The 2017 NFL Draft is tomorrow. It’s never too late to dissect and discuss the options the Bears have sitting at No. 3 overall.
After going 3-13 a season ago, third-year general manager Ryan Pace and his staff have to hit it big on Thursday night.
Pace told the media in Philadelphia on Wednesday that the option to trade down is always there, but for now, the team has three options they are looking at No. 3 overall (per Adam Jahns).
All-time No. 3 overall picks by the Bears
FB Norm Standlee (1941)
QB Bobby Layne (1948)
RB Chuck Hunsinger (1950)
LB Dick Butkus (1965)
T Lionel Antoine (1972)
Here is a look at the top five players, in no order, that I think the Bears should consider at their current draft slot.
CB Marshon Lattimore (Ohio State)
The Ohio State cornerback doesn’t stand out in size at 6’0″, 193 lbs., but his athleticism jumps off the tape. Lattimore started just one full year for the Buckeyes, where he added four interceptions this past season. Prior to that, he battled serious hamstring issues. Regardless, the Bears don’t have a No. 1 cornerback of the future and Lattimore would represent that.
Note: His OSU counterpart, safety Malik Hooker could also be in the mix here despite recovering from a torn labrum.
DE Solomon Thomas (Stanford)
Thomas is my favorite option for the Bears here. His versatility at 6’3″, 273 lbs. will be a big addition to Vic Fangio’s defense. Alongside Eddie Goldman and Akiem Hicks, Thomas could be the mismatch the defensive line has been searching for since making the switch to a 3-4 scheme two years ago. Thomas has the smarts coming from Stanford and I think he’d be a Pro Bowl player quickly. If he is there, the Bears shouldn’t hesitate.
S Jamal Adams (LSU)
The Bears have been craving a playmaking safety for quite some time. There hasn’t been much hope on the back end since the team boasted a trio of quality pieces in Mike Brown, Danieal Manning and Chris Harris during the 2006 Super Bowl run. Adams is a vocal leader and someone who thrived at a big-time program that is LSU. He’d come in and start from Day 1, but the Bears have to consider how much his payday would be. This is a deep draft at safety.
QB Mitchell Trubisky (North Carolina)
Trubisky took advantage of his lone starting season at North Carolina by completing 68 percent of his pass attempts for 30 touchdowns and only six interceptions. At 6’2″, 222 lbs., he is a big bodied passer who has the arm strength to make all the throws. Plenty of untapped potential and mystery surrounds Trubisky heading into the draft, but some team will take a chance on him in the early part of the first round. The Bears could be that franchise.
QB Deshaun Watson (Clemson)
The most experienced quarterback of this year’s draft class is Watson. At 6’2″, 221 lbs., the Clemson product has the ability to put his team on his back. He has a true dual threat mentality after passing for 4,593 yards, 41 touchdowns, 17 interceptions and rushing for 629 yards and nine touchdowns. Pace wants winners and Watson fits the bill. Is No. 3 a bit high for him? I’m not sure. He’s certainly a guy to develop behind Mike Glennon.
This is a deep defensive draft and a rather inexperienced quarterback class outside of Watson. If the Bears wait too long on a quarterback, they could miss out. At the same time, building up that defense is key as it showed glimpses of being very good even without playmakers on the back end.
Comment: Weigh in with your thoughts on the Bears’ draft plans below.