The NFL draft is nearly here. This
Thursday Friday Bears fans will finally have some new actual football related news to digest. No more draft speculation posts, no more what if Martz stuff, no more should they or shouldn't they free agent threads, no more hope the defense is healthy articles, but after this weekend the Bears will have a handful of actual new players to discuss.
They may not be the players we're hoping for, or even in the positions we're hoping for, but we know there will be some news to discuss.
After posting my Chicago Bears Mock last week, I've checked out a bunch of news/rumors, watched a bunch of Path To The Draft on the NFL Network, and read a bunch of draft sites to get their latest ratings and mocks, all to gather a better understanding on how the draft will fall. And after doing so I have some changes to my mock draft, so I present to you Version 2.0...
As I did last time out, I'll mock it like I think Jerry Angelo will draft. I really have a feeling the Bears won't be selecting with that 3rd round pick. Either a trade up to get Nate Allen the FS from South Florida (please), or more likely a trade down to get some more picks. If JA can trade down in the 3rd while picking up an extra 4th I think he'll do it. The Bears could snag 2 starters with their first two picks as it's a solid class for free safety and interior lineman tend to slip. But since I have no idea of trade partners I'll mock it as if the Bears were to stay put. After each of my selections I'll give a pick that would be ideal if the draft were to fall perfectly for the Bears.
THIRD ROUND - The Bears will take the highest rated interior lineman or the highest rated free safety on their board. At this point in the draft there should be a solid option at FS or G/C, and if there were to go best available the FS would garner a higher rating. They might reach for a guard knowing the safety will have better value in the 4th, and it's that thinking that leads me to think they'll draft Mitch Petrus the powerful guard from Arkansas.
Petrus (6'3" 310) has played TE and FB in college, and it's his athleticism that stood out initially to scouts, many of whom said he needed to get stronger. Then when he put up 45 reps on the bench at the combine those concerns quickly faded. He will need to learn to use his strength in the NFL, and will need some technique work, but he'll be a solid player under the tutelage of Bears O-Line coach Mike Tice.
My Previous Pick - Jon Asamoah, OG, Illinois - Asamoah is consistently rated as the 3rd best interior line prospect by most scouts, and I think he'll be gone.
Perfect Mock Pick - Morgan Burnett, FS, Georgia Tech - Some think he'll be available at pick #75, I'm just not buying it.
FOURTH ROUND - I'm sticking to my initial thought and staying with Vanderbilt FS Myron Lewis. Vanderbilt and the Bears just make sense of late. He played corner but has the size and strength most scouts like for safety.
Perfect Mock Pick - Mitch Petrus, G, Arkansas - Yeah I know, Deja Vu... but, if Burnett can be had in the 3rd, getting Petrus in the 4th would be perfect.
FIFTH ROUND - The one thing I really didn't like about my first go at the Bears mock was that I had no defensive lineman selected. After getting his safety and guard he'll be comfortable taking his DT here and get Mike Neal of Purdue.
Neal (6'3" 294) played the 3 technique at Purdue, but he should have the skills to play either DT sport for Chicago. He's a strong kid, but he doesn't always use his strength and leverage on the field. The last two years he had 21.5 tackles for loss and 11 sacks. He's a one gap, get up field kind of player that will be good competition for the hold over DT's.
My Previous Pick - Jordan Shipley, WR, Texas - I think Shipley is gaining some steam and will go sooner in the draft.
Perfect Mock Pick - Eric Olsen, C, Notre Dame - If Olsen is available in the 5th, it'd be a no-brainer. He could very well be a starting center in the NFL.
SIXTH ROUND - I'm liking my pick I had here and staying with Oklahoma CB Brian Jackson. He'll add good secondary depth and be a solid special teamer. He seems like an Angelo pick.
Perfect Mock Pick - Nolan Carroll, CB, Maryland - His pro day last month saw him run a 4.37 40. Even though he's had an injury plagued college career, that straight line speed has many scouts taking a second look at Carroll. He's raw technique wise as he's a converted WR, and it's that inexperience, along with his physical play and stout build (5'11" 204), that leads me to believe he'd make a good Cover 2 safety.
SEVENTH ROUND - I think they still want to add a center to the roster, and John Estes of Hawaii still looks like a Bears pick to me. Depending on which other centers are still on the board, as centers have a way of slipping, they may be able to get a higher rated center.
Perfect Mock Pick - Danny Batten, DE, South Dakota State - I think the Bears are high on the pass rush specialist, but so are a few other teams. But if he's still on the board in the 7th round Angelo will swipe him up. He's 6'3" 246, with a 4.71 40 and 30 reps on the bench, and is a really good athlete.
So just to recap what I think Jerry Angelo might do;
3rd - Mitch Petrus, OG, Arkansas
4th - Myron Lewis, FS, Vanderbilt
5th - Mike Neal, DT, Purdue
6th - Brian Jackson, CB, Oklahoma
7th - John Estes, C, Hawaii
But if the draft falls perfectly for Chicago it could look like this;
3rd - Morgan Burnett, FS, Georgia Tech
4th - Mitch Petrus, G, Arkansas
5th - Eric Olsen, C, Notre Dame
6th - Nolan Carroll, CB, Maryland
7th - Danny Batten, DE, South Dakota State