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The Final Stretch Mock


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Ryan Pace is going to be here in 2018, but Fox will not. Pace drafted Trubisky and in doing so, tied his career to Trubisky's. This is the offseason that he will go out and spend what resources he can to get talent around Trubisky and develop him. Pace knows with a true franchise QB, his job becomes infinitely easier and he likely guarantees his job for the next 10 years. This is the year to drive as much talent around him as possible and to let a real HC come in and install a system for him to grow in and master. Pace came to Chicago after seeing Brees for a decade and likely had to sell ownership that he would make sure the QB he drafts would not be wasted as their investment in Jay was.


*** This is what I want to see happen, I'm not predicting Pace's moves ***


Coaching Changes


-        Fox      5a25e59a98d7e.image.jpg

-        Loggains  samwise6.jpg

-        Rodgers 527fc2b88c41485a4b0fbecf2ba6f992363b23c4

-        Fangio (chooses to walk away)  fangio_main_092116.jpg




Head Coach - John Defilippo


John has a history of elevating QBs. Having to first work with the likes of JaMarcus Russell, he helped Russell at least show glimpses of being an NFL QB, in his first two seasons helping him put up a 15 to 12 TD/INT ratio. The year Defilippo left Russell bombed to a 3 to 11 ratio.  Derek Carr’s knocks were often based on his foundation being against weak defenses, inflated numbers due to spread scheme and playing out of the pistol and shotgun, but Defilippo helped instill an NFL mindset and footwork in Carr in his rookie season. He was then promoted to OC at CLE, and with the misfit “talents” of Manziel, McCown, and Austin Davis the trio put up a 20 to 12 TD/INT ratio (with their top targets being  Travis Benjamin and Gary Barnidge). AS CLE cleaned house yet again, he moved to Philadelphia and has spent more time with Wentz than any of the other staff there, and Wentz has taken off. To win in the NFL consistently, you must have a very talented QB developed – that is the most common theme with the teams that consistently make the playoffs. Defilippo is our chance to get our own McVay, to develop Trubisky in a way that few HC prospects could hope.  


Offensive Coordinator – Jeff Stoutland


The Eagles’ OL has been fantastic for them, and the offense relies heavily on single blockers holding up their assignment. Jeff has worked with their OL since 2013 and has taken talented players and made them into arguable the best unit in the league (of course assuming at full health with Jason Peters). The Eagles offense has many deep routes, double moves, and pretty long-developing flood concept plays that take time to set up. Jeff comes here not to call plays, but to develop the OL and help find talent to replace players like Massie when he is cut or Sitton when he moves on. I personally think a healthy Long and Whitehair thrive under him and maybe he can get the most out of Leno as well.


Defensive Coordinator/ Assistant Head Coach – Mike Pettine


When Defilippo was in New York for a year he made a connection with this man, who was the first assistant Rex Ryan hired. He had just spend ample time helping boost the careers of Terrell Suggs and Adalius Thomas, and like Ryan he felt the best way to beat an offense was to beat them into submission and be the aggressor. Fangio had a great reputation, but it seems he relies on great talents to make plays in a fairly simple scheme rather than him putting players in the best position to succeed. Pettine is far more creative, and has the flexibility to run the 3-4 or 4-3. With him Floyd may get the proper work to develop intoi the dominant OLB we hoped for, as would the young talents added opposite of him.



Cuts (Estimated $40.4 mil cap space per Spotrac)

Glennon – Saved $11.5 mil

McPhee – Saved $7 mil

Sims – Saved $5.7 mil

Wheaton – Saved $5 mil

Cooper – Saved - $4.5 mil

Freeman – Saved $3.5 mil

Young – Saved $4.5 mil

Demps – Saved $3.7 mil

*** Total Cap Now = $85.8 mil ***



Fuller – 4 years, $36 mil ($20 mil guaranteed)

Fuller has had ups and downs but has played quite well overall.  Maybe he can develop into a true number one, or this can lock him in for basically 2 years while more talent comes in and develops if he does not continue to progress.


