What impact will rookies have on 2012 Bears?

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What impact will rookies have on 2012 Bears?

The Chicago Bears rookie minicamp is just around the corner. 2012 Rookies and normally new free agents will be introduced to the Bears playbook and learn how to practice like pros May 11-13th.

How will Draft selections fit and what impact will they realistically provide the Bears in 2012?

Before examining 2012 draft pick expectation for the Bears, lets preface normal rookie impact across the NFL landscape.

Many NFL general managers and coaches will tell you 90-95 percent of rookies are not ready to play. They will also tell you most draft picks contribute. 2011 was an anomaly because of the lockout. Most schemes were scaled back, leading to some outstanding performances from rookies like QB Cam Newton (Carolina Panthers) and LB Von Miller (Denver Broncos) to name a few.

Historically, there will be about 20 to 25 draft picks that are actually penciled in as starters opening day across the league.

Expectation:

RD 1 (19th) Shea McClellin 6-3, 260 Boise State DEOLB - Whether McClellin can prove to be an every down DE -- which is what Lovie wants McClellin to be -- is a big question mark. McClellin was targeted for OLB in a 3-4 scheme. What McClellin may provide the Bears is the ability to kick DEDT Israel Idonije down to DT, putting three pass rushers (Peppers, McClellin, & Idonije) on the field in passing situations. The Bears were ranked 28th in the NFL versus the pass and 19th with only 33 sacks in '11. Three pass rushers should provide more pressure on opposing QBs, but this is a wait-and-see approach.

RD 2 (45th) Alshon Jeffery 6-4, 220 South Carolina WR - Jeffery could provide the biggest impact for the Bears in 2012. I imagine him backing up Brandon Marshall at the Weak side (X) position to start. Jeffery can watch how it is done from one of the best. It will be easier for the veteran to learn both X & Z (Flanker) positions than to overload Jeffery. All rookies learn at a different rate and this has been a problem area for the Bears in the past due to Martz system, but maybe no longer with new OC Mike Tices simplified approach moving forward.

The Bears' two best offensive personnel groupings will be: Regular (X, Y, Z & 2 backs) which equates to Jeffery, Davis, Marshall, Klutz and Forte or Bush all on the field and the other grouping is 3 WRs (X, Y, Z, W & 1back) which would be Jeffery, Davis, Marshall, Bennett and Forte or Bush all on the field. Either grouping is a monster lineup that would be difficult to defend. It also coincides with what Tice did while coaching the Vikings.

Sorry Hester fans, Devin will have a role, but more of the package type.

RD 3 (79th) Brandon Hardin 6-3, 217 Oregon State SCB - Missed all last year with a broken shoulder. The Bears felt comfortable with their medical due diligence and research to select Hardin. Safety has been a revolving door for the Bears and history suggests Hardin may have to contribute at some point in 2012. Any impact will more likely be on special teams or if the Bears utilize Big Nickel, which is three safeties on the field to combat Heavy personnel on offense. Hardin will start out as the third or fourth safety on the Bears depth chart.

RD 4 (111th) Evan Rodriguez 6-4 FBH back Temple - Rodriguez could potentially carve out a nice role and playing time if he can pick up the offense quickly and of course will contribute on special teams.

No GuaranteesPractice Squad

RD 6 (184th) Isaiah Frey 5-11, 188 CB Nevada RD 7 (220th) selection Greg McCoy 5-10, 180 TCU - There are no guarantees for Frey or McCoy. The additions of free agents CB Kelvin Hayden and CB Jonathan Wilhite will provide some great battles in training camp to make the team. These two better strap up their special teams hat to scrap like crazy to make the squad. Both may potentially be practice squad material.

NCAA Golf Championships and local stars take Rich Harvest Farms by storm

NCAA Golf Championships and local stars take Rich Harvest Farms by storm

 

The NCAA Men’s Golf National Championships are in full swing as teams have flocked from all across the country to compete at the pristine Rich Harvest Farms, in Sugar Hill, Ill.

