 NFL Draft Profile: Michigan State DL Malik McDowell

2017 NFL Draft Profile: Michigan State DL Malik McDowell

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.

Malik McDowell, DL, Michigan State

6'6" | 295 lbs.

2016 stats:

34 tackles, 7 TFL, 1.5 sacks

Projection:

First round

Scouting Report:

"Has similar physical traits and abilities of Arik Armstead and DeForest Buckner, but may not share their football character. McDowell lacked production along the interior and could benefit from a move to a defensive end spot in a 4-3 or 3-4 front. McDowell is raw, but when he flashes, it can be blinding. McDowell is an explosive, ascending prospect with All-Pro potential if he grows into his body and takes the necessary coaching." — Lance Zierlein, NFL.com

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

Click here for more NFL Draft Profiles