We've talked about using mock drafts as a tool to get to know the potential prospects a bit better and in my opinion no one does a better job of showcasing prospects better than SB Nation's Dan Kadar. In his Mocking the Draft mocks, he tries to look at the draft at different angles. One week he has a top prospect slipping, one week he uses the Senior Bowl as a reason to boost or drop a few prospects, and this week he's giving a few options at every pick.
Bud Dupree, DE/OLB, Kentucky
The Bears need to improve their line play, both on offense and defense. That much is apparent. But if you think about Vic Fangio's defenses, they've had a good pass rusher. In San Francisco, it was Aldon Smith. In Baltimore, it was Terrell Suggs. Unless you consider Willie Young that player, the Bears don't have the equivalent on the roster. This draft gives them a few players who could fit. Dupree is a player who should rise after the combine. If not him, a right tackle will be a viable choice as well.
At Kentucky, Dupree lined up as a 4-3 defensive end, but also as a stand up outside linebacker. This was done partly to find favorable match-ups that Dupree could exploit. At 6'4", 264 pounds, Dupree is big enough to play in some 4-3 schemes, but his athleticism is telling many scouts his best pro position is as as 3-4 edge rushing outside linebacker.
He was a team captain last season, he's on pace to graduate with a degree in Community and Leadership Development, and scouts love his character, so he has that going for him.
This is another athletic prospect that will be converting to a relatively new position in the NFL, but don't let the Shea McClellin experience sour you on every player that makes the transition. Lance Zierlein, NFL Draft Analyst for NFL.com, says Dupree has "huge growth potential" and the "difference between (Dupree) being good and great might be his coordinator."
The Bears have compiled not only a very good coordinator in Fangio, but also a very experienced linebackers coach in Glenn Pires, and we can't forget about outside linebackers coach Clint Hurtt. If the Bears do take an edge rusher at 7, odds are high he'll be a player that they'll need to coach up to play 3-4 OLB.
Dan Kadar has two other options for the Bears at 7, both of which we've talked about before.
Other options: Dante Fowler (DE), Brandon Scherff (OT)
Fowler is a similar player to Dupree, in that he's an athletic player that lined up all along the defensive front in college. Kadar even mocked him to the Bears in his 2 round mock last week.
Scherff is another option that Kadar has mocked to the Bears this off season. He's a road grading right tackle type that could also find a home at guard in the NFL.
Which of these three options would you like best, and check out his full mock this week to tell us if you'd go a completely different direction.