The NFL Draft encourages teams to be deceptive, especially in the run-up to the selection show, and while Chicago Bears G.M. Ryan Pace didn't reveal who the team has on their radar, he did give some insight into how they're approaching the third overall pick on Thursday night.
In a press conference at Halas Hall on Wednesday night, Pace said that the Bears do indeed have three players that they like for that spot, but that they aren't going to hamstring themselves into only preparing for using the selection.
"We have three names that we like right now," he said. "We have a cloud of names in the middle of the first round as well, and as scenarios present themselves, if we go back in the first round, we have guys that we like, and guys that realistically could be there."
That approach is likely smart for the Bears, who have a lot of needs and not enough draft picks to fill all of them. There are plenty of ways that the first two picks could play out, with the Cleveland Browns and San Francisco 49'ers both in situations where they could take several players, but Pace isn't paying attention to the rumors about how the opening stage of the draft will play out.
"There's so much noise, and so much chatter, that you just have to be disciplined in what (you) believe behind these walls," he said. "You can end up just chasing your tail."
That discipline in sticking to the game plan is a hallmark of Pace, who is entering his third NFL Draft as the G.M. of the Bears. Even though this year's draft will have the Bears picking higher than they have in over 40 years, Pace is committed to not approaching it any differently than he has in the past.
"You feel the responsibility of picking so high, but also the excitement of what it's going to do for our team," he said. "Every draft is critical. The blueprint to building this team is going to be through the draft, so I don't feel any more pressure in this draft than I did in the previous two."
The Bears currently own the third overall pick in the NFL Draft, which will get underway at 7 p.m. on Thursday night in Philadelphia. The draft will air live on both NFL Network and ESPN, and we'll follow along with all the action on our Grizzly Detail NFL Draft live blog.