The Mailbag: NFL Draft Edition


Welcome to The Chicago Homer’s Mailbag. It runs once a week unless it doesn’t, and in it I answer questions from readers via Twitter or email. The questions can be about any damn thing you please, and there likely isn’t a question I won’t answer. There may be questions I can’t answer, but I’ll try.

If you’d like to submit a question for the next edition of the mailbag it’s pretty simple. Either ask the question on Twitter using the #AskTCH hashtag — as long as you use the hashtag I will see it — or send an email to

And now that you know how to do it, let’s get to the this week’s questions.

I usually run the mailbag on Fridays or sometime over the weekend, but this is a very special edition of AskTCH. With the NFL Draft beginning tonight, I figured I’d do a special NFL Draft edition, and I’ve been fielding your questions all week.

And I’ll still be running another mailbag this weekend, so don’t worry, I’ll still answer your non-draft related questions.

So let’s get to answering some draft questions, shall we?

A couple of picks in return, obviously.

I mentioned the possibility of the Bears trading down in last week’s mailbag, and I’m starting to think it’s becoming a more likely possibility. I believe the Bears coveted Aaron Donald, and now that it’s looking more and more likely that Donald won’t even get out of the top ten, that dream is dying. There are other players the Bears like, but the question is whether or not the Bears would need to take those players at 14.

All that being said, I think the Bears drafting down will largely depend on how things develop in front of them. As things sit right now I have a hard time imagining there are teams knocking down the door for the chance to move up to the middle of the first round. However, should somebody begin sliding down, or maybe there’s an unexpected run at a position — there’s a reason Phil Emery wants quarterbacks to go early, and it’s not just to increase the possibility of Donald slipping — then a team might want to pull the trigger on moving up.

And should they do that, if I’m Phil Emery, I’d look to swap my first round pick with their while also picking up a third rounder. I think that would be enough because the Bears can probably still draft a player they like with that later first round pick and then they get that extra pick in the third when there will still be a couple possible starters available.

I’d say they’re pretty good, though I’m also not a 100% sure what you mean. Do you simply mean the Bears take a player they haven’t been linked to, or a player nobody has ever heard of? Because Emery certainly has shown a penchant for doing both.

I knew of Kyle Long simply because he played at Oregon and was Howie Long’s son, but I didn’t have any idea about him as a football player. And while most Bears fans had never heard of Shea McClellin when Emery took him, I knew exactly who he was. Which is why I really didn’t understand the pick.

Considering I cover college football for a living, I’d imagine the odds of me not knowing the player the Bears take are pretty slim.

On the other hand, the odds of the Bears taking a player we hadn’t heard them connected to the last few months are pretty good. Watch them end up taking a tight end or an offensive tackle.

If you had to take one quarterback in this draft, which one are you taking? – Krieger

In order to figure that out, I have to figure out what I value more, or how much risk I want to take. I think of all the quarterbacks in this draft the one with the biggest boom potential is Johnny Manziel. No, he’s not the perfect NFL-style quarterback, and his mechanics aren’t ideal.

But Manziel could turn out to be an icon. I don’t know what IT is when people say somebody has IT, but I know that Manziel has IT. And while his mechanics may not be perfect, he has the arm to make the throws, and we all know how mobile he is.

He truly has a lot of Brett Favre in him. He can be special. But he could also be a huge bust. So it’s a risk/reward kind of thing.

Now, if I want to take a quarterback with a limited ceiling, but a high floor, I’m taking Teddy Bridgewater. Simply put, I think Teddy Bridgewater can step in to just about any NFL camp this summer and take over the starting job. He hasn’t had the best combine or private workouts, but the problem with the draft evaluation process is that you reach a point where what the players have actually done on a football field stops mattering.

Teddy Bridgewater made some bad throws while standing around throwing to guys without pads on. Somehow that all trumps the fact that against live football competition, he threw for 9,817 yards, 72 touchdowns and only 24 interceptions in three seasons. Oh, and he did all that while completing damn near 70% of his passes.

“I have questions about his accuracy because he made some bad throws one afternoon!” says some dumbass ignoring the fact he completed 70% of his passes in actual football games with large men trying to hurt him.

Now, I don’t think Bridgewater is going to grow into one of the best QBs in the NFL — though I wouldn’t rule it out, either — but to me he’s the safest bet to be a quality starter in the league. And I can’t help but feel he’s going to slip down the board because of stupidity and end up being a steal for the Texans with the first pick of the second round.


I have no idea what this means. The question started out with so much potential, but then it seemed to contract polio toward the end there.

Depends on what you mean by slips down. Second round? Third round? I don’t think it would make sense for the Bears to draft a QB in the first three rounds. You just gave Cutler a huge contract, and following that up by using one of your early picks on a QB would just be odd. Not to mention it would cause a distraction.

Even if Jay Cutler was totally cool with the decision — and I don’t think he would be, but for argument’s sake — you know that this would be a story all summer heading in to the season. The media would play it up constantly, and the moment Cutler had a bad game, or made a bad throw to lose a game the “SHOULD CUTLER BE BENCHED” talk would begin.

And I don’t see why the Bears would purposely put themselves in a position to deal with all that bullshit.

I think if the Bears are going to take a QB, they should wait until the later rounds. Then it’s a move that makes a lot of sense, as it gives you Cutler Insurance as he’s prone to the injury from time to time, and if Marc Trestman works the magic you suddenly have a valuable trade asset.

There’s been a lot of talk in the last week about the Bears taking a running back, and I get where it’s coming from. When you look at the Bears roster right now, who is Matt Forte’s backup?


So I wouldn’t be shocked if the Bears took a running back this weekend, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it came in the first four rounds. Now, without any kind of inside info, and purely guessing — unless it turns out I’m right, in that case I knew all along and had sources — I’d say it’ll be Arizona’s Ka’Deem Carey.

I really like Carey. He has very good vision as a back, and he rushed for 3,814 yards and 42 touchdowns the last two seasons. Oh, and he was useful on screens as well, catching 77 passes for 679 yards out of the backfield while in Tucson. He’s the kind of back that could fit well in Marc Trestman’s offense, and also give Matt Forte a break from time to time.

I’m hoping the Bears get him.

Well, Ka’Deem Carey would have been one, but I have plenty others people should keep their eye on. In fact, I’ll even give you a “sleeper” at each position.

QB – Keith Wenning, Ball State

RB – Isaiah Crowell, Georgia State

WR – Devin Street, Pitt

TE – Colt Lyerla, Oregon

OT – Justin Britt, Missouri

OG – David Yankey, Stanford

C – Gabe Ikard, Oklahoma

DE – Jackson Jeffcoat, Texas

DT – Justin Ellis, Louisiana Tech

OLB – Denicos Allen, Michigan State

ILB – Max Bullough, Michigan State

CB – E.J. Gaines, Missouri

FS – Ed Reynolds, Stanford

SS – Ahmad Dixon, Baylor



And that’s it for the NFL Draft mailbag. If your question didn’t make it send in a better one next time.

Keep up to date with everything in Chicago sports by following The Chicago Homer on Twitter.

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