The Chicago Bears are in an interesting position in this April's draft. The 20th overall pick normally isn't high enough to guarantee yourself a top-shelf player but there is a wealth of talent at the top of this draft.
I know, you've been told this draft "isn't very good" and "doesn't have enough elite talent."
Both are untrue for the most part. The draft isn't top heavy with quarterback/wide receiver/running back talent, or to put it another way, the top of those classes lack an "elite" prospect.
But once you move past the skill positions (so to speak), there are some fantastic players. Offensive line, all over the defense—all the positions the Bears could want roll deep.
So today, and several more times before April 25, we'll be taking a look around the Internet at the various picks for the Bears from pundits.
I tried to find mocks with a little insight beyond just the obvious. I want to know not just who the analysts pick, but why that guy over other players?
Also, I tried to go as recent as I could with the draft, since we've lately had some roster movement which will influence who gets drafted where.
Unfortunately, that knocks out a few mocks I would normally include, like Bleacher Report's own Matt Miller (who is hip deep in some small project called the B/R 1000) and Mel Kiper (who last updated his mock on Feb. 7).
Inevitably, I will miss some of your favorite writers, so be sure to include them in the comments, and we can have a nice discussion, plus I'll try to add them to the rotation.
For their full mocks, just click on the hotlink on the analyst's name.
Selection: Cordarrelle Patterson, Tennessee, WR
The Bears would love for (Tyler) Eifert to fall to them, but in this scenario the Giants get him one pick before. The Bears also could surprise here with a left tackle such as Menelik Watson or Justin Pugh, two athletic players who would need to develop in Marc Trestman's offense. But Patterson is one of the most explosive, raw athletes in this draft and is one of the most dangerous with the ball in his hands. He has elite natural tools and could be brought along slowly at wide receiver. Also, Patterson allows Trestman to get creative with reverses and screens while occasionally lining up Patterson in the backfield.
Other Notable Picks: McShay has Chance Warmack going at No. 18 to Dallas, notable because Warmack would certainly be a guy the Bears will look at. Same with Eifert at No. 19 to the Giants, Alec Ogletree at No. 15 to the Saints and Tavon Austin at No. 16 to the Rams.
By the way, I can't think of a worse fit for a guy with a DUI and multiple off-the-field issues than the city of New Orleans.
Still on the board post-Bears pick are OT D.J. Fluker, DT Sylvester Williams, and ILB/OLB Arthur Brown.
Reaction: I get the logic here, and they do need another playmaker in the offense. With new head coach Marc Trestman, we don't know what to expect. Left to his own devices, I don't know that GM Phil Emery would pick a first-round receiver, but the new staff might change that.
The only other issue I have is that, as much as I like Patterson, he still has some rough edges. McShay says he can be brought along slowly, but is that what you're going for in the first round? Especially at a position with some intriguing second- and third-round possibilities?
Or are you attracted to the upside of a player who needs work and perhaps a lot of it?
As it stands, this isn't terrible value at all, and it is an interesting pick.
Selection: Alec Ogletree, Georgia, ILB
Ogletree lost himself some money when he got arrested for a suspected DUI during the pre-draft process. He already had some character concerns, and even if it's just "wrong place, wrong time" or a "cop out to get him," this is the time when there are no excuses for many teams.
Still, Ogletree is a great athletic prospect who has the potential to be a middle linebacker but a body that is sized more like an outside linebacker (6'2", 242).
Huh, who does that sound like coming out of school? Brian Urlacher (a college safety) was 6'3", 249 when he reported for Bears camp as a rookie. Ogletree brings a similar skill set to the table as well and could spend some time on the outside as Urlacher plays out his career.
Other Notable Picks: Kenny Vaccaro at No. 16 to the Rams intrigues me. You always wonder where the safeties will go, and Vaccaro could certainly go that high, perhaps even higher.
Zach Ertz goes at No. 13 to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, while Tyler Eifert is nowhere to be found in the first round. At all. That surprises me to some extent (especially since there's a good chance the Bears are interested barring some free-agency move to come), but if you look at the teams in the late first round, I can easily see why Schottey had it happen.
Ertz or Eifert (or both) could easily slide out of the first despite being very good prospects.
Ziggy Ansah at No. 2 and Star Lotulelei at No. 14 are picks which leapt out at me as well.
And while Schottey and I will probably disagree on this, I don't believe the Jets go wide receiver at No. 9. People love to give the Jets receivers in the first round every year and it never happens.
Then again, maybe that's why they are the Jets.
Still on the board after the Bears pick are Tavon Austin, DeAndre Hopkins, Menelik Watson (a tackle whose name I am hearing more and more in the first), among others.
Reaction: Ogletree to the Bears is a pick I'm struggling with because I don't know if they take the risk with his off-field issues.
I like the idea that Brian Urlacher and Ogletree share physical similarities but—and I've said this many times—Urlacher is about more than his stats. Ogletree being able to (potentially) replicate his sacks and tackles would be great but the bigger and more pressing question is, can he handle the mental aspect?
Urlacher is the guy who runs that defense on the field and we saw the drop-off when he was out last year. I'm not sure I'm sold Ogletree is the guy who can do that.
Of course, maybe they won't want him to.
Selection: Tyler Eifert, Notre Dame, TE
The Bears would love to see one of the top three left tackles available here, especially given the recent arrest of incumbent starter J'Marcus Webb, but solid depth at the position could allow the team to wait rather than reach here. The hiring of offensive guru Marc Trestman brings the quick-hitting principles of the West Coast Offense, including more of a focus on the tight end. Eifert is a soft-handed mismatch who would be a popular pick with the fan base.
