The Bears lost a rising star on Friday.
Chris Ballard, the Bears' director of pro scouting, is leaving the team for a promotion with the Kansas City Chiefs. Ballard will oversee the Chiefs' college and pro scouting departments, essentially becoming new general manager John Dorsey's right-hand man.
Ballard was promoted to director of pro scouting by Bears' GM Phil Emery a year ago. He had been the team's southwest area college scout for 11 years before being promoted by Emery.
Ballard played an essential role in the Bears drafting running back Matt Forte and cornerback Charles Tillman. Receiver/kick returner Johnny Knox, defensive tackle Tommie Harris and cornerback Nathan Vasher.also were players he scouted and recommended.
In other words, it's a considerable front-office loss for the Bears. Ballard is highly regarded around the league, considered by some to be a GM-in-the-making.