If the NFL would just listen to Mel Kiper, the Bears would be very happy.The ESPN draft analyst has Illinois defensive end Whitney Mercilus going to the Bears at No. 19 in both the mock draft published in his 2012 Draft Report and in his revised three-rounder on Wednesday.CSNChicago.coms View from the Moon first-round will be out after this weekend but you get an early peek at No. 19 now its Syracuse defensive end Chandler Jones, who Mel has going to San Diego at No. 18.In the second round, Mel initially had the Bears landing LSU wide receiver Rueben Randle but has tweaked that in the direction of wideout Brian Quick,who had202 catches and 31 TDs in four seasons at Appalachian State.And in a third-round surprise, the Bears would absolutely love, Mel projects them selecting Penn State defensive tackle Devin Still. That would address a level-one need with a 6-foot-5 inside force that Pro Football Weekly and View from the Moon (theres another preview hint for you) see as a first-round selection.GM Phil Emery has positioned the Bears this offseason to have options on draft days, something they havent always had. Chris Williams (2008) and Gabe Carimi (2011) were picks in years when the Bears made no secret of their premium on getting an offensive tackle.Coach Lovie Smith has voiced the annual wish for more pressure rushing the passer and that is probably as close to a true need as the Bears have going into next weekend.Peter King over at Sports Illustrated adjusted his mock draft Friday to the Bears selecting Baylor wide receiver Kendall Wrightat No. 19 and Mercilus going 20 to Tennessee. I can see the Mercilus pick by the Titans but with the options available in round two (Quick, Randle, Alshon Jefferey), taking a wideout with the first-round pick seems more than a little unlikely.Draft boards are being put into more filled-out conditions around the NFL this weekend and mock drafts begun in earnest. Less than a week from now, no more mock to it.
Chris Sale and the Boston Red Sox are about to roll through Chicago's South Side.
At the tail end of the holiday weekend, Sale and Co. will return to the place he called home for seven years.
Sale was initially scheduled to start in the series opener Monday against longtime teammate Jose Quintana, but the Red Sox will now throw out David Price in his 2017 debut.
The 28-year-old Sale is slotted in for Tuesday night's outing.
Asked how emotional he'll be returning to Chicago, Sale brushed it off:
"I don't have time to think about that right now," he said. "Get ready for it like any other start. I've pitched there a lot so I should be alright."
Sale last pitched Wednesday against the Texas Rangers, picking up his fifth win of the season with 7.1 strong innings. It was also the first time Sale didn't strike out at least 10 batters in a start since his 2017 debut on April 5, going eight straight starts with double digit whiffs.
On the season, Sale is 5-2 with a 2.34 ERA and 0.81 WHIP averaging a ridiculous 12.5 strikeouts per nine innings. Sale leads the league in games started, innings, strikeouts, WHIP and FIP (Fielding Independent Pitching).
The big southpaw appeared in 228 games for the White Sox — including 148 starts — posting a 74-50 record with a 3.00 ERA, 1.065 WHIP and 1,244 strikeouts in 1,110 innings.
Bastian Schweinsteiger's time with Manchester United wound down with him being essentially frozen out of the team for an extended period, but he was still happy to see his former teammates win a European trophy on Wednesday.
Man U beat Ajax 2-0 to win the Europa League final in Stockholm. The win sealed a berth in next year's Champions League for the Red Devils.
Despite the way Schweinsteiger's tenure in England ended, the German midfielder has still said positive things about the club since leaving for the Chicago Fire in March. He tweeted out a good luck message to the team ahead of the final.
Paul Pogba scored in the first half and Henrikh Mkhitaryan scored in the second half to seal United's win and the trophy to end a season that included a sixth-place finish in the Premier League.
Schweinsteiger didn't play in any Premier League matches this season, but his last appearance for the Manchester club was as a subtitute in the Europa League round of 32 at French club Saint-Etienne.
Training with the Fire on Wednesday kept him from watching the whole final, but he said he did watch what he could.
“I’m happy for United," Schweinsteiger said after the Fire's 2-1 win against Dallas. "I’m happy for them. They are a good team and I’m happy they can play in Champions League next year.”