The Chicago Bears have a new head coach (hello, Matt Nagy!) a new offensive coordinator (good day, Mark Helfrich!), and an old, but awesome defensive coordinator (hell ya, Vic Fangio!), but having new blood won’t matter much for quarterback Mitch Trubisky if he isn’t surrounded with the right pieces.
With that in mind, the latest NFL mock draft would be an encouraging one if it happened to play out as DraftWire’s Luke Easterling sees it.
Easterling’s four-round mock draft has the Bears taking two wide receivers and a cornerback, which would address what could be some of the team’s most dire offseason needs.
The first receiver off the board is Alabama’s Calvin Ridley, who declared for the draft earlier in the week and was connected to the Bears as early as December. What Ridley lacks in size (he’s listed at 6-1, 190 in his Alabama bio) he makes up for with top-notch route-running skills and big-play potential. After watching Jalen Hurts miss an open Ridley with several poorly thrown balls in the national title game, you could see why he didn’t post the kind of eye-popping numbers one would expect from a top-10 receiver.
Easterling projects the Bears will double-dip in the receivers pool and grab Indiana’s Simmie Cobbs with their fourth-round selection. Cobbs declared for the draft in December after leading the Hoosiers in catches (72), yards (841), and touchdowns (8) while catching passes from two quarterbacks in 2017.
The first-team All-Big Ten selection was a 1,000-yard receiver as a sophomore in 2015, but missed all but one game in 2016 with an ankle injury. His 6-4, 220-pound frame could give Trubisky a big-bodied target who could haul in his share of 50/50 passes because of his catch radius. Trubisky definitely missed out on having that when the Bears allowed Alshon Jeffery too walk away for nothing. And let’s not sleep on Indiana’s offensive weapons. The Hoosiers have produced some NFL talent on the offensive side of the ball in recent years, including Bears running back Jordan Howard.
And because the Bears would be wise to address some of their defensive concerns in the early rounds, Easterling has Chicago choosing Auburn cornerback Carlton Davis with its second-round selection. Davis sat out of Auburn’s bowl game loss to Central Florida and declared for the draft on January 3.
Listed at 6-1, 203 pounds, Davis is a physical cornerback willing to stick his nose in as a run defender in addition to his man coverage skills. Davis, who was one of four Auburn players to earn second-team All-American honors, was projected to be a first-round pick (fittingly enough, going to the Bears) earlier in the year. So perhaps plucking an All-American caliber talent with a second round pick could be viewed as a steal. In any case, the Bears will need to address the secondary at some point in the offseason. Kyle Fuller and Prince Amukamara are set to become free agents, and while both are in the mix to return to Chicago, the team would still need to fill out its cornerbacks room with able-bodied players.