Something Grand, Something Bland, Something Broken, Something Said

If you’re like me and you watch little-to-no NCAA football, some of these names you’ve never heard prior to the start of the 2018 NFL offseason, and others you may have never heard of, period.

If you’re still like me, you’re not a football expert, a talent evaluator, coach, or Xs & Os savant chock full of sage football knowledge.

If you’re like me, you basically don’t know much, and you know what?  That’s okay.  You’re hopefully trying just as I am trying, and with all these new names, we need to learn a thing or two about them.  Let’s get started and meet our new Bears in brief — what their strengths are, their weaknesses,  their injury histories, and how it feels to be a Bear.


Round 1, Pick 8 // Roquan Smith, LB – Georgia

Something Grand:

He should be a Pro Bowler very quickly. He is lightning off the spot, meaning his eyes are where they need to be. His (ability to) key and diagnose is exceptional; very rarely does he take bad paths to the football. He takes on people hat-in-hand, meaning when he’s taking on offensive linemen, you see their head snap back. He can run, and when he gets there, he gets there with bad intentions. – Louis Riddick

Something Bland:

Arms are short and has trouble locking out and shedding big blockers. Doesn’t use his hands well to disengage.  Can be shocked and knocked back by good offensive lineman’s punches and will be engulfed by hulking guards.  Can play a tad out of control at times and even run into fellow teammates when attempting to make plays.  Elite receiving backs and tight ends might have a physical edge on him.  – Eric Edholm

Something Broken:

In 40 games at Georgia, Smith had no major injury history.

Something Said:

“The Bears, the organization and the fans are getting a relentless player.  Tremendous leader on and off the field.” – Roquan Smith


Round 2, Pick 39 // James Daniels, C – Iowa

Something Grand:

Something Bland:

The big question with him is whether or not he can add a power element to his game and operate with more functional play strength.  Needs to be more assertive tracking interior pass pressure rather than waiting for it to come to him.  Needs to add some more bulk. – John Bava

Something Broken:

Nagging durability questions have been attached to Daniels’ career to date. He missed two games as a sophomore and one as a junior with knee issues. And until recently, he had been dealing with a hamstring injury. – Chad Leistikow

He said doctors didn’t find issues with his knees during the combine and his pre-draft visits.  “All my trainers and doctors I talked to said they didn’t have a problem,” Daniels said. “It didn’t scare them at all.” – Chicago Tribune

Something Said:

“It really means a lot to me that the Bears took the time to scout me and put a lot of work and resources into drafting me.  The draft costs a lot, players cost a lot. It’s a business decision. For them to take a chance on me, I really appreciate what they’ve done.” – Josh Daniels


Round 2, Pick 51 // Anthony Miller, WR – Memphis

Something Grand:

Something Bland:

The American Athletic Conference is not exactly known for its defense. Secondly, Memphis runs a pass-happy, spread offense that creates a whole lot of spacing for their receivers. – Zach Guard

Something Broken:

Miller suffered a foot injury in the Liberty Bowl that prevented him from working out at the combine and might have caused him to drop in the draft. – Mark Potash

Something Said:

“I’m going to prove everybody who passed me up wrong. The Bears are going to get all I got. They’re going to get the Memphis Grind.  I don’t want to be compared to anyone.  I believe I have attributes and skills that a lot of players could say they have, but I don’t think there’s one thing that I can’t do. I believe I’m just a different type of receiver all in one — and someday guys are going to be like, ‘Oh, you play like Anthony Miller,’ because I believe I’m a one-of-a-kind type of guy.” – Anthony Miller


Round 4, Pick 115 // Joel Iyiegbuniwe, LB – Western Kentucky

Something Grand:

Exceptional quickness and range. He makes plays sideline to sideline and explodes through the hips on contact. He has the agility to match up in man coverage with tight ends and running backs. – Daniel Jeremiah

Something Bland:

Developmental prospect who likely would need to work his way onto the roster as a sub-package ‘backer and special teams performer.  Lacks the size or strength to consistently stay free and clean to use his athleticism to make plays.  Hasn’t seen much top-tier competition.  Undersized. – Matt Miller

