Doing a mock draft is fun, but the thing about mock drafts is they're near impossible to get right. I'd venture to guess that hitting on the first few rounds of a mock draft is just as improbable as picking all the games in the Final Four tourney (I had Duke losing to Syracuse btw). There's always that one pick that the rest of the draft hinges on. Will they take a guy out of left field :cough: Raiders, or reach for an obvious need? Which then, more often than not, causes a run on a particular position. There has to be nothing more nerve racking for a GM than seeing a position of need go much higher than expected.
With as close to impossible as it is in hitting on an entire first round, predicting an entire draft for one team is pointless. Even though it's an exercise in futility, I'm still gonna give it a go. After looking at the position I feel the Bears will draft, I think I have a good handle on their direction. Well, as good a handle as one can have on anything Jerry Angelo will do.
NiqueBears has already tackled a few mock drafts for the Bears, if you haven't seen them go do so now. For my mock I'll try and pick as if I were JA. Some of the picks won't exactly be the guy I would take, but with the obvious needs the Bears have, and the sometimes out of the blue picks Angelo will make from time to time, I'll give it my best to channel my inner Jerry.
The first inner Jerry like thing I would do is trade down. I could see him looking to drop down in either the 3rd or 4th rounds to pick up additional picks, but since I'd have no idea of trade partners or what he'd acquire, I'll just pick as if he were to stand pat. Here goes...
THIRD ROUND - It's a deep free safety class. But there is still an obvious line between the 'for sure's', the 'pretty sure's', and the 'project's'. It's this reason that I think the Bears may go away from safety with their initial selection. With any luck the Bears will pull off a trade to go up and get fast rising Nate Allen of South Florida. He'll go in the second round, but has the ability to step in day 1 and start for Chicago. One other lucky option would be if Morgan Burnett of Georgia Tech fell to them. If Burnett is there he's the pick, but I think he's done too much at his pro day and will be picked.
I think when the Bears selection comes around in the 3rd all the FS's they perceive as sure bets will be gone. And the next tier of FS talent should have one of their guys available in the 4th round. So. I think they look to fill another need and select OG Jon Asamoah of Illinois and hope they can get the FS they want in the 4th. This is a change in thought for me as I had them pegged for a FS, but after looking at some other mocks and the needs of the teams drafting before Chicago, I think they wait on the FS.
Asamoah (6'4" 305) was named second team All Big Ten and he was an academic All American. He has 37 consecutive starts at right guard but scouts say he has the intelligence and athleticism to play either side. He has the frame to add some bulk, and he'll have to in the coming years, but he has the ability to be a contributor as a rookie.
There is a chance Asamoah could be gone, as the guard class is a little thin. A team might reach early for an interior lineman and if that happens it could trigger a run on guards and centers. In that case I can see Jerry Angelo go away from his needs and take the best player available regardless of position. I just hope he doesn't reach himself just to fill a need. What might keep Asamoah around til the 3rd is a lot of tackles are projected to be able to play inside, so teams may opt for a tackle that could move inside if they can't cut it at tackle.
FOURTH ROUND - Time for the Vanderbilt pick. Cornerback Myron Lewis will be drafted for a shift to FS. His switch to FS may have already started, on at lest one scouting site he has been moved form their list of corners to their FS list. This might be a reach at this point in the 4th round, but I doubt he'll get back around to the Bears in the 5th, and besides Angelo always seems to reach a bit in the middle rounds.
Lewis (6'2" 203), played opposite Bears CB D.J. Moore at Vanderbilt in '08, and saw a lot of action as most teams shied away from Moore. His senior numbers weren't as big in '09, mainly due to teams not throwing his way. The reason teams are looking at his as a FS, besides his size, is his change of direction speed isn't as fluid as corners that are shorter. But as a FS he has the necessary ball skills, the sure tackling, and speed (4.42 forty) to succeed.
FS's Darrell Stuckey and Major Wright are two other options here if Lewis is gone.
FIFTH ROUND - I think the Bears would be tempted to go back to the offensive line with this pick. Especially if center Eric Olsen of Notre Dame is still available, and with the Bears 5th rounder being number 141 overall, there's a good chance he's here. If he is, he's the pick, but I have a feeling he'll be gone.
Even though I don't think wide-out is a pressing need, I think Angelo will want to bolster the WR corps, and he'll do so with Jordan Shipley of Texas. Shipley (5'11" 193) isn't a burner (4.54 40 at his pro day), but he plays quick on film. The 6th year player is a good route runner and has a willingness to go over the middle. The deep-in route is a Mike Martz staple. Even though he may best be suited for the slot in the NFL, I think he has the football IQ to contribute at any WR spot. I think Shipley will be available in the 5th because taller and faster (and less productive) players will go higher than him. Too many teams fall in love with the measureables at WR.
SIXTH ROUND - Angelo will again be tempted to go O-Line with this pick, and if tackle Tony Washington of Abilene Christian (yes that Tony Washington) is available here at pick #181he'll become a Bear. I do think some team will overlook his past and take him before the Bears are on the clock. With Washington likely gone, I think Angelo will go back to the secondary with this pick and take corner Brian Jackson of Oklahoma.
The more I see and read of Jackson (6'1" 202) he just seems like the type of player the Bears would draft. He isn't a lock down man to man corner, but in a Cover 2 system his skill set translates well. Physical, strong (20 reps on the bench), and a good tackler, Jackson could be a candidate to give depth at free safety as well. He excelled on special teams early in his college career which adds to the reason the Bears would draft him. He needs some technique work regardless of his final position, but I think as a football player he'd be a nice pick up in the 6th.
SEVENTH ROUND - I really think at this point Angelo (if he's missed out on another offensive lineman) will take the highest C/G on his draft board. Looking at the age of Olin Kreutz and wanting some competition for Josh Beekman, I think he goes with John Estes, the center from Hawaii.
Estes (6'2" 295), has been consistently graded in the 6th and 7th round. The highest I've seen him go in a mock is the 5th round, but most are predicting 7th. There are a few reasons he'll slip. He's been a shotgun (spread offense) center at Hawaii and there isn't a good track record of their linemen transitioning into the NFL. He was unable to work out much at his pro day as he hurt his hamstring. A solid pro day would have helped his draft status.
He's a technique player that will need to add some strength and bulk. But he has the experience and durability teams will love. No one has started more consecutive games than Estes has in his NCAA career. After red-shirting in 2005, he's started every game since. Fourteen at right guard, then 41 straight at center.