By Bryan Dietzler
The 2017 NFL Draft is just a few days away and there has been a ton of speculation as to who the Bears are going to pick with their first pick. This pick comes at number three which is a very difficult spot to draft from in any year. While the potential for greatness from that pick is high the potential for that pick to be a bust is almost as high. And picking a player that doesn’t make an impact so high in the draft can set a franchise back for years.
The Bears have several different options in this year’s draft at number three. They really need to take advantage of the opportunity that has been presented to them. Yes, picking at number three in the draft is a sign that you didn’t have a great year but the third pick in the draft can give you someone who can help you climb out of the hole that you are in. They can help make you a playoff contender again.
Chicago needs to take advantage of this opportunity while they can. The time for them to do something great in the draft is now. This pick can help set the franchise in the right direction.
I have written about the different options that the Bears may have at number three before. But instead talking about several possibilities, I am going to narrow it down to two. What’s good about these two is that they should easily be available and it would make sense if Chicago picked them with the third pick.
But remember, there are two teams ahead of the Bears. The Cleveland Browns have the first pick in the draft while the San Francisco 49ers have the second selection. The consensus is that the Browns will take Texas A&M defensive end Myles Garrett. Most experts think the 49ers will take Stanford defensive lineman Solomon Thomas. Those guys should be gone by the time the Bears pick.
As a side note, the calls for “Solomon Thomas to the Bears” are starting to grow. Sometime soon we can look at Thomas and see if he would be a good fit. Right now, we are going to look at the two best possible picks for the Bears at number three, right now.
The two players that could be the best fits for the Bears in the 2017 NFL Draft are Jamal Adams and Marshon Lattimore? Why? Let’s find out.
Everyone reading this story knows the pain the Bears have gone through at the safety position over the past few years. Anyone remember Chris Conte? Enough said. Getting some help at the safety position is something the Bears must do in this draft. This draft is deep at safety so Chicago could always get a good player in a later round, that’s true. But for the value and the need, Adams could be the guy they want.
After watching tape on Adams, I have noticed that they guy doesn’t make too many critical mistakes and is a big-time playmaker. He can stick with faster receivers in coverage and likes to lay out a ball carrier when taking one on. Adams has good instincts and a nose for the football.
One thing that several experts say about Adams, that is very appealing, is that he has strong leadership skills. You can see him talking to his teammates helping to get them lined up when they are out on the field. He is also very intelligent.
And when it comes to speed, Adams has it. At his recent pro day, he ran a 4.33 40-yard dash. Yes, a 4.33! Now speed isn’t the indication of “great things to come” but having a safety that can play that fast is a very nice thing. He can catch up to players from behind and make the play as well as stick with fast receivers and tight ends. That kind of speed would be nice to have on Chicago’s defense.
Sure, taking a safety is not as “sexy” as taking a quarterback or a pass rusher but after years of futility at the position, the Bears could use someone like Adams to help shore it up. He will be hard to pass up if he’s there at number three. He’s a “must have” kind of player and would be a wise pick.
There is one more guy that the Bears should consider looking at in the first round. Ohio State cornerback Marshon Lattimore is the best cornerback in the draft, hands down, and he will be there at number three. Could he be someone the Bears consider?
When you look at Lattimore’s upside, you see a guy who is an outstanding athlete and has solid speed. His mechanics, when in coverage, are sound and he has a lot of skill for a college cornerback. What is nice is that Lattimore could step in and start right away on any NFL team. If Chicago were to take him with the third pick, they would get nothing less than an “out of the gate” starter.
Proper tackling has become an issue in the NFL but there isn’t too much concern about Lattimore’s tackling ability. If you check him out on film you will see that gets his arms around the ball carrier, keeps his head up and follows through on the tackle. There should be no question about his ability to bring a ball carrier down.
It’s easy to see that both athletes could help the Bears in the long run. They would help add star power to the secondary giving the Bears defense some much needed improvement. And for the value, the Bears wouldn’t make a mistake picking either of these guys.
Most experts agree that none of the top quarterbacks are worth picking at number three. Jonathan Allen is a potential long term injury risk who doesn’t quite fit well in the 3-4 defense. Knowing this, the Bears must look elsewhere. Allen and Lattimore could be solid choices at number three. They can instantly upgrade the defense and give the Bears long term success at their positions.