We're Black and Blue All Over:
We've discussed the possibility of North Carolina defensive end Quinton Coples falling out of the top 10 of the NFL draft and perhaps being available to the Chicago Bears at No. 19 overall. Coples is one of the top athletic talents available, and drafting him would presumably be a coup for the Bears.
Or would it?
In a mailbag column, Dan Pompei of the Chicago Tribune suggests the Bears could and should pass on Coples for the same reason other teams might: His reported work ethic questions.
Pompei: "I think Coples will fall out of the top 10, and I think he will fall out of the top 20. And he should. Coples is similar to [Julius] Peppers athletically, but it's an insult to Peppers to say Coples plays like him. Peppers plays hard. Coples does not. … Personally, I would never take a player who has been labeled an underachiever or a dog early in the draft. With a first-round pick, I want a player who is going to raise the level of intensity on my team, not one who is going to lower it."
Something to keep in mind with the draft a day away.
Continuing around the NFC North:
Defensive tackle Stephen Paea is ready for a bigger role in 2012, writes Jeff Dickerson of ESPNChicago.com.
The second round could be vital to the Bears, notes Mark Potash of the Chicago Sun-Times.
This morning is your final opportunity to vote for the cover of "Madden 13." Detroit Lions receiver Calvin Johnson is a finalist.
Lions coach Jim Schwartz is aware of excitement for the Lions' rematch with the San Francisco 49ers, writes Carlos Monarrez of the Detroit Free Press.
Johnson is looking for a more balanced offense in 2012, notes Rod Beard of the Detroit News.
Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel offers his best estimate on the first 100 players who will be drafted.
It's unlikely the Packers will focus on the receiver position in the draft, writes Pete Dougherty of the Green Bay Press-Gazette.
The Packers are expecting a big crowd at their shareholders meeting in July because of this year's stock sale, notes Jason Wilde of ESPNMilwaukee.com.
This draft will be a defining moment for Minnesota Vikings general manager Rick Spielman, writes Brian Murphy of the St. Paul Pioneer Press.
At least there is no question about who is in charge in the Vikings' front office, writes Judd Zulgad of 1500ESPN.com.
The Vikings' stadium plan is starting to take on an "air of inevitability," according to one Minnesota state legislator. More from Mike Kaszuba of the Star Tribune.