Wondering about a player, a past game or another issue involving the Bears? Senior writer Larry Mayer answers a variety of email questions from fans on ChicagoBears.com.
I've heard and read the opinions of Ryan Pace and John Fox in terms of building blocks for the future, but I wonder what you think. Who are the Bears' building blocks on both sides of the ball? Thanks for helping me through the offseason.
No problem, Pat. Glad to help. In terms of building blocks, I would start with the Bears' 2015 draft class. It appears that the top five picks all will be main contributors in 2016 and beyond in receiver Kevin White, defensive tackle Eddie Goldman, center Hroniss Grasu, running back Jeremy Langford and safety Adrian Amos. That's a pretty good core of young players to build around. Seventh-round tackle Tayo Fabuluje is also an intriguing prospect. Goldman, Grasu, Langford and Amos all showed a lot of promise and gained valuable experience as rookies in 2015. In terms of veterans, outside linebacker Pernell McPhee and tackle Kyle Long are definitely impact players to build around as well.
I was wondering if there is any chance that the Bears will draft a running back in the first round this year or stick with Jeremy Langford and Ka'Deem Carey (assuming that Matt Forte doesn't come back).
There's always a chance. (Just ask Lloyd Christmas.) But if I had to rank positions the Bears might address with their first pick in the draft, running back would be at or near the bottom of the list. Even if Matt Forte doesn't return, the Bears are pretty deep at running back after spending fourth-round picks on Ka'Deem Carey in 2014 and Jeremy Langford in 2015. There's also been a trend in recent years of NFL teams not selecting running backs in the first round and instead employing a rotation at the position featuring lower round picks and free agents.
Four NFL teams finished 6-10; why do the Bears pick last among the four in the draft?
Albuquerque, New Mexico
When multiple teams finish a season with the same record, the draft order is determined by strength of schedule. The Bears are considered the best of the four teams that went 6-10 in 2015 because they had the most difficult strength of schedule, facing 16 opponents that had a .547 winning percentage. So they'll pick last among the four in the first round. The good news is that the four teams rotate in each round, meaning that the Bears will choose 10th in Round 2, ninth in Round 3 and eighth in Round 4 before cycling back to 11th in Round 5, 10th in Round 6 and ninth in Round 7.