Something Broken:

Was able to play only four games with the Spartans in 2013 before his season was halted by rhabdomyolysis, a condition in which muscles release lactic acid into the bloodstream. The ailment can cause damage to the kidneys if not treated properly.  Iyiegbuniwe suffered a torn patella tendon in his right knee in the third game against Middle Tennessee. That left him with seven total games played in two seasons.  – Zach Greenwell

Something Said:

“I’m absolutely going to give my all into it. You’re getting a linebacker who has speed, who has good change of direction, who can cover as well and who can play in space. If you need me to rush the passer, be an outside linebacker, I can do that as well. You’re getting a player who could do whatever is asked of him.” – Joel Iyiegbuniwe


Round 5, Pick 145 // Bilal Nichols, DT – Deleware

Something Grand:

Looked natural as a two-gapper, flashing the power, anchor and instincts to stack, shed and make plays on inside runs. – Dane Brugler

Something Bland:

There isn’t much on tape to suggest he will be an effective NFL pass rusher.  Below average at finding the edge as a rusher and is unlikely to generate quality bull-rush on the next level. – Lance Zierlein

Something Broken:

One down side of the (40 yard dash) was a minor hamstring injury he suffered, which cut off his physical work at the Combine after doing 29 reps of 225 pounds on the bench press, the best by a non FBS defensive lineman, and 9th best overall.

“I just tweaked it a little bit, but nothing too serious. The last few days I’ve just been getting my rest and some treatment, and making sure I’ve been taking care of my body and getting it back up to place.” – Michael Conroy

Something Said:

“I’m still growing every day, just to become more fluid with my pass rushing, finishing my rushes. My athletic ability really helped me out with my pass rush. Being able to be quick and get off the ball, be able to move and take advantage of the offensive linemen’s weaknesses.” – Bilal Nichols


Round 6, Pick 181 // Kylie Fitts, EDGE – Utah

Something Grand:

Fitts has the ideal frame and bulk to play strong-side outside linebacker in the 3-4. He showed off his athleticism at the combine and can begin his NFL career on special teams and maybe as a situational edge rusher.  His performance at the combine made him one of the highest-graded SPARQ athletes at the edge position, so his athleticism isn’t a doubt.  Fitts’ 31 reps on the bench press led all EDGE players.  His 3-cone and 20-yard shuttle times were tied with Harold Landry for the best among EDGE.  – Dan Durkin

Something Bland:

Played in just 25 games in four years.  – Bob LeGere

Something Broken:

He played in just two games in 2016 before a Lisfranc fracture in his foot required season-ending surgery. His 2017 season was limited by an ankle sprain and a shoulder AC joint sprain, and he finished with 23 tackles, three tackles for loss, a forced fumble and three sacks. – Chicago Tribune

Something Said:

“I just kind of explained to them that there was no serious injury, there were injuries that kind of prevented me from playing and playing to my potential.  I explained to them it was a run of bad luck. I think I got it all out of the way. I’m 100 percent healthy now and I’m ready to go.” – Kylie Fitts


Round 7, Pick 224 // Javon Wims, WR – Georgia

Something Grand:

Gives the Bears a big-bodied target who will serve as a backup X or Z receiver. He’s a natural athlete who has solid speed and is good at positioning his body to make circus catches. His hands are reliable, and he’s also a solid blocker.  He has the physical tools to develop into a solid backup in the near future.  A receiver with great body control who can go up and make great catches on 50/50 balls. He would be a good fit as a vertical threat at the next level. – Jacob Infante

Something Bland:

Drops came when lead into traffic.  Too often hemmed up and taken off route schedule.  Lacks sudden feet and smart hands to rid himself of pesky press corners.  Inconsistent finisher on tightly-contested catches.  – Lance Zierlein

Something Broken:

While enrolled at Belhaven University in 2013, Wims caught seven passes for 55 yards in six games before breaking his ankle. – Ryan O’Halloran

Something Said:

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