The Championships, hosted by Northern Illinois, span from May 19-31 and include both individual and team competition for the men’s and women’s divisions.

In its first ever appearance at Rich Harvest Farms, the tournament will have no shortage of local talent.

The University of Illinois will be making its 10th straight NCAA tournament appearance led by Nick Hardy out of Northbrook, Ill. The Illini have had semifinal finishes in the last two years respectively, establishing themselves as an NCAA men’s powerhouse and looking to finally make it to the final round this year.

Other local golfers include:

Doug Ghim, Arlington Heights. -- University of Texas

Trent Wallace, Joliet. -- Illinois State University

Other top contenders at the tournament for team play are headlined by USC, Oklahoma State, and Vanderbilt. While for individual play Will Zalatoris out of Wake Forest leads the way, followed by Chandler Phillips out of Texas A&M and Travis Trace out of North Florida.

The men’s portion of the Championships began today at 3 p.m., but have dealt with delays due to inclement weather.

Last week saw women’s play wrap up on May 24 with Arizona State not only defeating local favorite Northwestern for their eighth national title in team play, but also saw Monica Vaughn take home the sixth individual title for the Sun Devils as well.

Men's play continues tomorrow through May 31 and can be seen on the Golf Channel along with the highlighted times below.

Golf Channel NCAA Men’s Golf Championships Coverage (all times ET)

Monday, May 29

Individual National Championship

4-8 p.m. (Live)

Tuesday, May 30

Quarterfinals, Team Match Play

11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. (Live)

Tuesday, May 30

Semifinals, Team Match Play

4-8 p.m. (Live)

Wednesday, May 31

Team Match Play National Championship

4-8 p.m. (Live)

 

White Sox prospect Lucas Giolito: No-hitter 'special' after early struggles

White Sox prospect Lucas Giolito: No-hitter 'special' after early struggles

Lucas Giolito got the “click” he was looking for on Thursday night and it resulted in a seven-inning no-hitter for Triple-A Charlotte.

Currently the No. 2-rated White Sox prospect, Giolito has struggled so far this season at Charlotte. He’s 2-5 with a 5.44 ERA in nine starts in 46 1/3 innings.

While he’s struck out 43 hitters, Giolito has also walked 25. But it all came together for the tall right-hander on Thursday when he threw an 87-pitch no-no against the Syracuse Chiefs.

“It was special,” Giolito said on a conference call on Friday. “Just the way the year has gone, it didn't start the way I wanted it to, the numbers haven't been great. So it's great to have a no-hitter under my belt, my first professional one. Just take that and work from there. I'm just going to keep working on the things I've been working on the past few weeks and hopefully string a few good ones together.”

Rated the No. 3 overall prospect in the majors before the 2016 season, Giolito’s profile has slipped some because of performance. The top name included from the Washington Nationals in the Adam Eaton deal, Giolito has struggled with command of his offspeed pitches and fastball at times. Earlier this month, Giolito described his performance as “atrocious,” while remaining optimistic that his fortunes could change just like clicking on a light switch.

Giolito said he felt confident on the mound Thursday and it translated.

“I did a lot better job of keeping the fastball down in the zone to both sides of the plate,” Giolito said. “I was able to get the ball inside to lefties pretty well, maybe got a few jam shots some pop outs here and there and then I had my two-seamer working as well. It was just a pretty solid day as far as throwing the fastball.”

Pleased as he is, Giolito is striving to be better. He pointed at his three walks as an area he’d like to improve upon. But he’s also happy with how it all worked on Thursday.

“There's always still work to do,” Giolito said. “I walked three batters and that is not something I want to be doing. The walk numbers are a little too high for my liking. There's still plenty to work on, but everything felt pretty solid last night. I felt like I repeated my delivery well, I executed more pitches. Especially when I'd fall behind in the count I'd execute quality pitches and you can get yourself out of bad situations doing that.”

The Knights made two roster moves on Friday -- Yoan Moncada was activated off the seven-day disabled list and Ryan Raburn was traded to the Washington Nationals for cash or a player to be named later.