The draft is a tedious, year long process where we see players rise and fall due to hundreds of different circumstances. From DUIs and drugs, to imaginary girlfriends and poor play, and even simple overthinking, it seems almost every year we see great players drop because the media, fans, and even GMs over analyzes every little thing. And most of these players end up doing fine in the NFL. (Recent example, Vontaze Burfict). So here's my mock to get the most potential value from our picks.
Free Agency signings
Focus all attention on signing Andy Levitre anyway you can. Then sign Jared Cook with whatever money is left after resigning Urlacher( yes, resign him), Melton, and our other key free agents. This gives us the flexibility needed to have this draft.
(Trade back towards the end of the first to grab a 3rd rounder. Please don't flip out about the trading back prediction. Teams do it every year, and we could very well be one of those teams. And plus, it's just a mock; this is what I WANT to happen.) -
Round 1 -Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia
The more tape I watch, the more impressed I am by him. He could be the next great kick returner for the Bears. He's a perfect fit for the West Coast offense, and could open up the middle of the field for us. Emery said he wanted to bring in a quick receiver to open up the offense/ middle of the field, and said it didn't necessarily have to be a tight end. Here's the answer.
Round 2 - Travis Frederick, C, Wisconsin
Oh, the curse of being an interior lineman. They do all the dirty work but get no love in the draft. All positions created equal, this guy is a first round pick. I can see it happening now... Everyone falls in love with defense and tackles in the first round, and push off their QB need to the second round. So the quarterback run falls to the second round, and before you know it, it's pick 50 and Frederick is still on the board. I think he'll end up being the best center in the draft; Barrett Jones is a bit overrated and benefits from a great Alabama O Line. Frederick will lock down the center position for the next 10 years.
Round 3 - Chris Faulk, OT, LSU
Here's where the risk starts to come in. Coming off a season sidelined by a knee injury, his health is definitely in question. However, before the season, he was looking to be drafted in the top half of the 1st round. If he can return to that form, he could be a steal.
Round 4 - Tyrann Mathieu, CB, LSU
Yes, another LSU player, this Heisman finalist was destined for the first round but just couldn't stay away from the synthetic weed... Now a year later, he's currently working out with one of the best corners in the league, Patrick Peterson. Now Tyrann's no Peterson, but we need a nickel corner. DJ Moore will be gone, and it's up in the air if Kelvin Hayden will be back. Tyrann was born to be the Bear's nickel corner. He's a playmaker and a turnover machine. Can you imagine how many fumbles would be forced with Tillman and Mathieu on the same field?
Round 5 - Joesph Fauria, TE, UCLA
Flying a bit under the radar right now, Fauria entered the season as the top tight end, sure-fire 1st day prospect according to multiple experts. Despite a 637 yard, 12 TD season, his stock has plummeted because people are saying he isn't a great blocker. But he is 6'7, has soft hands, and is a huge mismatch. And in the NFL, blocking can be taught (see Jimmy Graham).
Round 6 - Tom Wort, ILB, Oklahoma
Here's the final draft pick. Not a 1st round prospect (only five 1st round prospects, remember), but good things are being said about him. I've read he has tons of potential, and that he probably entered the draft too early. Sounds like a perfect project player to develop under Urlacher in possibly his final season.
Well, there you go. The point here is that there is first round talent scattered all across the draft. The NFL draft is a lot like a fantasy football draft. Having a great draft isn't just about getting great players, it's about getting great players all throughout the draft with lesser value picks. For example, I knew Reggie Wayne was going to be a top 3 round fantasy receiver this year. But I saw that his value was low, so I picked him in round 8, and had an amazing receiving core because of it ( B Marsh, Reggie Wayne, Wes Welker, Torrey Smith, Mike Williams....still didn't win though, sadly).
If these players pan out, we will have filled most of our needs. It's definitely a risky draft, but no risk no reward, right?