Will Kevin White and Leonard Floyd Live Up To Their Draft Status?

Will Kevin White and Leonard Floyd Live Up To Their Draft Status?

Our new writer, who goes by the moniker CBJ and can be found on twitter (@ChicagoBearJew), offers up his first opinion piece. The timing of his topic couldn’t be better. Kevin White was at the center of a debate between two bar flies (Shayne Marsaw and Phill Ottochian). CBJ shares his thoughts on the importance of White contributing to the Bears. He also brings up the other top ten draft pick of the Bears, Leonard Floyd. 

Will Kevin White and Leonard Floyd improve the Chicago Bears roster? Are they talented enough to get this team over-the-hump?

It’s my opinion that most NFL rosters are the same from about the eighth player down to the last man on the roster. It is the top eight players that make the biggest difference. One of the major issues with the Bears is their lack of top-level talent. If you compare them to the Packers, you will see a huge gap in impact-type players. The hope is that you’re able to draft and develop talent.

This has been a struggle for the Bears. Either they failed to draft the right kind of player or failed to develop their talent. This left new General Manager Ryan Pace with a large task. How does he improve the talent on this roster? Are there ways he can do this while trying to remain competitive?

As bad as the Bears have been the last few years, the major problem is they haven’t been bad enough to secure a top draft pick. While some teams have improved when taking top-talent early in the draft — Cam Newton in 2011 and Luke Kuechly with the Panthers, for instance — the Bears have picked outside of that top-ten area for a long time. Additionally, they’ve missed on several draft choices as the list below shows. This has forced the Bears to overpay for talent in free agency. Once you start doing this, you’re flirting with salary cap problems.

[graphiq id=”4bbivyobsoZ” title=”Chicago Bears First Round Draft Picks Since 2000″ width=”600″ height=”603″ url=”https://w.graphiq.com/w/4bbivyobsoZ” link=”http://nfl-teams.pointafter.com/l/26/Chicago-Bears” link_text=”Chicago Bears First Round Draft Picks Since 2000 | PointAfter” ]

This is now year two of Pace. His first choice was White with the seventh pick back in 2015. White’s time with the Bears hasn’t exactly been ideal. With high expectations, White suffered a serious shin injury last season and was unable to take a single snap. We can see that he has a bright personality and eye-catching athletic abilities but will he transform his positives to production on the field?

[graphiq id=”lBKhqW1HPwx” title=”Kevin White Overview” width=”640″ height=”674″ url=”https://w.graphiq.com/w/lBKhqW1HPwx” link=”http://football-players.pointafter.com/l/27378/Kevin-White” link_text=”Kevin White Overview | PointAfter” ]

As we saw last Sunday, White looked lost. On at least two occasions, he made costly mistakes. The first was running to a spot short of a first down and the second was running the wrong route leading to an interception. It wasn’t exactly the way White or the Bears would have scripted his debut. As much as I’d like to consider this first-game jitters, I am quite annoyed that he displayed such football stupidity. I would hope that White spent all of last season studying how to be a NFL receiver. What a route means? How to get to the sticks? Then again, these are things my son works on in third-grade flag football. So my hope is that this is a one-time thing and White will show great improvement. Because all we can do is hope…

Floyd was taken with the ninth pick in the 2016 draft (through a trade with the Baltimore Ravens). I was quite impressed with Floyd. He was around the football for most of the game. He has real speed and athleticism. Plus it seems like he “gets it”. However, he needs to work on playing through traffic and fighting off blocks. This was the same thing I saw in a young Brian Urlacher. I am not comparing Floyd to Urlacher, but I am saying that both are great athletes and had some of the same challenges as younger players.

This upcoming Monday night, the Bears face a team that on paper isn’t as good as the Houston Texans.

[graphiq id=”g9JINBEv6IZ” title=”Philadelphia Eagles Profile” width=”640″ height=”937″ url=”https://w.graphiq.com/w/g9JINBEv6IZ” link=”http://nfl-teams.pointafter.com/l/8/Philadelphia-Eagles” link_text=”Philadelphia Eagles Profile | PointAfter” ]

This is a winnable game for the Bears. They need to break their six-game losing streak at Soldier Field. Having the extra day off will give the young players better prepare. While, clearly, the game won’t hinge on White and Floyd solely, playing mistake-free football and providing big-plays is what these two top-ten draft picks need to do Monday and into the season. Without these tow emerging as cornerstone players, the Bears’ future offers little hope.

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Kevin WhiteLeonard Floyd

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