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George McCaskey Talks Draft, Ryan Pace, Ray McDonald & More

(CBS) Bears chairman George McCaskey doesn't have an opinion on how Chicago should use its No. 7 pick in Thursday's NFL Draft. He content with whatever decision the new regime decides to make, even making light of the general manager-speak that's sure to follow.

"I predict we're going to take the best player available, and we're going to say we couldn't believe he was still on the board," McCaskey said in an interview on the Mully and Hanley Show on Monday morning.

"You're wondering who they're going to pick, and Bears fans are expecting me to stay out of the draft room. So I'm going to grant their wishes. I'm looking forward just like any other fan to who we're going to pick, get some talent and get the Bears back to greatness"

McCaskey's take stems from his confidence in first-year general manager Ryan Pace, who will be in full control on draft day for the first time in his career.

"The biggest thing I would say I've noticed is Ryan certainly doesn't look like a first-time GM," McCaskey said. "He was the talent evaluator in New Orleans, and I think he handled many of the duties of the GM anyway. But he seems very relaxed, very composed, very much in control. I think he's as excited as anybody else is about the draft coming up."

McCaskey addressed a variety of topics in his interview, including the Bears' acquisition of defensive lineman Ray McDonald, who last week was cleared of wrongdoing under the NFL's personal conduct policy following an investigation into a domestic violence incident last August. In that case, McDonald was arrested on suspicion of felony domestic violence, but charges weren't filed in that case, with officials citing a lack of sufficient evidence.

The NFL's investigation into an alleged sexual assault incident in which McDonald has been accused of wrongdoing is still open. Legal charges haven't been brought against McDonald in that case, but it played a part in the 49ers releasing him.

McCaskey explained some details on McDonald's signing.

"It was a situation where I didn't want to make an evaluation based on football ability," McCaskey said. "I left that to the football experts. I just wanted to know do we feel comfortable if he becomes a Chicago Bear? And so I gave Ryan permission to pursue him as a free agent. After that, Ryan still has to make an evaluation with his staff on the football side taking into account the character issue."

In regards to receiver Brandon Marshall, whom the Bears traded to the Jets in March, McCaskey shot down the notion that the mercurial receiver had "worn out his welcome" in Chicago.

"He certainly hadn't with me," McCaskey said. "And he got two of the most prolific seasons in the entire history of the franchise. He has a passion for the game. I didn't see everything that went on in the locker room, so I can't speak to that. As far and he and I were concerned, we got along very well."

Listen to McCaskey's full interview below. He also shares his thoughts and memories of former Bear Doug Buffone, who passed away last week.

George McCaskey on the Mully and Hanley Show

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