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Chalk Talk

How many draft picks will start opener?

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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.

How many Bears draft picks do you think will be Day 1 starters?

Nick K.
Winfield, Illinois

That's a very good question, and one I would have an easier time answering after I actually see the draft picks on the practice field. But at this point I'll predict that four members of the 2016 draft class will start when the Bears open the season Sept. 11 in Houston: Outside linebacker Leonard Floyd, guard Cody Whitehair, defensive end Jonathan Bullard and safety Deon Bush. Four is a very high number, so maybe I'm being overly optimistic. Last year only one Bears draft pick, fifth-round safety Adrian Amos, started in the season-opening loss to the Packers. But even if the four 2016 picks I mentioned don't start immediately, I expect all of them to have a chance to contribute as rookies.

I always loved the way Charles Tillman could separate the ball from the carrier. Does Deiondre' Hall pack a "Peanut Punch" in his skill set? Is that something that can be coached?

Mark A.
Deadwood, South Dakota

Bears fourth-round draft pick Deiondre' Hall, a cornerback from Northern Iowa, has drawn comparisons to Charles Tillman not because of the ability to force fumbles but because both are tall cornerbacks with long arms and excellent ball skills. Hall led the Missouri Valley Conference in interceptions each of the last two seasons with five in 2014 and six in 2015. He also forced three fumbles last year and certainly can work on the art of dislodging the ball, but I think it's a lot to ask of anyone to punch the ball loose as frequently as Tillman did during his time with the Bears.

Why did the Bears trade a fourth-round pick to move up two spots in the first round? Did they assume that the Giants were going to draft Leonard Floyd?

Marco
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Thanks for checking in from Saudi Arabia, Marco. That's exactly why the Bears made the move to leapfrog the Giants. It wasn't much of a secret in league circles that the Giants were targeting both Leonard Floyd and offensive tackle Jack Conklin. After the Titans traded up to No. 8 to take Conklin, it became even more of a certainty that the Giants would grab Floyd.

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