Amukamara – 2 years, $17 mil ($12 mil guaranteed)

Amukamara has been a pleasant surprise this year. He is not making splash plays, but unlike Cooper he rarely allows them either. The knocks on him is that you can generally count on him missing a few games and he will not generate turnovers really. The two year deal lets him take a chance at getting one more contract and allows him to get some guaranteed money as well.


Meredith – RFA (1st round tender) - $3.91 mil

He needs to play in the slot, even if he would be the number one for any games, he does his best work there and should focus on being there.


Inman – 2 years, $6 mil ($3 mil guaranteed)

While not spectacular, he is a professional WR and someone who can rotate in without being shamefully bad. Already 28, he is holding a spot down while we focus our effort to other spots on the team.


Wright - 2 years, $6 mil ($3 mil guaranteed)

Much like Inman, Wright is not a gsmebreaking talent but still a professional receiver and quality depth. If you cannot have a star receiver then the next best thing is quality talent across the board, and let the mismatches be found by Defilippo. 


O’Donnell – 5 years, 11.25 mil

He has done pretty well this year, though his coverage has been spotty. A real ST coord should be able to help by causing better coverage for him.


Cunningham – 2 years, $2 mil

He isn’t special, but he does everything well enough. Even if Howard or Cohen goes down Cunningham will still be able to compliment the starter.


Sanchez – 1 year, $2 mil

Nothing special here, just a vet that seems to have taken the mentor role and done well with it at least. Laugh as we may about Butt Fumble, he had played in several huge games and AFC Championship games.


Unrein – 2 years, $3 million

He is putting together a respectable season.  While not much vs the pass, he can really get after the runners


DePaola – 3 years, $2.7 mil

He hasn’t made any poor snaps that I can remember. If a longsnapper has a bad game everyone knows, but the best are anonymous                          

*** Remaining Cap - $50.74 ***



Free Agents

WR - Josh Gordon – 6 years, $54 million ($30 mil is guaranteed *with clauses*)


Gordon is a talented WR, there is no denying it. He has battled addiction and seems to have beaten them finally. Chicago is a second chance, and he can surely be shown how Marshall was received after his mental illness was discovered. He can come here and be in the spotlight, with a young, talented QB, and at only 26 years of age he can grow with Trubisky for years.  Aside from the obvious potential there, he gets a familiar friendly face in Pettine, who often spoke positively of him and supported him in his attempt to get clean. Contract likely goes something like - 14/12/7/7/7/7 cap hits.  This is shown in remaining cap

·        Clause – any legal issues due to drug charges immediately revoke guaranteed cash upon release


5T/NT - Dontari Poe – 3 years, $18 mil ($9 guaranteed)


Poe has played very well vs the run, but even with losing the weight he is not generating more pass rush. He is still mobile and has a pretty good first ste for someone so big, so we move him to 5T opposite of Hicks. With the line of Hicks/Goldman/Poe  the Bears have one of the toughest fronts to run on. A major positive is that with these three monsters, they can rotate as we will be in nickel so much. We have watched Hicks dominate until halfway through the 3rd due to sheer exhaustion, but with these three in steady rotation we may continuously batter their OL and set up more 3rd and long situations, which would allow at least 2 of them to come off for a spell while we put our pass rushing personnel out there.   Contract is likely 9/5/4 in structure in case of back issues coming up. This is shown in remaining cap.


OLB - Aaron Lynch – 3 years, $5.25 million


For a pass rusher this seems like he is being underpaid drastically, right? Wrong. Lynch has motor issues, and has put up no production. Still, he is very young and has a ton of physical gifts to work with. At works he gets to suit up and rotate in a few plays, at best Pettine gets him to develop like he did with Suggs and Thomas.                 


