Chat with Michael Wright
Welcome to SportsNation! On Monday, ESPN NFL Nation Chicago Bears reporter Michael C. Wright drops by to chat and answer all of your Bears questions.
Wright joined ESPNChicago.com in April 2010 after spending the previous four seasons covering the Jaguars. He also covered the Redskins for two seasons. A native Texan, Wright was a four-year football letterman at West Texas A&M University.
Send your questions now and join Wright Monday at 1 p.m. ET!
Michael (1:00 PM)
Happy Monday, folks. Another day closer to the NFL draft. I'm sure you have questions and I'll try to answer as best I can. Keep in mind this time of year is "lying season". We won't truly know what these teams are doing until the actual moment of truth come draft day.
Kyle McGinty (Plymouth IN)
Should the bears be concerned with QB Jay Cutler?
Michael (1:03 PM)
You mean in terms of likelihood of injury? I don't think the team would ever admit there's a concern there. But common sense tells us there should be. After all, as tough as Cutler supposedly is, he hasn't played a complete 16-game season since 2009. Now, I'll say he's had pretty bad offensive lines prior to last year, which played a role in some of the injuries. But he did miss time in 2013 with two separate injuries. So I think they should definitey be concerned about that No. 2 quarterback position because there's a good chance at some point they'll need him to play.
What is the safest potential first round pick for the Bears, and what is the riskiest potential first round pick?
Michael (1:04 PM)
Clay, safest is probably Pittsburgh DT Aaron Donald. Riskiest in my opinion is probably Minnesota DT Ra'Shede Hageman.
Mike Gant (Niles MI)
Is Ryan Mundy truly a starting caliber player (in your opinion) or just a stop gap type player? It seems the bears never put a big emphasis on the safety position, do you see that changing with Emery?
Michael (1:06 PM)
Mike, I'm not sure to be honest because Mundy did start some games (and played fairly well) last season in New York. I think he's definitely capable of starting games and playing well, but there's certainly no guarantee he will with the change of teams. As for the safety position, I think the importance overall of the position has increased because of what offenses are doing now with tight ends. So I do see it changing somewhat in terms of how Emery views that position.
So you would like to see the Bears take Aaron Donald?
Michael (1:07 PM)
It doesn't matter to me. I just think it's important the Bears take a player in the first round capable of contributing as a rookie.
Ben (Baton Rouge, LA)
Could you get on board with another out of left field pick from Phil Emery? I'm thinking a guy like Anthony Barr or CJ Mosley. Or maybe a TE like Ebron or Seferian-Jenkins?
Michael (1:09 PM)
I could as Emery has proven throughout his time in Chicago that he's an outside-the-box thinker. As I've said before, if Emery comes out of left field with a weird pick, he'll be criticized inititally and he doesn't have a problem with taking that heat because ultimately, whatever pick he makes will be all about making the Bears the best he can.
Scott-Naperville [via mobile]
Do the bears draft a developmental QB in the later rounds or go with a FA veteran?
Michael (1:09 PM)
Scott, they're exploring both options and it wouldn't surprise me at all if they drafted a quarterback AND ended up signing a veteran. Phil Emery said they'd really look into drafting a quarterback, in addition to bringing in several veterans for tryouts.
Will (Fort Wayne) [via mobile]
What if CJ Mosley fell at 14 wouldn't he be worth looking into.
Michael (1:12 PM)
Why not? From everything I've seen of Mosely, he's a beast. He produced 107 tackles as a junior, then another 108 as a senior to go with five career INTs (three returned for touchdowns). Mosely is a playmaker, and Chicago's defense could definitely use more of them if the Bears want to get back to the level they've been at for so many years prior to 2013.
What is the earliest round you could foresee Emery drafting a WR or RB?
Michael (1:12 PM)
I'd say somewhere around Round 5. The Bears still have some needs to address first before they start turning their attention to offensive players outside of quarterbacks.
Mitchell (holland mi) [via mobile]
What do you think about bears drafting ha ha Clinton Dix!?
Michael (1:14 PM)
If the Bears draft Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, it would mean that only one spot in that secondary would be up for grabs during training camp because he's the type of player that would come in and start immediately. I like Calvin Pryor more because he's more of an intimidating presence. But I don't think the Bears could go wrong in the first round with either one of those players.
Brandon, Nashville, tn [via mobile]
How do the Bears handle the kick returner position now that Hester is in Tampa Bay?
Michael (1:16 PM)
Brandon, they've brought in a bunch of guys to compete for that spot: Chris Williams from the CFL, Domenik Hixon, Josh Morgan, etc. I haven't seen Williams play, but he was supposedly a pretty electric player in the CFL. I think they'll give Williams first dibs at winning the job as the primary return guy. Also, remember, they've got Michael Ford, too.
