Projected Top Three Picks:
First Round– Jamal Adams, S LSU
Second Round– Ryan Ramczyk, OT Wisconsin
Third Round– Bucky Hodges, TE Virginia Tech
The biggest glaring issue that you see in each of the three teams at the top of this year’s NFL draft is very clear. They all had quarterbacking issues in 2016. The rotation of Jay Cutler, Brian Hoyer, and Matt Barkley made this offense very one-dimensional and easily defended. Couple this with a Swiss Cheese defense, and you have a team that is drafting third overall. The 2016 Bears found themselves down early and often, which was evident by their middle of the pack ranking in offensive numbers. The lone bright spot for this team was the emergence of rookie running back Jordan Howard, who I was very high on during the preseason. If you drafted him and had patience, give yourself a pat on the back (not to mention a tip my way).
Coming into this draft, expect the Bears to focus heavily on the defensive side of the ball. With the third pick, I expect them to grab Jamal Adams as their first selection to improve the back end of their young secondary. Adams, a playmaker from LSU, can pay immediate dividends for this unit. Any slight improvement from the defense will go a long way towards helping Howard and the offense garner more opportunities. Projected second round pick Ryan Ramczyk could potentially start right away on a young offensive line that is still trying to find its’ way. As is the case with most lineman coming from Wisconsin, Ramczyk excels more as a run blocker, which fits this offense perfectly.
Going into the offseason, the biggest need for this team after moving on from Jay Cutler, was finding the next QB. This front office believes that they have found their guy with the signing of Mike Glennon. Many scouts believe that he is a very capable starter in the NFL, but in the action that I have seen, I am not buying in. He seems to be very limited in what he can bring to an offense. Look for Glennon to be a low tier QB2 who should be a late selection in Fantasy drafts, if even drafted at all. With Glennon heading up this passing attack, the values of oft-injured Kevin White and the surprising Cameron Meredith may have a very low ceiling. You should be looking at six or seven TDs at most for either player, leaving them in the WR3 or WR4 conversation. They will not be players that you can count on every week.
The player that Glennon’s signing will have the most effect on will be Howard. Coming off an impressive rookie season, the sophomore slump could be expected, but with Glennon under center and defenses keying on him, it’s almost a guarantee. Do I see him finishing among the Top 5 RBs in 2017? It would be a stretch, to say the least. I do, however, see Howard finishing as a RB1 solely based upon the amount of touches he will receive on a weekly basis. Look for the Bears to go after a TE in this draft as well to pair with free agent Dion Sims, giving Glennon more options to throw to. This should be a very defensive-heavy draft for the Bears, but expect them to continue to allow plenty of points and put the offense behind in games. This will allow Fantasy owners to take a look at some of the pieces on this offense based on volume alone. But at this moment, the only two players I have my eye on will be Jordan Howard and Cameron Meredith. All others are potential headaches that I would want other owners to deal with in 2017.
Passing Offense- 248.1 YPG (14th)
Rushing Offense- 108.4 YPG (17th)
Points Per Game- 17.4 PPG (28th)
Top Fantasy Performers:
QB- Brian Hoyer, 77 Fantasy Points
RB- Jordan Howard, 189 Points
WR- Cameron Meredith, 107 Points
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