At this point in the offseason process, it feels like there is more consensus among the WCG masses here than I can ever remember about what and whom the Bears should take with their first round selection.
The player whom is probably most mock-drafted to the Bears, as well as being the most sought after among fans, is easily Aaron Donald. I have been a member of WCG for nearly six years and I cannot recall a draft where everyone was so in line with who should be the pick.
Perhaps that's due to the team's needs matching up so well with a strong position group and draft order that conveniently seems to line up a top prospect with Chicago. Or maybe it's just a matter of the free agency moves all pointing to one direction.
In any event, the vast majority on the blog here seems to want Aaron Donald, the defensive tackle from the University of Pittsburgh who has the workout numbers, as well as the college production, to be worthy of the 14th pick.
Our own Lester Wiltfong has been simulating mock drafts and even trying to avoid picking Donald but'. even after trading back. Donald has found his way to the Bears.
So it almost feels like the universe is setting up fans for disappointment then. doesn't it? It's all too convenient: Team has a strong need at Position X. Player A is the best player at Position X. Player A is a slam-dunk fit at Position X for Team 1. Team 1 selects Player A with their pick.
However, the NFL draft rarely works out that way. Trades, smokescreens and bad draft analysis are just some factors that work their way into draft day surprises. Remember last year when most mock drafts had Geno Smith going in the top 10 and some had the Dolphins trading up but for Lane Johnson. not Dion Jordan? Oh and no one had Kyle Long going in the first round and most had Shariff Floyd as a top-15 pick (he went 23rd).
So mock drafts, draft analysis and prospect rankings only get you so far. There is no saying what will actually happen on draft day though.
Turning the focus back to this year's first round then, who is it that could take Donald before the Bears get a chance to?
The most likely team would be the New York Giants. In most mock drafts, if Donald is gone by the Bears' pick, he has gone to the Giants. The Giants, who have the 12th pick, have a need at DT since Linval Joseph left in free agency and the two most experienced players they have at the position are north of 30. The Giants make about as much sense as the Bears for taking Donald, but they also have needs at tight end and linebacker.
Of other teams that could potentially take a player like Donald in spite of a lack of dire need at the position, is a team like the Rams, who pick one place ahead of the Bears at 13. Head coach Jeff Fisher is one who is known to stack up defensive players even if the need isn't quite there. If the Rams get a player they really want at no. 2 (or trade back) that could give them the flexibility to make a luxury selection at no. 13.
Even a team like the Oakland Raiders, who pick at no. 5, could use a player like Donald. Yes, the Raiders have other needs, such as QB and OL, but the QBs are divisive and could have some front offices shy away from the position come draft day.
It isn't as straight forward as it appears that Donald will get to the Bears at 14. If he does I think the Bears would be wise to sprint to the podium with their card, unless some monumental trade is offered. After the Bears more DT-needy teams are up, like Dallas and Pittsburgh, so I don't think the Bears should move back too far with the idea that Donald will still be there.
Is there a team ahead of Chicago in the draft you worry about snatching up Donald?