OLB/ILB - Kevin Pierre-Louis – 3 years, $9 million


Another name that isn’t huge but has potential. Pace has signed several intriguing talents to see if they could stick, and Pierre-Louis is one of the most physically gifted players in the FA market. How so? He graded out VERY similarly to Ryan Shazier – physically.  At only 24 years he has a lot of growth available, so maybe he can step into Acho’s role or even move inside to play the JACK role in a pinch.


TE/WR – Trey Burton – 3 years, $8.25 mil


Having Meredith come off an injury is what puts Burton over Matthews to bring in. Matthews is the better receiver, but Burton can play in TE and WR roles, and has two years under Defilippo in his system. While not expected to be a major contributor, he has decent hands and will help give the team someone who is experienced in the system. Hopefully this accelerates the other WRs/TEs as they learn it.


OLB – Conner Barwin – 1 year, $3.5 mil


Barwin is on a cheap deal with the Rams and while we want to get younger, we cannot simply force OLB picks too high if the players aren’t projected to be good enough for the spot. Barwin is a vet who plays the run and pass pretty well and he also played on the Eagles in 2016, so he is familiar with Defilippo.

RB – Kenjon Barner – 1 year, $1 mil (Fully guaranteed)


He has no real upside as a player (maybe as a returner), having been in the league since 2013 he (currently) and still has under 75 rushes. But like Burton he has spent the last two years in Defilippo’s system, and will aid the team in his efforts outside of gameday. Burton helps the WRs and TEs with the routes, leverages, and adjustments in playcalling, and Barner helps do the same with the running backs. Honestly he might make it to final cuts just to help the team, but knowing he is a limited talent he takes on this role due to the guaranteed cash. He would not get that much guaranteed from any other team IMO. Add in his lack of production and that he is will be 28 by next training camp, he knows this may be his last contract as a player. Maybe he steps in as an offensive assistant at Defilippo’s request when he is cut.


QB – Robert Griffin III – 2 years, $4 mil


He is someone to compete with Sanchez to be the number two, nothing more. In his stint with Cleveland he played a limited number of games but accounted for 5 TDs and 3 INTs. He is not a pure passer and I expect someone like Defilippo to understand that and adjust to more rollouts, PROs and simple reads if he is forced to play. But this gives the Bears two QBs who have pretty significant NFL experience backing up Trubisky, so we do not have to force a pick there.

*** Remaining Cap - $13.74 mil left ***




2018 NFL Draft

My projected draft order as I feel 49ers match our win total.

1(1) CLE: QB – Josh Rosen

1(2) NYG: QB - Sam Darnold

1(3) DEN: RB: Saquon Barkely (I think they land Kirk Cousins in free agency)

1(4) IND: DE – Bradley Chubb

1(5) *** Bears trade their pick to the Buffalo Bills for 1(18), 1(21) and their 3rd round in the 2018 draft. ***

-        Bills take either QB Baker Mayfield, Mason Rudolph, or Lamar Jackson. Take your pick, I’m not going to research McDermott or his preferences.

1(18) CHI – WR Calvin Ridley


Looking at him he is a wonderful route runner and has great speed, but looks too small to me. I don’t believe he is near the 190 he is listed at. Being 180 (maybe) might drop him down the board, and already has some questioning his freefall. Also Alabama’s run-first offense limits his production, which is one reason I think Sutton and maybe even Kirk goes before him.  We take him and put him at the Z to let him have free releases.  

1(21) CHI – OLB Clellin Ferrell


Ferrell has great size and length, and is an athlete at the position. Pettine pulls hard for him seeing his second chance to have a Suggs, and we get the replacement for McPhee and Young. Like Floyd, he has experience in coverage, while not his strong suit the pair both are able to add that flexibility to throw wrinkles in their gameplans vs opposing offenses. It also means if we are going against mobile QBs we might have one rushing and the other mirroring the QB to prevent some of the long runs we have had against us this year.

