It seemed like the Bears were set to settle down in free agency, but then the Michael Bush signing came out of nowhere. They may yet surprise us with some other moves, but more likely they'll look to bridge the talent gap between them and the top dogs through Phil Emery's supposed bread and butter, the collegiate draft. With the free agent frenzy going on last week we haven't spent as much time looking forward to the NFL Draft, so we need to rectify that...
Today we'll take a look at the mock draft of former NFL GM and current NFL Network analyst Charley Casserly. His mock published yesterday on NFL.com, so it's about as fresh as it gets. And with the 19th pick if his mock draft, he has the Chicago Bears selecting Whitney Mercilus, defensive end, Illinois.
After the jump we'll take a look at what Casserly has to say about the pick, and be sure to check out his entire mock draft and tell us if you would go a different direction if the actual draft fell that way.
Here's what he had to say about the pick;
Despite only one productive season at Illinois, Mercilus has great pass-rush potential at the next level.
The one season wonder stigma sticks with him in every write up. But, I'm not buying it. I don't look at it as a bad thing, I look at it as a kid that realized his potential. He could have elected to stay at Illinois, and he may have had another fine season, but turning pro was the right choice for him and his family. Some of the knocks on him are technique issues. From NFL.com:
He is a drag-down tackler who relies on his weight and is inconsistent in his wrap-up form.
Tends to play high and doesn't worry much about technique or fundamentals. Still developing his snap anticipation and will jump offside at times.
Most draft publications have him as the #2 DE available, and if he's there for the Bears he would be hard to pass up. Interesting to note that in this mock Michael Floyd the WR from Notre Dame is also available. Who would you pick between those two?
It's nice to find a dominant 4 year player, but those guys are far and few between. There's no telling when it'll click for a player, and it's not like he had an up and down Junior year. He was one of the best defensive lineman all season long. I think he would be a good 3rd DE for the Bears and a situational pass rusher as a rookie. He's a 6'3", 261 pound, fast, athletic, high motor player. He would not only fill a need for the Bears, but his projected value at 19 makes sense.