The Chicago Bears couldn’t wait their turn.
The Bears traded their first pick (11th overall) and a fourth-rounder to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers jerseys in exchange for the ninth overall selection on Thursday at the 2016 NFL Draft. With that pick, the Bears selected Georgia linebacker Leonard Floyd.
Floyd gives Bears defensive coordinator Vic Fangio a tall, lean, lightning quick pass rusher who led Georgia in both tackles for loss (10.5) and sacks (4.5) last season. NFL Media’s Mike Mayock sees Floyd beginning his pro career as a sub-package designated pass rusher. Mayock stressed that Floyd must get stronger to thrive at the next level.
A favorable comparison in terms of ability and build? Aldon Smith, who also played in sub packages as a rookie with the 49ers in 2011 and still finished his first season with 14 sacks. That would be hard to match, but Floyd has the ability to make an immediate impact due to his explosiveness off the snap.
White was out all of 2015 with a stress fracture after being made the No. 7 overall pick in last year’s draft. White first popped up on the Bears’ injury report on Thursday.
The Bears and Jay Cutler jersey would be better equipped for offensive success with White on the field. His NFL-desired frame would make him a nice target for Cutler, wholesale jerseys and a nice second option behind Alshon Jeffery. The Bears might have to wait just a little bit longer to see him on the field.
Joining White jersey as questionable for Sunday is Kyle Long, who has a shoulder injury. Long just signed a $40 million extension over the weekend and is an integral part of the Bears’ offense.
Chicago’s evolving front seven remains one of the NFC’s more under-the-radar position groups.
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The linebacking unit is deep and versatile with Danny Trevathan and Jerrell Freeman roaming the inside and Pernell McPhee, Lamarr Houston and first-rounder Leonard Floyd rushing from the edge. With linemen Akiem Hicks and Eddie Goldman up front, the Bears have completely reimagined a unit that finished 30th overall just two seasons ago.
“I can’t really say what we’re going to do,” Goldman said this week, per CSN Chicago. “I know what we plan to do with cheap nfl jerseys. It’s looking like a vicious front, because we have a combination of speed and strength.”
Goldman was a sensational addition last year, piling up 4.5 sacks and playing well against the run in a rotational rookie role. Slimming down from 340 to 325 pounds, Goldman has made it a goal to add more speed to his game for a Chicago club that plans to make life difficult for Aaron Rodgers and the rest of the NFC North’s band of quarterbacks.
“Three hundred and twenty-five is the ideal weight for me, at least from the perspective of the coaches,” Goldman said. The effect is “moving faster. My foot-quickness, and it helps with your stamina, too.”
The Bears have taken notice, using Goldman in more pass-rush situations, with defensive line coach Jay Rodgers saying: “We’re always going to put the best people out there on the field. You’ve heard coach (John) Fox say, ‘You’re role is whatever you make of it.’ So if (Goldman’s) showing up on tape as a guy who’s producing in pass-rush situations, we’re going to put him in there.”
Today, the Bears are overshadowed in their own division by the Packers and Vikings, but Chicago has a chance to hang around in the North if this defense continues to trend upward. With a versatile cast of pass rushers and linemen to pick from, play-caller Vic Fangio has the tools to duplicate some of the magic he created in San Francisco before the Jim Harbaugh era spiraled to earth.
Bennett’s personality might rub some coaching staffs the wrong way — and will certainly be something to track now in the buttoned-down culture of Patriot Way — but Bennett is just two seasons removed from a 90-catch season, 900-yard season with the Bears.
Tom Brady has to be thrilled with the news. The hulking Bennett gives the quarterback another big red-zone target. A receiving corps that includes Bennett, Gronkowski, Julian Edelman, Danny Amendola and satellite back Dion Lewis jersey will be extremely difficult to contend with.
The Bears, meanwhile, will move forward at tight end with Zach Miller jersey, who re-signed this week. Miller took on a bigger role in Chicago’s offense as last season progressed, setting career highs in catches, receiving yards and touchdowns. Bennett was seen as expendable, but the Pats are happy to have his authentic jerseys.