2 CHI – CB: Tarvarus McFadden


I feel like Fitzpatrick, Ward, Jackson and Oliver are the CBs (Minkah may be a S) who go in the first. If so I am completely happy to see McFadden lining up for Chicago instead of lining up vs the Gators. He had 8 INTs in 2016 so he clearly has a talent for making plays, though teams are being more cautious throwing his way this year.  With the “loss” of Cooper we now let him match up in the NB, and eventually take over for Amukamara within 2 years.    

3 CHI: WR Marcell Ateman


It is clear Gordon is a dangerous weapon on the field, but there are still concerns off the field as well. I would not want to solely rely on him, and Ateman is just recently picking up a name for himself as the “other” Washington State receiver. At 6’4” and of a solid build, he can rotate in at the X and has the size to break press coverage. He also gives another weapon to add in case of injury to 1-2 of our WRs, and a young player to develop within the system for Trubisky to get the ball too. The 2017 debacle at WR is not to happen again.  He and Gordon specialize on the outside, Ridley and Meredith can play X, Y, or Z, and Inman and Wright can play the X. There is flexibility and talent everywhere.

4a ILB Josey Jewel


Jones is gone and Jewell competes to start next to Trevathan. I like Kwiatkoski but in no way has he been able to take ownership of the ILB position.  Jewell is a man possessed on the field and is ALWAYS around the ball. It seems this year he has really put in time on being a 3 down player, as he is getting a fair number of passes defensed.

4b OT: Geron Christian


I watched some of Lamar Jackson and really this guy was one I kept noticing. He is a mean player and has a powerful punch. What little I watched he was able to anchor really well as well. Of course I think it takes time to adjust to an NFL speed and skill, but he competes with Massie day one to try and win the RT position.  Defilippo wants his OTs on an island, and Massie doesn’t fit the bill. He may develop as the RT or slide into OG as we have age and injury to worry about there.

5 CHI :  Ross Pierschbacher


Stoutland gets his guy. Stoutland loves powerful players and has strong ties to Saban and Alabama, and finds a chance for a real gem in Pierschbacher. Not a great athlete but he has played well on the interior for the Crimson Tide, and if not for Bozeman he would have started at center and garnered more attention but he has been mean in the run game and solid in the pass game.

6 CHI: CB JaMarcus King


Aside from being easy to find on the screen due to his hair, he has been able to make interceptions in each season. He has fantastic length at 6’2” and 190 pounds, but is a bit light and needs to bulk up a bit more for the rigors of the NFL. He has been coached by Muschamp, who clearly has a good hand at developing CBs AND making sure they are physical in the run game. The big factor though is King has ball skills that make him someone to watch over the next year or two as he gets up to the strength level to play against physical WRs.  

7 CHI: K Eddie Pineiro


He has a booming leg and has kicked outdoors, I think he could be the answer at kicker we need. I am still not opposed to an UFA like McCrane or Schneider to make sure he handles adversity. I think he can be a hell of a kicker though. 

^^^ Inman’s trade was a conditional pick based on production. It is unlikely we meet whatever goal that was.                                





Depth Chart

QB – Trubisky, Griffin III, Sanchez

HB – Howard, Cohen, Cunningham, Barner (final cuts)

WR – Gordon, Ridley, Meredith (slot), Ateman, Inman, Wright, White (IR), Gentry (PS)

TE – Shaheen, Burton, Brown

LT – Leno

LG – Long, Kush (swing guard)

C – Whitehair/ Pierschbacher, Grasu

RG – Sitton

RT – Massie/Christian (Loser of battle becomes swing tackle)          

* Will rotate Whitehair to RG as well, if the line performs as well or better when Sitton is out, then he is cut and Whitehair becomes the full-time RT. If Whitehair solidifies himself as the center, Pierschbacher duels with Kush to see if he can become the swing guard.

* I dislike Massie – a lot – but the FA group is pretty poor and we can cut him next year to make room for Goldman’s extension. I think we missed the boat on a simple plug-and-play starter and have to deal with having likely the most expensive swing tackle in the NFL for 2018.

