This is it, my final shot at mock drafting for the Chicago Bears. Only this time I'm putting a recent theory to work for my drafting strategy. Last week WCG member ejsnyder floated the notion that all the recent signings by Phil Emery could mean he's looking to trade up in the NFL Draft.
That by adding free agent competition at wide out, running back, tight end, center, defensive line, and safety, that he's filling many of the need positions now. This could give him the option of moving up in the draft if players are falling in his favor.
I still feel the top three needs for the Bears are defensive tackle, safety and cornerback, so I set out to acquire players at these three spots.
I once again used the Fanspeak Mock Draft Simulator and I had two players in mind at 14th overall. If either of them were gone I would have attempted to trade down. As the draft fell, my guy was there at 14.
Round 1 - Pick 14: Aaron Donald, Defensive tackle, Pittsburgh
Is there anything more that can be said of Donald? He's the perfect 1 gap penetrating DT that the Bears could use at the three technique position.
As the first round wound down I knew it was time to trade up. There were still a couple of safeties and a few corners on the board that I liked, so I knew that by moving into the last pick of the first round, it would ensure me of one of those players. I traded a 2nd, a 3rd and a 5th round draft pick to move up 19 spots to nab Seattle's 32nd pick of the first round. My choice came down to safety Calvin Pryor of the Louisville Cardinals, and the guy I ended up drafting.
Round 1 - Pick 32: Kyle Fuller, Cornerback, Virginia Tech
Hernia surgery ended Fuller's senior year at Virginia Tech, and some scouts believe that was all that stopped him from being the top corner in this draft class. Fuller is an instinctual zone corner that needs to improve his man to man coverage, but he has the intangibles you like in a football player.
As the third round was about to start, I still had a safety on the board that I liked, but I didn't have the ammo to move up with just the 2014 picks. I had to dip into the future pot of picks and send a 3rd rounder in 2015 and the 4th rounder in this draft to the Houston Texans to move up to the top of the third.
I'll admit that this trade scenario is way more shaky than the one above, but you never know until you try...
Round 3 - Pick 65: Deone Bucannon, Safety, Washington State
Bucannon is a guy that has been moving up draft boards after initially being considered a fourth round prospect. He plays like a strong safety, but has a nose for the ball. He had six interceptions and three forced fumbles last year. He's probably better in zone coverage than when matched up one on one.
This concludes the trading up portion of my mock draft, and with only two sixth's remaining, I would try to hit on need positions.
Round 6 - Pick 183: Richard Rodgers, Tight end, California
Rodgers bulked up to 275 pounds for his first two seasons at Cal, but dropped down to 245 to play wide receiver in their new 2013 scheme. At the NFL Combine he checked in at 6'4" 257 pounds, much closer to the weight of his projected NFL position, tight end. His in-line blocking isn't his strong suit, but as a Joker or a move TE his blocking could be adequate. He needs some polish to his game, but as an early entrant to the draft, he has room to grow.
Round 6 - Pick 191: Preston Brown, Linebacker, Louisville
I mocked Brown in this exact spot in my 2.0 mock draft. The Bears need more competition at middle linebacker, and Brown could add to the depth. With Jon Bostic initially battling it out for the Sam backer position, a young Mike backer would be able to get some meaningful reps. Brown is a 6'1", 251 pound, intelligent, downhill linebacker that could excel as a 2 down player.
What are your thoughts?