By Bryan Dietzler
Several NFL Draft prognosticators have already started putting out their seven round mock drafts for each NFL team. There have been a few put out for the Bears already and, of course, every one of them is different. No one has a consensus as to who the Bears would pick with all their draft picks in the 2017 NFL Draft and right now it’s purely speculation. But it’s a lot of fun isn’t it?
This writer decided to throw his hat in the ring and do a seven round mock draft based on the Bears’ current pick set.
In the 2107 NFL Draft, the Bears have seven picks. They include one first round pick, a second round pick, a third round pick, two fourth round picks, a fifth round selection and a seventh round pick.
Note: The order in which the Bears pick, beyond the first round, has not yet been determined. We will not have the pick number for this mock draft.
The Bears have the third round pick in the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft. So they have their pick of just about any player in that round. The two teams ahead of them, Cleveland and San Francisco could put a wrench in their plans though and it could be competitive at the top of the that round.
There are several people who think the Bears should take a quarterback and if the right guy is there, they just might do that. But taking a quarterback in the first round is a gamble and the Bears are not a gambling team.
I think the Bears will not look at a quarterback in the first round and try to go with the best player available. But who could be the best player available?
You can expect the Cleveland Browns to take the best player available regardless of position while the 49ers may take the best quarterback available. The best quarterback available right now is (if you read what the experts say) is DeShaun Watson. Mitch Trubisky is also creeping his way in as a top quarterback. The best player available could be Texas A & M defensive end Myles Garrett. He might end up with the Browns.
The Bears could really use a safety and if one of the top three are available and are worth it, they should take one. Right now, Michigan’s Jabrill Peppers, LSU’s Jamal Adams or Ohio State’s Malik Hooker grade out as first rounders so the Bears might want to take one of them. For the value and if he’s worth it, Malik Hooker may be the guy the Bears want to go with.
First Round Selection-FS Malik Hooker-Ohio State
The Bears could go for a quarterback in this round. It would be safer to get one there and they could find a developmental player or a starter. They will be picking pretty low in the round (they should be picking third in the second round) so the possibility of finding a good quarterback there is strong.
Some of the quarterbacks that are rated as second round prospects, right now, include Miami Hurricane quarterback Brad Kaaya and Texas Tech’s Patrick Mahomes. Both are juniors who declared early and both have a lot of talent.
If you had to choose between the two, Kaaya might be the best bet. He’s got a better skill set and has looked better in preliminary tape sessions. He might also take to offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains teaching a little better. Things will change a lot before the draft but for now, Kaaya could be a great possibility in the second round.
Second Round Selection-QB-Brad Kaaya-Miami
The Bears could use some help at the cornerback position and the third round might be a good place to get that help. This could be the round they find a starter in either in 2017 or in the near future. There is some nice talent available at the cornerback position in the third round so the Bears will have plenty to choose from.
Some of the better talent available at cornerback in the third round include Colorado’s Chidobe Awuzie, Houston’s Howard Wilson and Washington’s Kevin King. Wilson has the least experience of them all but is an interesting prospect. King seems to be the better of the three and might be the most pro-ready of them all.
If King is there, the Bears might want to grab him. He just might be able to start in 2017 or in 2018 making him a wise investment.
Third Round-Kevin King-CB-Washington
The Bears have two fourth round picks so they have some options in that round. By this point they have taken care of the quarterback positon, safety position and cornerback position they can start striking out for some depth.
Perhaps the first area of need the Bears could address is at outside linebacker. They have Leonard Floyd,when he is healthy. But Pernell McPhee has missed a lot of time due to injury. Some depth to help the starters (giving them some time to rest) would be good.
Three of the best outside linebackers who are currently rated as fourth round prospects include Illinois Carroll Phillips, Louisville’s Devonte Fields and Wisconsin’s Vince Biegel. After a quick glance at these guys, it would appear as if Biegel might be the better fit. He has speed and can get to the quarterback. In the Bears’ scheme, that’s what the outside guys need to do.
Fourth Round #1-Vince Biegel-OLB-Wisconsin
The Bears have some decent talent along the offensive line and the depth there is nice. But one position they could use some depth in is at the left tackle position. What they do need is some help for Charles Leno Jr., who did start in and play in every game last season but is not a “franchise” left tackle. While the Bears may not be able to find a starter in the fourth round, they could find someone to push Leno and provide more competition.
The fourth round of the 2017 NFL Draft has good talent at the tackle position. Some of the top fourth round offensive tackles include Arkansas Dan Skipper, Michigan’s Erick Magnuson, Bucknell’s Julie’n Davenport and USC’s Chad Wheeler.
Wheeler has received some attention while at USC and may move up in the draft due to his talent. If he was to make it to where the Bears pick, they should get him. He might just end up as a starter with some experience. He might be a steal.
Fourth Round #2-Chad Wheeler-OT-USC
Chicago’s next pick is in the fifth round and this might be the point they look at getting some wide receiver depth. The Bears may be letting some of their receivers go this off-season and may need some help. A fifth-round pick can take a while to develop into a starter but the Bears might find a gem in the fifth round.
What the Bears should do at the receiver position is very contentious. If they let Alshon Jeffery leave, they will need more help than they already do. If they keep him, and allow some of their third stringers to walk, they will need some depth. Because it’s the fifth round, let’s assume the Bears are looking for depth at receiver.
It’s early but there are about five prospects that could be available for the Bears in the fifth round. They include Darreus Rodgers of USC, Josh Malone of Tennessee, KD Cannon of Baylor, Kenny Galloway out of Northern Illinois and Ryan Switzer out of North Carolina.
These guys are talented but none of them will ever be a number one wide receiver. Having come from such a potent passing offense as the one they had at North Carolina, Switzer may be the guy the Bears want to look at. But, he does lack the ideal height (he is 5-10) for a wide receiver. He could be one of those quick, smaller slot guys that can help move the ball on those critical third downs.
Maybe the Bears could try to get Switzer. He could be an Eddie Royal type of receiver hopefully without the crippling injuries.
Fifth Round-Ryan Switzer-WR-North Carolina
The Bear’s final pick in the 2017 NFL draft is in the draft’s final round. Another need they have, (which might be addressed earlier in the draft) is at tight end. For a seventh round pick they could only get a backup or a practice squad player. They do need much more than that however.
Tight end talent in the seventh round is okay but none of the guys look like they could be long term NFL starters. The Bears might want to bring in one of these guys for competition and depth.
The top five tight ends in the seventh round are Pittsburgh’s Scott Orndoff, Oregon’s Pharoah Brown, Michigan State’s Josiah Price, Nebraska’s Cethan Carter and Washington’s Darrell Daniels.
If the Bears are looking for a good blocker and receiver then they may want to look Brown. He’s got great size (6-5), can catch the ball and can even block.
Seventh Round-Pharaoh Brown-TE-Oregon
This is the first mock draft. There will be more chances to perfect it and get it more in line with what might happen. It’s still early.
Let me know what you think and who the Bears should pick in this year’s draft.