* Gordon and Poe were set up to allow Goldman’s extension to also be front loaded if they choose. You want the best players to have their contracts’ big years PRIOR to Trubisky’s first year of his second deal (after his 5th year). Setting the big portions of the deals this way helps get the most talent around him when his contract likely becomes the albatross.



LE – Poe, Robertson-Harris

NT – Goldman, Unrein

RE – Hicks, Bullard

LOLB – Ferrell, Barwin, Lynch (pass rush only)

MIKE – Trevathan

JACK – Jewell/Kwiatkoski

ROLB – Floyd, Pierre-Louis

CB – Fuller, King

CB – Amukamara, LeBlanc

NB – McFadden, Callahan

FS – Jackson, Houston-Carson/Hall

SS – Amos, Bush


K- Pineiro

P- O’Donnell

LS – DePaola

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Yeah, until I see the final numbers I just don't know where to put Fuller's pay. He has played well overall but isn't producing a lot of dynamic plays or turnovers. There is no way he justifies top 10 money, nor could he get it in the market IMO. He might be able to get $9.5-$10.5 mil though and be just outside of that.


The concern with Gordon is a legitimate one, that is why I had to draft 2 WRs and kept both Inman and Wright. If we are missing the star WR then we need to have talent all across the board and work on mismatches. I actually toyed with the idea of Ridley and Kirk being both the 1st round picks, almost just to hear the sound of Bearable's tears hitting the ground.


My big deal with Poe is that he can sub in with Goldman or Hicks, and then by the 4th we won't have to watch Hicks completely gassed from playing way too many snaps. I don't want him getting worn down and getting injured, he's just too valuable to the defense. What would you think his demand would be? He isn't the same player as in 2013-2014, and offers just a little pass rush now. Honestly I think the Falcons wanting him to drop 20 pounds actually worked against him as his game was solely based on power.  Poe also acts as an insurance policy if/when either Goldman or Hicks get injured, allowing Goldman to step in full time then rather than rotate in with nickel packages.

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7 hours ago, WindyCity said:

I don't know if that trade would materialize, but I like everything else.

Not sure I would pay Gordon that, less bout the money and more about him disappearing on Mitch.

I think you numbers, Fuller is low, are pretty accurate.

You really think Fuller is fetching top 15 corner money? I have a hard time seeing it. 

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23 minutes ago, AZBearsFan said:

You really think Fuller is fetching top 15 corner money? I have a hard time seeing it. 

I think he will average out at about 11-12 million a season.

4-44/26 guaranteed would be my guess. Not top money, but 2nd tier money for sure.

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I like it a lot. Big fan of your draft, and your explanations are both logical and thorough. Nice work. 

I really question whether Gordon will leave Cleveland after they stuck by him and can pay him more than anyone else but he’s a #1 on the field for sure. If we are trading down from 5 I like the return and your choices, and like McFadden too at the top of the 2nd. In your scenario though with big guarantees going to both Fuller and Amukamara on multi-year deals I’m struggling to see where McFadden gets on the field at nickel. At 6’2” his size is highly atypical in the slot. I suppose Fuller or Prince could kick inside too. LOVE McFadden as a prospect. 

Did you mean to keep Kendall Wright in your depth chart? He’s not on your list of re-signs. 

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1 minute ago, WindyCity said:

I think he will average out at about 11-12 million a season.

4-44/26 guaranteed would be my guess. Not top money, but 2nd tier money for sure.

$11M per season would currently make him the 11th highest paid corner in the league. That’s not second tier money. That’s shutdown corner money. I’m not convinced he’s even as good as Amukamara, who I think is no more than solid. He’s certainly targeted FAR more than Amukamara is. Who of note has Fuller shut down? He’s been adequate against the pass but nowhere near shut down good. I think he’s far more proficient against the run to be honest which makes me (still) think he’d be at his most effective as a safety.

