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.
Do you think the Bears will consider trading down in the first round of the draft?
Absolutely. And they will consider trading up, as well as standing pat at No. 8. As Ryan Pace has done since he became Bears general manager in 2015, he will prepare for all scenarios heading into the draft. Pace has traded his first-round pick each of the past two years, moving from No. 11 to No. 9 to select outside linebacker Leonard Floyd—and leapfrogging the Giants at No. 10 in the process—and from No. 3 to No. 2 to pick quarterback Mitchell Trubisky last year. Here’s what Pace said at the NFL owners meetings about the possibility of trading down this year: “Over the next couple weeks those will be scenarios we’ll go over. We’ll go over what players would we consider trading up for and what’s it going to require for us to do that, and then if we want to go back and what would be the draft capital we’d want to obtain if we did that. So we’ll examine all that and we’ll know when we’re getting out of a certain category of player and if we want to venture past that line or not.”
I was disappointed that Adam Shaheen didn’t make as big of an impact as a rookie as I expected. What do you think he needs to work on this offseason?
The Bears were impressed with how well Adam Shaheen blocked last season as a rookie, but I’d say the one thing he needs to improve is his route running. Here’s what general manager Ryan Pace had to say about Shaheen at the NFL owners meetings: “He pleasantly surprised us with his blocking ability because at Ashland he was split out a lot. He blocked very well last year. He’s big-bodied, strong. He’s a big target with a big catch radius, but it’s just becoming more refined in his routes; setting up guys, getting in and out of his breaks, those little things that come with developing as a route runner in our league.” While Shaheen caught just 12 passes for 127 yards, he led the Bears with three touchdown receptions.
With the Bears moving on from veteran Josh Sitton, who do you think will start at left guard this season?
Oak Park, Illinois
That’s difficult to say at this juncture, before the draft and the start of the offseason program. I would say the candidates right now in no particular order are Cody Whitehair (if he doesn’t play center), Eric Kush, Jordan Morgan and Hroniss Grasu. I also wouldn’t be surprised if the Bears select a player at some point in the draft who enters the mix for the startling left guard position.