Pitchers and catchers report in less than two weeks, but we're talking football here. Why? Because it's a Bears town and these Bears have what may be their most important draft in quite some time.
In my first mock, I had the Beloved taking a QB with their first pick, and in the second mock I had them waiting until the second round to take one. But now I'm hearing that the Bears are serious contenders for Patriots backup QB Jimmy Garoppolo. If that happens, they almost assuredly would lose pick #3 in the draft and would not take a QB.
For the purposes of this mock, I will not be assuming they trade for a QB, so they will have to draft one. Look, I'm not saying they must take a QB in the first round, but they had better draft one somewhere so they can start the development process of the single most important position in all of sports.
Let's get right to it, shall we?
1st Round — Jonathan Allen, DL, Alabama
I'm staying with my previous pick here. And I agree with ESPN's Todd McShay in that if Clemson QB DeShaun Watson is on the board, the Bears may take a serious look at him. I now believe that Watson is the best QB in this draft, but I still don't believe any QB is worth the third pick, given how relatively weak the class is.
Meanwhile, the only concern for me is that the kid has already had at least two shoulder surgeries. Otherwise, there is not a lot to lose going with Allen to pair with last year's first round section Leonard Floyd to form a top pass rushing duo.
Look, I realize that almost everyone is mocking Allen to the Bears, so I'm certainly not breaking ground here. Breaking wind, maybe, but certainly not new ground. Still, there's a reason why so many think he's a great fit for the Bears. Allen fits well into Vic Fangio's base 3-4 scheme, and he is strong and athletic.
As I mentioned previously (hey, his stats haven't changed), Allen has 19 sacks in 26 games. He is a versatile defensive end that can slide inside and collapse an offensive line.
Alternate Selection: DeShaun Watson; Jamal Adams, S, LSU; Malik Hooker, S, Ohio State; Marlon Humphrey, CB, Alabama
2nd Round — Pat Mahomes, QB, Texas Tech
Once again, I will go with my previous mock selection of Mahomes here, mainly because I don't like the options in the third round. Plus, I do like this kid's ability and prospects, though he will certainly need development to learn the pro system.
I wrote about Mahomes in my recent article about the top college QBs in the draft, and I believe he will be the best one on the board when the Bears draft in round two. Walter was the first to report that "Mahomes is seeking out experienced NFL quarterback coaches to help him develop for his rookie season."
Look, this is a weak QB class so there are scouts that don't like Mahomes. But I just don't want to use the third overall pick in the draft on a QB, so that's how we got where we are. Mahomes has a solid arm. I've watched plenty of tape and he can make all the throws required of an NFL passer.
Mahomes even rushed for 12 TDs last season, so he is mobile. He could fall to the third round but the Bears need to draft a QB (again, that is unless they trade for one), so it would be a huge gamble to pass on him now.
Alternate Selection: Davis Webb, QB, California. Webb stands 6'5" and has a big arm and pocket presence
3rd Round — Gerald Everett, TE, South Alabama
Last time I took a safety, but I'm going to shake things up a bit and go for a tight end here. This draft is solid at the position, so the Bears jump on one. After all, Zach Miller cannot seem to stay healthy.
According to Walterfootball.com, Everett could go in round two, but since they have a 2-3 grade on him, I'm going to say he falls to the Bears. Look, tight end is a weapon around the league in case you haven't noticed and apparently the Bears have not noticed and are a bit late to the party.
They had Martellus Bennett, sure, but Chicago has not historically utilized the position as well as some teams have. Well, with Everett, they will be almost forced to utilize him. His height bothers me a bit, at 6'2", but scouts seem to love him and Walter says there is a real buzz about him.
Last year, Everett caught 43 balls for 648 yards and four touchdowns. In 2015, he had 41 catches for 575 yards and eight touchdowns.
Alternate Selection: Bucky Hodges, TE, Virginia Tech; Kai Nacua, S, BYU; Chidobe Awuzie, CB, Colorado
4th Round — Rasul Douglas, CB, West Virginia
I'd like to take a safety here but I prefer the options at corner this late in the draft. There is no doubt that the Bears desperately need help in the defensive backfield; they tied for 29th in interceptions and this kid is a ball hawk.
Douglas has good size at 6'2" and some feel he has day one talent. The reason he falls, however, is that some scouts feel he is a one-year wonder. He didn't play much as a junior so he has only one year of tape but let me tell you, that tape is impressive and he could be a steal this late.
Chicago needs playmakers and Douglas tied for the nation's lead with eight picks. He also recorded 70 tackles and eight passes contested.
Alternate Selection: Taylor Moton, G/OT, Western Michigan; Des Lawrence, CB, North Carolina; Montravius Adams, DT, Auburn.
Whether you feel a bit of a draft or not, you can always follow me on Twitter @BobWarja.