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Chalk Talk: Which position group is most intriguing?

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 ChicagoBears.com.

What position group are you most eager to see work out at the Combine?
Steve A.
Mundelein, Illinois

I'd probably say the receivers. It seems every year the position is stacked and that appears to be the case again this year, with multiple media outlets ranking receivers among the deepest position groups in the draft. Sports Illustrated, for example, lists 15 receivers among its top 100 prospects, tied with edge rushers for the most of any position. With only two receivers under contract in Darnell Mooney and Dazz Newsome, it's also clear that the Bears will have to bolster the position this offseason. Mooney was an absolute steal in the fifth round in 2020 and there figures to be playmaking receivers once again available throughout this year's draft.

Speaking to reporters Tuesday at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis, coach Matt Eberflus provided an in-depth look at what the Bears are seeking at the receiver position, saying: "You want explosive athletic ability there that can produce chunk plays. If you throw a screen, you want a guy that can take it and go for 15 or all the way. The controlled passing game is just that, but the athletes are the guys that make you miss. So, you have guys that are quick, explosive, strong. They have to be strong at the point of attack to be able to block. We're going to put a big onus on the running game. They have to be able to do that. Then you have to have different traits at different positions. One guy might be quick and he's really a short route runner. Another guy can do it all; our No. 1 receiver should be able to do that. And the other guy should be able to take the top off the defense. That puts stress on the defense."

I hear so much about a "three technique" defensive lineman and was hoping you could explain why the position is called that.
Joe R.
Boise, Idaho

It's all based on where the defensive linemen line up versus the offensive linemen. If a defensive lineman is directly across from the center, he's considered a "zero technique." The numbers then begin to go up as you move down the line, with even numbers assigned to defensive linemen who line up directly across from an offensive lineman and odd numbers given to those who align on the outside shoulder of an offensive linemen. So, moving down the line, the "one technique" lines up on the outside shoulder of the center, the "two technique" lines up right across from the guard and the "three technique" is located on the outside shoulder of the guard.

By the way, Matt Eberflus spoke about the importance of the three technique in his defense and the key traits he seeks at the position, saying Tuesday at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis: "You've got to be disruptive. You've got to do a couple of things as a three technique: No. 1, you've got to win your one-on-one matchup. And when they run zone away from you, you've got to be able to stay in the 'B' gap (between the center and guard). It's that simple. Those are the two things we look for, and they come in all shapes and sizes. And you've seen it. But explosive athletic ability is the No. 1 trait."

Do you think Larry Borom will remain at tackle or be moved to guard?
Steve H.
Oshkosh, Wisconsin

New Bears general manager Ryan Poles and coach Matt Eberflus have yet to make those types of decisions. While they've evaluated tape of the players from last season and even prior years, they have yet to see them live and in person on the field, even for conditioning drills. Neither Poles or Eberflus was asked Tuesday at the NFL Combine about where Larry Borom will play in 2022, but Poles was asked about whether he's determined where Teven Jenkins will line up on the offensive line and said: "It's too early right now. When we get back, we'll get organized. We've got some time to figure that out, but when we do, we'll move those guys around and see where they fit the best." Getting back to Borom, he's a lineman who provides position flexibility. The 2021 fifth-round draft pick played both tackle positions and left guard at Missouri and then, after losing a considerable amount of weight during the offseason, lined up at both tackle positions as a Bears rookie last year, performing well at each spot.

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

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