>>Bears Take Georgia LB
The Chicago Bears have drafted Georgia linebacker Roquan Smith with the No. 8 overall pick, adding a potential cornerstone on defense rather than another offensive player.
The Bears have spent the offseason collecting pieces they believe will help Mitchell Trubisky develop into a franchise quarterback. But when Indianapolis took Notre Dame guard Quenton Nelson with the sixth pick, it became apparent Chicago would address the defense.
The Butkus Award winner as college football's best linebacker in 2017, Smith has the speed to wreak havoc on opponents. At 6-foot-1, 236 pounds he is a bit undersized but has the ability to drop back in pass coverage. Smith figures to play inside with former first-round pick Leonard Floyd on the outside.
He joins a team with four straight last-place finishes in the NFC North and just one playoff appearance since the 2006 team's run to the Super Bowl. The Monsters of the Midway haven't finished with a winning record since 2012, Lovie Smith's last season as coach.
The Bears fired John Fox after three seasons and replaced him with an offensive-minded coach in Matt Nagy, who spent the past 10 years working on Andy Reid's staffs in Philadelphia and Kansas City. They also gave Trubisky some new targets, most notably signing former Pro Bowl receiver Allen Robinson.
The Bears were still looking to add a playmaker on defense. Chicago ranked 10th overall last season despite injuries to several key players, including Floyd, and tied for seventh in the NFL with 42 sacks last season. But the Bears let linebackers Pernell McPhee and Willie Young go.
Chicago has one second-round pick, two fourth-rounders and one each in the fifth, sixth and seventh. But the Bears don't have a third-round selection.
The Chicago Bears might look for a pass rusher or help on the offensive line when the draft resumes Friday after taking Georgia linebacker Roquan Smith with the No. 8 overall pick.
The Bears grabbed a potential cornerstone defensive player in the first round Thursday rather than add another weapon for prized quarterback Mitchell Trubisky.
Chicago has one second-round pick Friday night, two fourth-rounders and one each in the fifth, sixth and seventh. The Bears don't have a third-round selection.
Chicago had 42 sacks last season but let linebackers Pernell McPhee and Willie Young go. The Bears could also use a blocker, with guard Kyle Long recovering from multiple surgeries and guard Josh Sitton gone.
>>Packers Take Louisville CB
The Packers drafted what they needed most: a cornerback.
But what Green Bay also got by selecting Louisville's Jaire Alexander at No. 18 overall on Thursday night is a skilled defender and kick returner.
Injuries have ravaged the Green Bay cornerback position in recent years. The Packers dealt Damarious Randall to the Browns earlier in the offseason in a trade that brought backup quarterback DeShone Kizer to Green Bay. That left last year's second-round pick, Kevin King, as the Packers' top cornerback following an injury-shortened rookie year.
Veteran Tramon Williams returned as a free agent to the Packers, who also brought back Davon House. But a defense can never have too many cornerbacks in the pass-happy NFL.
The Packers are hoping Alexander is the playmaker they desperately need after another subpar year on defense. Alexander had a team-leading five interceptions as a sophomore in 2016. He only played in six games last season, starting five, after sustaining a knee injury. But the injury didn't scare off the Packers.
Alexander was healthy at the NFL combine and turned some heads, running blazing 4.38 seconds in the 40-yard dash. At only 5-foot-11, Alexander has to use his speed to his advantage to beat bigger wide receivers.
As a kick returner, Alexander had 20 returns for 210 yards and a touchdown as a sophomore. He'll compete with Trevor Davis for the Packers' starting return position.
Green Bay entered Thursday night with the No. 14 pick, but Gutekunst acquired the Saints' first-round pick (No. 27), a fifth-round pick (No. 147) and the team's first-round selection in 2019. Then the Packers moved up to No. 18 and also received the No. 248 pick in the seventh round and gave Seattle the No. 27 pick, a third-rounder (No. 76) and a sixth-rounder (No. 186).
The Green Bay Packers could be looking to make more deals on Day 2 of the NFL draft.
Green Bay has just one pick for now on Friday, the 45th overall selection in the second round. With 10 picks for the third day of the draft on Saturday, Gutekunst has the tools needed to move up and make another pick or two in the second or third rounds.
The Packers could also use reinforcements at receiver after parting with Jordy Nelson, and on the offensive line.
>>No Charges For Green Bay WR For Fale Bomb Threat
Green Bay Packers wide receiver Trevor Davis is not being charged after falsely claiming to have explosives while checking in for a flight at Los Angeles International Airport this month.
Los Angeles City Attorney Office spokesman Frank Mateljan said Thursday that Davis appeared at an informal hearing and was given an opportunity to explain what happened. Davis was advised of the law on making false bomb threats at an airport.
Airport police said Davis was checking in for a Hawaiian Airlines flight when an airline employee asked him whether he had any explosives in his bag. Davis said "yes" and asked a woman he was traveling with, "Did you pack the explosives?"
Airline employees called police and Davis was arrested.