For most of the National Football League, the NFL draft begins Thursday.
Not for the Chicago Bears. Because of all their wheeling and dealing of high draft choices the past few years, the Bears won’t do anything until fairly late on Friday night. Their top pick is in the third round, at No. 87 overall.
They also have picks in the fourth (No. 126), fifth (No. 162) and seventh (Nos. 222 and 238) rounds.
They obviously are not going to get many high profile players in those slots but, as the Bears have shown in recent drafts, you still can get some pretty good players in those rounds.
Some players that one fan would like to see the Bears latch onto with those picks:
Third round: David Montgomery, RB, Iowa State.
There may be some wishful thinking here. Montgomery could very well be gone by No. 87 although most experts project him as a third-rounder. He fits perfectly into the Bears’ scheme as a back who can catch the ball and maneuver laterally in tight spaces. NFL.com’s draft prospectus compares him to Kareem Hunt, who prospered in Matt Nagy’s offense at Kansas City.
If Montgomery isn’t there, Miles Sanders of Penn State or Damien Harris of Alabama wouldn’t be bad consolation prizes.
Fourth round: Jamel Dean, CB, Auburn.
Dean is really a second- or third-round talent. He has good size for a cornerback and he ran an astonishing 4.3 40-yard dash at the NFL combine. But many feel he will drop a few rounds because he has undergone three knee surgeries. Here’s the thing: Two of those were in high school and the other one was in 2016. The Bears have shown a willingness to gamble on talented DBs with an injury history. They took Alabama’s Eddie Jackson in the fourth round in 2017, and he’s become a Pro Bowler.
Fifth round: Blake Cashman, ILB, Minnesota.
One of the few Bears starters who will be eligible for free agency a year from now is Danny Trevathan, who will be almost 30 by then. They need to start searching for his replacement, and Cashman could be it.
Another possibility in this spot could be Ben Banogu of TCU, a 250-pound edge rusher who ran a 4.62 40 at the combine and had a vertical leap of 40 inches.
Seventh round: What the Bears do with this selection will depend largely on what they’ve done with the first three picks. Possibilities include Northern Illinois’ Sutton Smith, an undersized edge rusher who plays with speed and energy; Andrew Wingard, a big physical safety from Wyoming; and James Williams, a running back from Washington State who has been likened to New England's James White.
Or how about this for filling a glaring need? Utah place-kicker Matt Gay. There may not be a kicker good enough to be drafted this year but if there is one, this is the guy. Over the past two seasons, Gay was 85 for 85 on extra points, 56 for 65 on field goals and 8 for 11 on field goal attempts over 50 yards. He uses an unusual 3-step approach that needs to be modified but he has a huge, accurate leg.
After Tiger Woods completed his comeback by winning the Masters last week, a few people got just a little carried away.
One radio commentator likened Woods’ feat to that of the mythological hero Odysseus. Another said that even if you weren’t a golf fan, you’d remember forever where you were when Tiger won it.
Um, maybe. I’m not really a golf fan and I remember where I was.
Then again, it was only last week.
Addison Russell is due to return to the Chicago Cubs following his 40-game suspension in a few weeks, possibly on May 3.
The question is: What do the Cubs do with him when he returns?
The more I see of Javier Baez at shortstop, the more I cringe at the idea of shuffling him to second base to make room for Russell. I’d leave Baez at short and play Russell at second, possibly in a platoon situation with Daniel Descalso and/or Ben Zobrist.
Few remember that Russell played 86 games at second as a rookie in 2015 before he and Starlin Castro traded places.
It was pointed out to us last week that Thursday (April 18) was National Columnists Day.
So that gives us one more day to celebrate each year along with Father’s Day (third Sunday in June), Grandparents Day (the Sunday after Labor Day), National Tall People’s Day (June 22), World Beard Day (first Saturday in September), National Pack Rat Day (May 17), World Introvert Day (Jan. 2) and National Greasy Foods Day (Oct. 25).
We also were thinking of celebrating National Procrastination Week in March, but we decided to wait until next year to do that.