Other Notable Picks: I was a little surprised to see Dion Jordan slip to No. 15, but with the defensive-end group, it could happen. Matt Barkley to the Jets is at once too perfect and a horrible idea.
The Cardinals passing on Geno Smith and Barkley is a surprise, especially since it's for logical reasons—they need Eric Fisher as much.
Guys left on the board after Rang's Bears' selection include Mingo, Ogletree and D.J. Fluker.
Reaction: Eifert is a pick I like an awful lot here. Can you go with a guy like Fluker instead? Sure and what's more given the offensive-line issues, one would think it's a better pick. With the top two guards off the board and the top three tackles, Fluker is pretty much your last chance at a top tackle, possibly along with Watson.
Still, Eifert is a great player who is, as Rang says, a real mismatch for defenders. I broke Eifert down recently, and he makes a good fit.
I really don't have any issue with Rang's selection.
Selection: Chance Warmack, Alabama, OG
Ideally a left tackle would be here for the Bears to take, but that’s highly unlikely at this point in round one. However, getting an offensive lineman could be one of the best in this class regardless of position is a step in the right direction, and Warmack is a great value at this point in the first round.
Other Notable Picks: Fluker goes to Dallas at No. 18, which makes some sense the more I think about it. The Rams wisely get offensive-line help with one pick (Jonathan Cooper, guard), then a weapon with another (Zach Ertz, tight end).
I'm a little surprised to see Star Lotulelei as the first pick overall, especially given the heart issues discovered at the Combine. Is he the top player in the draft even without that? Will the Chiefs add another defensive lineman in the interior?
They can't miss since they no longer have their second-round pick.
Interesting players sitting on the board after Galko's Bears' pick include inside linebacker Kevin Minter, receiver Tavon Austin, and Arthur Brown, who Galko has listed as an inside linebacker.
Reaction: I'm not sold that Warmack will be here at No. 20, but regardless, I don't have an argument with taking any lineman to improve one of the shakiest lines in the league. Warmack is a guy who, as Galko says, could be the best guard in the draft (which is why I don't expect him to be here).
There are other needs that are important, but there aren't many arguments against adding an offensive line player save perhaps one—the Bears have not been good at picking high-round offensive line players.
Sure the jury is still out on Gabe Carimi, but Chris Williams was an unmitigated bust. Mind you, they don't pick them often (another sticking point for many fans and analysts) and it's still a new world with GM Phil Emery in charge and now Trestman as the new head coach.
If Warmack is there, though, it's pretty much a no-brainer.
Selection: Tyler Eifert, Notre Dame,TE
Eifert has ideal size and speed for the position and would provide Jay Cutler with a valuable third-down weapon.
Other Notable Picks: Jeremiah has Geno Smith going to Arizona at No. 7 overall, which makes sense. As long as the Cards go offensive line or quarterback, they really can't go wrong.
The Giants taking Alec Ogletree at No. 19 is interesting as well. Warmack goes to St. Louis at No. 16, which makes a ton of sense to me. Again, I don't know if he even drops that far, but I can't imagine him falling much further.
Guys left on the board after Jeremiah's Bears' pick include Austin, tackle Justin Pugh, Manti Te'o and Watson.
Reaction: As I said when Rang picked him, I like the Eifert pick. I totally agree with Jeremiah in that Eifert would be a huge weapon on third down (and more). They need a playmaker to go across from Brandon Marshall and even if Alshon Jeffery is that guy (I believe that to be the case), you can never have too many offensive weapons.
With Trestman in town, the emphasis on offense will be very clear, so this pick makes all the more sense in that light.
That being said, it won't do Jay Cutler any good to have weapons if he's on his back counting clouds all game.
The Bears will have to weigh grabbing a tackle or guard earlier than they might be worth (in general) vs. the best player at another position of need.
Selection: D.J. Fluker, Alabama, OT
The Bears must find a way to keep Cutler upright and give him a clean pocket for Coach Trestman’s offensive system to work. Fluker impressed with his foot quickness, flexibility and all-around athleticism at the Combine could definitely start at right tackle as a rookie and may even be able to handle the left tackle spot.
Other Notable Picks: We start off with Ryan Nassib as the first quarterback off the board, followed by Matt Barkley—with Geno Smith falling out of the first.
While some will think any one (or all) of those points crazy, I like a mock that is outside the box, know Lande and know how he works and while I might disagree, I also don't think it's outside the realm of possibility.
Especially this year when really, no one quarterback stands out above the rest. I think people are misreading Barkley and like what I've seen from Nassib. For myself, I would have Smith off the board first without a doubt, but we all know how that can go.
Keenan Allen going to the Dolphins could change given his lingering knee issues. That's going to scare some clubs away from him. Meanwhile, Sharrif Floyd going first overall is a surprise as well, but could totally depend on what happens with Brandon Albert.
Players left on the board again include Austin, Watson, Jonathan Cooper (guard), Kevin Minter at inside linebacker and the ever-present Te'o.
Reaction: As we've talked about, can you really go wrong with an offensive-line pick?
I am very intrigued by Minter, and wonder if Cooper is a better pick than Fluker. Really, either guy is a decent pick—especially if you accept the fact that Fluker is your right tackle and don't try to force him at the left, where I believe he would struggle.
This would necessitate moving Carimi either to guard or left tackle. They initially took him as a left tackle prospect, so it's not impossible to think they try it. J'Marcus Webb has improved, but giving Carimi a shot might allow Webb to move to a less exposed guard position.
The ripple effect could be that the line as a whole would improve.
So there you have the mock roundup for the Chicago Bears.
Eifert seems to get the very soft majority, but the variety of good potential picks really should drive home what a good position this team is in. There is likely to be a great pick to fill a need at No. 20—in fact, probably more than one.
Who should be the pick? Chime in down in the comments.
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