Also, he has a lesser resume than either Logan Ryan or Dre Kirkpatrick did going into last offseason and Sean Smith the year before, and none of them got $11M per. He’s justified a raise and a multi-year deal but he doesn’t generate enough takeaways to support a deal at all like what you’re describing IMO. 

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1 hour ago, AZBearsFan said:

I like it a lot. Big fan of your draft, and your explanations are both logical and thorough. Nice work. 

I really question whether Gordon will leave Cleveland after they stuck by him and can pay him more than anyone else but he’s a #1 on the field for sure. If we are trading down from 5 I like the return and your choices, and like McFadden too at the top of the 2nd. In your scenario though with big guarantees going to both Fuller and Amukamara on multi-year deals I’m struggling to see where McFadden gets on the field at nickel. At 6’2” his size is highly atypical in the slot. I suppose Fuller or Prince could kick inside too. LOVE McFadden as a prospect. 

Did you mean to keep Kendall Wright in your depth chart? He’s not on your list of re-signs. 



You're right, Fuller would be the one sliding into the NB position. He did it white a bit in college and he is by far the best CB we have vs the run. This defense is predicated on stopping the run and getting into favorable 3rd and 7+ situations as often as possible. I agree it is a lot to go to Fuller and Amukamara but for Amukamara it is essentially to show he is not a Cooper player on a one year guaranteed flier. I felt comfortable with having him for 2 years but is hope to have one more young CB drafted next year to replace him after his deal expires.


Idk if Gordon would leave, if not I might go all on on Adams or Landry as I have no faith Watkins hits the market. I remember Gordon saying he had a cool reception when he went back to the Browns a good while back, but Pettine was the one trying to ease him back and be the welcoming presence. 


Crap, good find. Doing mocks when it's past 1am was bound to have a dumb mistake somewhere. Lol. I'll adjust to add Wright. 

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5 hours ago, topwop1 said:

Pretty good. If I was Pace though I'd franchise Fuller and make him prove it one more year in what will likely be a different scheme.

That is a viable option too, I just feel like with this defense he will be in more favorable positions and likely have abetter statistical year.


Regardless I'd do the same as I said I would last year with Jeffery, he isn't leaving without being traded, he either re-signs an extension or gets franchised.


Watching the Eagles game I am even more excited about Burton being the TE2, likely would need to throw a bit more at his deal though.

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I like the free agents. Gordon has something to prove.  He would be a hell of an add. 

I am a huge eddy pineiro guy. He has a hell of a leg and the contract is better than veteran free agent kicker. Kicker is a big need for us glad you addressed it in your mock. 

Bobby Massie can’t be our starting RT next year.  That would be a failure for pace to address that position.  We need a superior player to massie to come in not let’s hope a 4th rounders beats him out.  

I am not a fan of the trade down with the bills  I’d rather have the elite player than the 18 and 21st. Deal have to be sweeter 18, 21 and 2019 first for not to draft key,Fitzpatrick, or McGlichey. 

Great work on the draft 

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I'd be surprised if the McCaskeys allow any risky players like Gordon to be signed, although up to this point he's never been in trouble with the law for anything except pot, he's not been a danger to anyone other than himself (obviously I know that pot itself isn't dangerous, just an expression).  

Also, I'm still not really on board with DeFillipo.  I wouldn't hate the signing, but people keep saying how much of  a history he has at developing QB's, but really all I see is this year with Wentz, and 1 year with Carr.  Apart from that, theres almost no sustained history of success, and he only has a single season in the NFL under his belt as a playcaller.  Just because he's a good QB coach doesn't make him a good playcaller.  Reich is the guy I would prefer, he has been a strong playcaller, and coached Rivers and Manning during some of their best season, as well as now. More experience, and was a backup behind Jim Kelly, so he's got gameday QB experience as well as being a playcaller.  I definitely feel he's the stronger candidate.

As far as this mock goes, I think I would also prefer a little more OL help.  Otherwise I'd be mostly happy with it.

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