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Chalk Talk: How will COVID-19 change draft prep?

Wondering about a player, a past game or another issue involving the Bears? Senior writer Larry Mayer answers a variety of questions from fans on

I'm sure things will be different leading up to the draft due to COVID-19. Has the league announced any of those changes?
Paul G.

It was reported by multiple media outlets in late January that, because of COVID-19 concerns, the NFL will prohibit prospects from visiting team facilities or meeting with teams at other locations. That includes private workouts, dinners, interviews, film sessions and medical exams. Teams can only have in-person contact with prospects at their respective on-campus Pro Days, with teams limited to three members of their organization in attendance. As was the case after everything shut down last March, the majority of contact between teams and prospects likely will occur via telephone and video conferencing.

Who did the Raiders pick with the two first-round choices they received from the Bears in the Khalil Mack trade and how did they perform in 2020?
John M.
Chicago Heights, Illinois

Three full NFL seasons have been played since the blockbuster Bears-Raiders trade that brought perennial Pro Bowl outside linebacker Khalil Mack to Chicago in 2018. The Bears sent a total of four draft choices to the Raiders and received two in return (in addition to Mack). The Bears spent the two picks they acquired, both in the 2020 draft, on tight end Cole Kmet in the second round and offensive lineman Arlington Hambright in the seventh round.

Here's what transpired with the four selections the Bears traded to the Raiders:

  • 2019 first round (running back Josh Jacobs at No. 24 by Raiders)
  • 2019 sixth round (cornerback Blessuan Austin at No. 196 by Jets)
  • 2020 first round (cornerback Damon Arnette at No. 19 by Raiders)
  • 2020 third round (receiver Bryan Edwards at No. 81 by Raiders)

Jacobs has rushed for at least 1,000 yards in each of his first two NFL seasons. He ran for 1,150 yards and seven touchdowns on 242 carries as a rookie in 2019 and then earned Pro Bowl honors in 2020 when he compiled 1,065 yards and 12 TDs on 273 attempts. Arnette appeared in nine games with seven starts last year as a rookie, registering 25 tackles and two pass breakups. He spent parts of the season on injured reserve and the COVID-19 list. Edwards played in 12 games with three starts last year as a rookie, catching 11 passes for 193 yards and one TD.

Longtime Bears fan from across the pond. British players are rare in the NFL but do turn up every now and again. Have any Brits ever played for the Bears?
Richard P.
Birmingham, United Kingdom

I believe that former linebacker and special teams standout Tim Shaw is the only British-born player in Bears history. Shaw, who was born in Exeter, England, played one season for the Bears in 2009, appearing in 15 games, all as a reserve. I recall that he set a team record with eight special-teams tackles in the season finale against the Lions in Detroit. Shaw moved to the United States as a kid, attending Lawrenceville High School in Livonia, Mich., and Penn State University before playing six NFL seasons with the Panthers, Jaguars, Bears and Titans. Shaw is currently battling ALS. According to Pro Football Reference, there have been more than 30 NFL players born in England. The most noteworthy include defensive end Osi Umenyiora, tight end Visanthe Shiancoe, running back Sammy Morris, defensive backs Domonique Foxworth and Vince Newsome and kickers Mick Luckhurst and John Smith.

Chalk Talk features fan questions multiple times each week. Email your question to Larry.

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