Mike (New York)
Hi Michael. Which offensive position has the greatest need right now besides back up running back?
Michael (1:18 PM)
Well, I like the depth on the offensive line right now. But I think receiver and tight end could use a little more depth. Outside of the top guys at receiver in Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery, there aren't really any proven guys (even though they do have Josh Bellamy, Josh Morgan, Eric Weems and rising second-year man Marquess Wilson). Remember last year the Bears ended up using Eben Britton when they wanted to run out of two tight end sets. So there's a need there, too, in my opinion. I believe Phil Emery really likes the tight end from Texas Tech: Jace Amaro.
It's not about what you know but who you know? How did you get hooked up with the ESPN Chi Bears' gig?
Michael (1:20 PM)
They called and asked if I'd be interested. Started at a newspaper in 1998, and worked my way up from covering high schools to the Washington Redskins as my first beat job, to covering the Jacksonville Jaguars before ESPN came calling. Was in the business 12 years before coming to ESPN.
lc (kansas city, mo)
Aaron Murray reminds me of a John Elway type but haven't heard anything about him in this draft. What are your thoughts on him and the Bears taking him later in the draft?
Michael (1:22 PM)
LC, I like Aaron Murray, too. I don't know why. He just seems to be a guy that would be an ideal fit to play in Marc Trestman's offense. He passed for 121 touchdowns and 41 interceptions at a big-time SEC program (Phil Emery loves SEC players). His knee injury will drop him down some in the draft, which means the Bears might have a good shot at landing a quality player. I'm with you on this LC: I think Aaron Murray will be a nice backup in the league.
Gregorio K (Sacramento, CA)
Good day Mr Wright,I guess there is some talk or rumors that the Lions are looking to trade Suh. Would you think the Bears will be interested in beefing up the DLine? And would you think it would be a good idea?
Michael (1:24 PM)
Gregorio, I actually texted three NFL personnel executives about this and pretty much all of them said it would be a great idea. However, the problem is that Detroit would want way too much in draft pick compensation. Also, you have to remember that Suh is looking for a new deal. So you'd wind up giving up a ton for him, and then spending a ton in a new deal. Keep in mind, Chicago's cap situation likely wouldn't allow for such an acquisition. Last I checked they were a little over $7 million under the cap, but they'll spend about $5 million of that on the draft class. So it would be a great deal for the Bears for sure. But I don't think they have the ammo to pull it off.
Besides you, who are some other famous people whose Alma Mater is West Texas A&M?
Michael (1:25 PM)
Haha, I'm not famous. Mercury Morris, Duane Thomas, Million Dollar man Ted Dibiase, Maurice Cheeks, J'Marcus Webb?
Do you travel to every away game? If not how big is the TV you watch the games on?
Michael (1:25 PM)
I go to all the games home and away.
Who is the best interview you've had in your time covering the NFL?
Michael (1:26 PM)
Believe it or not, Bill Romanowski. He wasn't anything like I thought he'd be going into the NFL. He turned out to be a really nice dude.
Alan (Morgantown, West Virginia)
Michael, I heard awhile back there's a good chance the Bears could end up on HBO's Hard Knocks? Any news?
Michael (1:26 PM)
Alan, no news yet. But that is a very real possibility because of the way the rules are now set up.
Sam Toledo [via mobile]
What are the chances the bears trade out of the 14th pick in the draft.
Michael (1:29 PM)
Sam, I think the chances are high the Bears want to trade out of the 14th pick. But the probability of that happening is low because it'll be tough to do a deal where the Bears would get fair compensation to move back. A team will have to be really high on someone that falls into Chicago's spot for a deal like that to happen where the Bears would receive fair compensation. Phil Emery isn't interested in trading back just for the sake of doing so.
Erika (Williamsburg, VA)
Is the signing of Draughn enough for the Bears in the RB position or is there still a draft need there? And is Rosario an adequate backup for Bennet?
Michael (1:31 PM)
I'd say no to your first question, and I believe there's definitely still a need there. As for your second question, I think Rosario is an adequate "back up," but the Bears need an in-line blocker for two tight end sets. I think that's precisely why they signed former New England Patriot Matthew Mulligan. Colleague Mike Reiss, who covers the Patriots, tells me Mulligan is a classic in-line blocker.
Michael (1:33 PM)
Thanks everyone for stopping by to chat. The participation was tremendous, and I appreciate it. Sorry I couldn't get to all the questions. But feel free to hit me up on Twitter @mikecwright. I do a Twitter mailbag there every week where we feature your questions on our site. Enjoy the rest of your day.