If the Chicago Bears were able to come away with the best player available at every pick and fill four needs with their first four selections in the 2018 NFL Draft, it would be quite the story.
Well, that’s pretty much what WalterFootball.com’s latest mock draft has in store for the Bears come April:
- Round 1, Pick 8 – Joshua Jackson, Iowa cornerback
- Round 2, Pick 39 – Harold Landry, Boston College defensive end/outside linebacker
- Round 4, Pick 101 – Anthony Miller, Memphis wide receiver
- Round 4, Pick 111 – D.J. Chark, LSU wide receiver
It would be most impressive if the Bears came away from the first four rounds with this haul.
Jackson is the site’s top-rated cornerback because of his size (6-1, 192 pounds), speed, and athleticism. He is as well-rounded as the cornerback prospects come in this draft. Jackson intercepted eight passes (three of which came against a high-powered Ohio State offense), broke up 18 others, and was in on 48 tackles.
Seriously, how can you watch this and not want this guy on the Bears in 2018:
Harold Landry is one of the more intriguing edge defender prospects in this draft and getting him in the second round would be a win-win scenario for a front office that could be looking to upgrade its pass rush. Landry is Walter Football’s fourth-ranked 3-4 outside linebacker after coming up with 21.5 sacks and 30.5 tackles for loss in his last two seasons with Boston College. An ankle injury slowed Landry down late in the year, but that won’t push him too far off the draft board.
For what it’s worth, Pro Football Focus believes Landry could be the best edge defender in his class and has him going 14th to the Green Bay Packers in its latest mock draft. So the idea of getting him in the second round would make this a steal.
The Bears don’t have a third-round pick, and because of their need at receiver, Walter Football’s mock draft has them double-dipping at the position with their fourth-round selections.
Memphis receiver Anthony Miller has a lot of the same qualities that we like in Calvin Ridley (sharp route-running, reliable hands, run-after-the-catch potential) but doesn’t have the Alabama pedigree behind him. Miller caught 96 passes, gained 1,462 yards, and scored 18 touchdowns as a senior and averaged 95 catches, 1,448 yards, and 16 touchdowns in his junior and senior seasons. At 5-11, 190 pounds, Miller could slide into a slot receiver position right away and be a potential impact player.
Even though LSU isn’t known for its high-powered passing offense, the Tigers have produced some pretty good receivers in recent years — namely Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry. Could D.J. Chark be next? If so, the Bears getting him with their second fourth-round pick would be delicious.
Chark checks in at 6-3 and 187 pounds and his size makes him an ideal candidate to start outside the numbers. His stats are uninspiring, in part, because the quarterbacks throwing him the ball weren’t all that special. And yet, Chark caught 40 passes for 874 yards (that’s a 21.9 yards per catch average!) and three touchdowns. Teaming Chark with Mitch Trubisky, who graded out as one of the NFL’s better deep-ball throwers in a rookie season where Josh Bellamy was his most prolific deep target, could unearth some untapped potential.
This is the kind of draft Bears fans could get excited about, even without Ridley’s star power. They would have taken a player who could be viewed as the best available on the board with each pick while simultaneously filling a need. And if GM Ryan Pace was able to make some shrewd moves in the free agent period leading up to the draft, it could put the team in a position to be much improved (from a talent standpoint) in 2018.