The NFL Draft is 10 (!) days away, and the scenarios for the Chicago Bears are growing exponentially.
Hold on to the pick? Deal it? Jump the market on quarterbacks early? Maybe do it late?
So many questions, only a few days until we get answers …
- Staying true to his belief that signs are pointing toward the Bears drafting a quarterback in the first round, Greg Gabriel’s mock draft at Pro Football Weekly sends Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson to the Bears with the third overall pick. Because even after investing in Mike Glennon to be the starter and Mark Sanchez to play the backup role, the Bears still have a need at quarterback and Watson might be the guy most fit to be their long-term solution. Further, Gabriel has four quarterbacks going in the top-12. Meaning that it’s likely your preferred quarterback target will be off the board by the time the second-round comes along. There is much intrigue in this mock because Gabriel has been in those war rooms and part of the process as a scout and a former Bears scouting director, so his insight is as unique as it gets for a mock draft.
- If four quarterbacks (Watson, Patrick Mahomes, Mitchell Trubisky, DeShone Kizer) goes off the boards, it would leave Cal’s Davis Webb, Pittsburgh’s Nathan Peterman, Miami’s Brad Kaaya, and Tennessee’s Joshua Dobbs as the next top prospects who are a cut below the draft’s top four. The range of possibilities on where each is drafted is wide. Webb could be in the mix as a second-round pick, while Kaaya and Peterman both project to be available in the third/fourth round, and Dobbs projects to be chosen even later. The Bears have options in their hunt for a quarterback, but they aren’t all appealing … even if each has his own upside.
- And even though it seems that the tide is turning and the evidence for the Bears’ case to draft a quarterback grows, it’s still very likely (and sensible) to see the team pluck a defensive stud with the third overall pick. Assuming they stay there, of course. SB Nation’s Dan Kadar’s latest mock draft has the Bears doing just that and drafting LSU safety Jamal Adams. The Bears could take any one of three defensive backs who most assuredly will be there at three – Adams, Ohio State safety Malik Hooker, and teammate/cornerback Marshon Lattimore – and it would make for a strong start to the draft. But if all things are equal, Adams’ durability gives him an edge over Hooker (two offseason surgeries) and Lattimore (hamstring problems).
- Over at CBS Sports, Rob Rang also has the Bears picking Adams with the third overall pick. Adams is regarded as the safest prospect in the draft, which has to be music to the ears of the Bears’ brain trust. The last thing the Bears can afford to do with the third pick is draft a project or a player with major injury concerns. As of now, Adams is neither. Instead, Adams is the kind of player who can conceivably be plugged into the Week 1 lineup without much pause. He has highly regarded instincts, playmaking ability, and intangibles that set him apart from the rest of the top prospects who play in the secondary. With Adams, the Bears secondary becomes a little younger, more athletic, more well rounded, and deeper.
- Bleacher Report’s Kristopher Knox also has the Bears picking Adams in his latest mock draft, which also has a focus on some of the riskier picks who could be chosen in the middle of the first round. This might not directly impact the Bears right now, but it could be worth keeping an eye on if the team was to trade out of its third overall pick or use its second-round pick as part of a package to move back into the first. Among these potentially risky picks is Texas Tech quarterback Patrick Mahomes, whose risk isn’t in his build or athleticism. Instead, Mahomes’ transition from an air raid offense to whatever is run in the pros puts him at risk. More than that, it’s how he reacts to defenses that will make or break his future. The complexity of defenses and the focus on taking away a quarterback’s primary option is what makes the transition challenging. Mahomes looks the part, but whether or not he can play the part will depend on how he reads and reacts to defenses.
- On a lighter note, ESPN’s Bill Barnwell has the mock draft to end mock drafts with 32 trades for each of the first-round’s 32 picks. And his Bears-related trade and pick is among the most intriguing because of the moving parts within the draft’s top-10. Barnwell has the Bears moving back to the sixth pick with New York Jets moving up to get a player of their choosing for their secondary. Meanwhile, the Bears move back three spots and acquire defensive end Sheldon Richardson (who would fit nicely onto the defensive line), as well as a third-round selection (pick 107). If this scenario played out, the Bears would add an edge defender that Pro Football Focus has graded as above average or better in each of his first four seasons, a draft pick (who could presumably start from Week 1), and an additional third-round pick that would give the Bears another mid-round pick. Where do I sign up?