Published: Mon, April 30, 2018
Sport | By Stuart Potter

Bears bolster offensive line with Iowa's James Daniels

Bears bolster offensive line with Iowa's James Daniels

But the Monsters of the Midway made some big moves created to get the most out of their prized quarterback and lift a struggling franchise.

I believe Smith, along with Bradley Chubb and Minkah Fitzpatrick, is one of the three best defensive players in this draft, and the Bears got him at eight.

The aspiring doctor left school with a year of eligibility remaining partly because he had already graduated in May.

Daniels' selection could signal a full-time move to guard for Cody Whitehair, who has bounced between that position and center.

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Fitts (6'4/263) made 23 starts in an injury-plagued three-year stint with the Utes, logging seven sacks and four forced fumbles as a redshirt freshman in 2015, then missing all but two games in 2016 with a broken foot, and missing four games last year due to various injuries. This draft makes such an immediate impact on the the depth chart I asked Pace if he agreed with my opinion he had taken more accomplished, NFL-ready players with what scouts call higher "floors" than in previous years. In 2017, he was named to the Academic All-Big Ten team. In 2012, if you would have (said) that I'd be blocking for him, I would say, 'You're lying.' That's the craziest thing I ever heard. Of the quartet, there could be as many as two starters at some point in the season. That includes my time in the NFL. There's just such a positive vibe around here and it really originates from Matt and it's infectious through the whole building. It's a guy that Harry was really passionate about, too. Daniels finished first in the 20-yard shuttle (4.40 seconds), second in the 3-cone drill (7.29 seconds), sixth in the vertical jump (30.5 inches) and 10th in the broad jump (108 inches). It's also led to compliments from those same evaluators. "It was very cool seeing players I know and I grew up with and coming out and living the dream". I don't think they've seen that yet. Otherwise, I wouldn't have been able to even play at Iowa.

"The athleticism, I'll keep going back and that. and the toughness, the ability to go down" to the line of scrimmage, Wojciechowski said of Burks.

Hiestand, a renowned offensive line coach, certainly had a say in Daniels being projected as an National Football League guard, at least in this offense. He had a Lisfranc ligament tear in his foot in 2016 and played in only two games, then had shoulder and ankle sprains previous year.

"James is a hell of a developmental prospect, if you will", Ferentz said.

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