By this time last year I’d already had several mocks on the books. However, the advantage of waiting until just about a month to go until the draft is that the Bears’ major free agency acquisitions are done and, of course, all underclassmen who are eligible for the draft have already declared.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at all seven picks and help Phil Emery decide how to continue his rather impressive offseason.
Round 1: Aaron Donald, DT, Pittsburgh
The first round is always a crapshoot with Emery, who likes to surprise people (not always a good idea — see Shea McClellin). And while I know that corner and safety are needs for the Bears, and that Emery has gone out and acquired help for the defensive line, there still appears to be a need for a true three-technique in the Bears’ base defense.
A terrific pass rusher, Donald had 54 tackles and 10 sacks for Pitt last season, and scouts really like his football IQ and character.
Others: A couple of potentially outstanding safeties in Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, Alabama (FS), and Calvin Pryor, Louisville (SS). Also, the Bears seem high on CB Darqueze Dennard, Michigan St.
Round 2: Deone Bucannon, S, Washington State
You can switch the positional aspect of these first two picks around as necessary. If Bears go with a safety in the first round, then they can take a tackle here. Since I have them grabbing Donald, let’s take the safety in round two.
Bucannon had 109 tackles and five picks last season. A violent hitter who is especially strong in run support, he was suspended in 2012 for a hit against Eastern Washington.
Others: A couple of much-needed corners: Lamarcus Joyner, Florida State and Keith McGill, Utah.
Round 3: Pierre Desir, CB, Rice
With Charles Tillman getting long in the tooth, the Bears need young corners, so if they don’t take one in the second round, they probably will here in the third.
As we know, Emery loves athletic players, and so he might balk at Desir’s lack of top-end speed. However, Desir is athletic, with long arms, ideal size (6’1”), great leaping ability and terrific ball skills. Born in Haiti, scouts say Desir is best-suited for a cover-2 scheme.
Others: Again, more CBs: Philip Gaines, Rice, Aaron Colvin, Oklahoma, and Jaylen Watkins, Florida.
Round 4: Will Clarke, DE, Virginia
I really liked Virginia’s Brent Urban, but, despite his injury, he is moving up the draft boards quickly, so let’s go with a more realistic selection at pick No. 117.
Clarke has long arms and kind of fits the mold of Chandler Jones, whom the Bears let get away when they drafted McClellin. Although he could use some bulk, Clarke fits the athletic type that Emery loves and had a good showing at the Senior Bowl.
Round 5: Arthur Lynch, TE, Georgia
Lynch had been known primarily as a solid blocker heading into his senior season, but he had a fairly strong year, with 24 catches and five TDs. While he isn’t fast, he has good hands.
Round 6 (Pick 183): Jalen Saunders, WR, Oklahoma
Saunders might go higher, but if he is still on the board this late, he would be a terrific value pick. He has good burst and acceleration, and can also help in the return game. Very explosive but has a smaller frame, so he may not be able to take punishing hits. But hey, when 182 players have been picked before you, a team can’t expect perfection.
Round 6 (Pick 191): Kevin Pierre-Louis, OLB, Boston College
Pierre-Louis is pretty athletic and is a reliable tackler. He is said to be kind of a tweener, safety-linebacker type, who doesn’t shed blocks well. But then again, where did we hear that one before?
Chicago Bears Mock Draft
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