Mock Draft Season continues to open up, with a with still a few more 1.0 iterations trickling out, and also the first set of post-Senior-Bowl mocks.
Checking in on the latest, and how the Bears play things in these versions …
- NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein dropped his first mock draft of the year, and if you’ve been following the early mocks closely, you’ll recognize the first three picks: Texas A&M DE Myles Garrett to the Browns at 1, UNC QB Mitch Trubisky to the 49ers at 2, and Alabama DT Jonathan Allen to the Bears at 3. Zierlein calls Allen the “safe” pick for the Bears here, but suggests that the Bears would jump on Trubisky if the Browns and 49ers pass.
- As I’ve said before, for me, if Ryan Pace and the Bears’ staff truly believe Trubisky can be that franchise quarterback for the next ten years, then, by all means, grab him if he’s there. But if there’s a hint of doubt about how likely Trubisky is to emerge as that guy, I don’t want to see the Bears reach at three for a quarterback simply because it’s such a glaring need; not when there are elite defensive talents available at the top of the draft. (Obviously that, too, is subject to the Bears’ internal scouting – about which I hope we get a better sense as March and April approach; maybe we learn they simply aren’t as high on Allen as we might otherwise assume.)
- Elsewhere in Zierlein’s mock – check it out for yourself for the full context – I can’t help but notice that Notre Dame QB DeShone Kizer, to whom the Bears have previously been attached, falls out of the first round. Also, Senior Bowl standouts TE O.J. Howard (18) and S Obi Melifonwu (26) shoot comfortably into this mock’s first round.
- Dan Kadar’s mock draft at SB Nation also considers Senior Bowl impact, but he notes that there wasn’t a player this past week that completely transformed his draft stock (at least not way up into the first round from far beyond that range – like, for example, Carson Wentz last year). In his mock, in stark contrast to Zierlein, Kizer goes all the way up at number two, to the 49ers. Interestingly, although the Browns expectedly take Garrett, the Bears once again take Allen. Trubisky goes at number six to the Jets (who would already be giving up on 2016 second round pick Christian Hackenburg as developing into “the” guy long term; they might be ready anyway). Deshaun Watson, if you’re wondering about quarterbacks, goes at number 12 to the Browns.
- Rob Rang at CBS has the familiar Garrett-Trubisky-Allen trio at the top, and has Watson going at number six to the Jets. At 12, the Browns take Kizer. O.J. Howard is a big Senior Bowl riser again, showing up at number 16 in this mock after appear right around the turn of the first round in most of the pre-Senior-Bowl mocks.
- Over at Fox Sports, Dieter Kurtenbach drops his two-round mock draft, and, yes, it’s Garrett-Trubisky-Allen at the top. Like the other mocks, Kurtenbach notes that Allen is not an obvious need-based fit for the Bears, but the talent could simply be too much to pass up.
- In the second round (selecting fourth), Kurtenbach has the Bears taking Ohio State corner back Gareon Conley, which is roughly where he’s currently projected to go, depending on your preferred current rankings. Conley is the less-heralded member of the Ohio State secondary that also featured fellow corner Marshon Lattimore and safety Malik Hooker, each of whom is expected to go comfortably in the first round. He has shown some ability to play inside and outside, so there may be some flexibility in how a team like the Bears deployed Conley. Obviously the Bears have many needs out that way.
- All of these mocks, by the way, have LSU safety Jamal Adams – another plausible fit for the Bears – going at four or five.
- We looked at a previous set of mocks here, if you want to check out more and fear terribly that you missed it.
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