Five days into free agency and the Chicago Bears certainly haven’t addressed all their needs. But have no fear, because the draft is nearly here.
- The Bears spent in free agency to bring in secondary help with Quintin Demps and Marcus Cooper, leaving GM Ryan Pace with the opportunity to take the most talented player in the draft. According to the latest Rotoworld’s draft, the Bears do that and continue to build their defense by drafting Stanford defensive lineman Solomon Thomas. This isn’t Thomas’ first time being tied to the Bears, as he was CSN Chicago’s pick back in February. The Bears still have a need for a playmaker along the defensive line, making Thomas a safe pick in April.
- Even though the Bears added safety help by signing Demps (who you can get to know here), the team isn’t in a place where it can rest on its laurels and not continue to add talent in the secondary. The latest CBS Sports mock draft by Rob Rang has the Bears drafting LSU safety Jamal Adams. And Rang isn’t alone, as NFL.com’s Daniel Jeremiah sends Adams to the Bears in his latest mock draft. Adding Adams could create an organic position battle between Adams and Adrian Amos, who started 30 games in two seasons since being drafted in the fifth round in 2015. Having Demps and Amos on the roster shouldn’t preclude the Bears from choosing Adams if he is the best player on their board. Teams really can’t have enough pass defenders in the secondary in the passer-friendly NFL.
- In case you’re curious, Jeremiah also revealed an updated list of his top 50 draft prospects. For what it’s worth Adams is rated as the second best player on this board, while Thomas checks in at four. The Bears have two picks in the top 40 and three in the top 70. So after losing out on the upper tier of talent on the free agent market, the Bears could still add multiple high-end players at the fraction of a price.
- Sticking in the secondary, the latest seven-round mockat Drafttek has the Bears addressing their need at cornerback by drafting Marshon Lattimore with the third overall pick. It’s not as if the Bears can’t use cornerback help, because Prince Amukamara is probably the best signing so far, and he was average in 2016. The rest of this mock fills several areas of need for the Bears, including offensive line (Cam Robinson, Alabama), wide receiver (JuJu Smith-Schuster, USC), quarterback (Nathan Peterman, Pittsburgh), safety (Eddie Jackson, Alabama), linebacker (Jaylen Reeves-Maybin, Tennessee), and tight end (Josiah Price, Michigan State). Robinson was projected to be a first-round pick at this time last year, but could be a candidate to bounce back in the pros. There isn’t much to argue with here as each of these players fit needs for a Bears team that has plenty to choose from as this offseason rolls on.
- NJ.com shares its latest mock draft installment, and has the Bears selecting Alabama’s Jonathan Allen – who at one point was the player most commonly tied to the Bears. With the first wave of free agency out of the way, some teams have clearer views of their current situations, and perhaps mock drafts will be a bit more informative as we crawl toward draft day.
- For what it’s worth, Pro Football Focus deems Allen is the “perfect fit” for the Bears. Outside of Akiem Hicks’ breakout season, the rest of the Bears’ defensive line graded out poorly. Last year at Alabama, Allen was the highest graded interior defensive lineman in college football and could provide an upgrade from the rotation of players who took the field for Chicago in 2016. The question with Allen remains the health of his shoulders.
- Cornerback is still a deep position in April’s draft, but Washington’s Sidney Jones tearing an ACL over the weekend knocks his draft grade a bit. PFF’s Steve Palazzolo asks how the injury will affect Jones’ draft stock. Depending on how the Bears fill their other cornerback needs in free agency, Jones is the kind of talent worth considering using a draft pick to redshirt, stash, and develop in 2017. PFF’s team of draft analysts also scouted Colorado safety Tedric Thompson, who could develop into a starter because of his broad, teachable frame.
- Palazzolo also weighs in on how the draft will affect the top of the draft. Among the hot topics is whether or not the Bears’ signing of Mike Glennon would keep the Bears from drafting a quarterback high in the draft. Palazzolo writes that the construction of the contract (which has been structured to essentially be a one-year deal) opens the Bears to many different directions – including quarterback. “Perhaps they don’t have to go all out and spend the No. 3 overall pick at the position, but if they love Mitchell Trubisky in that spot, the Glennon deal is certainly not going to prevent them from making the pick. This would be the most interesting draft scenario. Consider me intrigued.”
- Speaking of Mitchell Trubisky, let’s take a brief look at the potential top-five pick (and future Bears quarterback?) from Jon Gruden’s Quarterback Camp.
Mitchell Trubisky arriving to the film room. pic.twitter.com/yRaHeeMlPV
— NFL on ESPN (@ESPNNFL) March 13, 2017