Thank you to everyone who submitted a question. Here is the first installment of the 2016 Chicago Bears' mailbag. Have a great weekend.
Jeff Dickerson: Without a doubt, Ty. General manager Ryan Pace is already on record calling it a "good" quarterback class. "I don't want to get into the specifics, but there are a handful of guys [who] are up near the top," Pace said. "There are also a handful of quarterbacks in the middle part of the draft that I feel good about and that we've got to make sure we've accurately graded, and that's where our scouts really earn their money." Obviously we don't know if the Bears will be in position to draft Carson Wentz or Jared Goff at No. 11 (probably not), but the second-tier quarterbacks such as Paxton Lynch, Connor Cook, Christian Hackenberg, Jacoby Brissett, Brandon Allen, Dak Prescott, Cody Kessler and Kevin Hogan are intriguing. With nine picks at their disposal, it would be a surprise if the Bears don't use at least one choice on a quarterback. David Fales and Matt Blanchard are the only two backups currently on the roster. The group needs more competition.
JD: I feel awful for Smith, Hawa. Before he suffered the knee injury in the Fiesta Bowl versus Ohio State, you could have made a strong argument that Smith was the best overall player in the 2016 draft class. But it's difficult to justify using the 11th overall pick on a player who could miss an entire season. The Rams hit a home run with Todd Gurley last year, but it usually doesn't work out that way. Plus, Gurley tore his ACL in early November, giving him longer to heal. I'm sure Smith will be drafted, but the first round seems like a long shot. That being said, Smith would be a steal on Day 2 or Day 3.
JD: Buckner is exactly what the Bears need -- a powerful defensive end that can rush the quarterback. At 6-foot-7, Buckner is the reigning Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year. He had 10.5 sacks and 17 tackles-for-loss for Oregon last season. I just don't know if there is any way Buckner is still available at No. 11. ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr. has Bucker going No. 8 to Philadelphia in his latest mock draft. I assume the Bears would sprint to the podium to turn in their pick if Buckner is somehow around at 11, but that seems rather unlikely to happen.
JD: Long is too important to the franchise, both on the field and in the locker room, to run the risk of a contract stalemate. He will eventually receive a lucrative extension. My best guess is Long eventually signs a deal that could exceed $25 million guaranteed. He will be one of highest-paid guards -- if not the highest -- in the NFL when it happens. The Bears are still in good shape with the salary cap to handle future long-term deals with guys like Long and Alshon Jeffery, who is currently under the franchise tag.
@DickersonESPN Can the Bears get to 8 wins in 2016?— Blackhawks1963 (@Blackhawks1963) April 6, 2016
JD: I think so. The Bears, on paper, have improved their inside linebacker position with Danny Trevathan and Jerrell Freeman. Akiem Hicks is an upgrade on the defensive line. The hope is Kevin White stays healthy in 2016. The right side of the offensive line looks better with Bobby Massie and Long. And the team still has nine draft picks. I think eight wins is a reasonable expectation. But we still have a long way to go until September.