With the Chicago Bears making the switch to Vic Fangio's 3-4 defense there are two big need for their conversion. They need an athletic edge rushing outside linebacker in the mold of Green Bay's Clay Matthews and they could use a big 2 gap defensive lineman like New England's Vince Wilfork.
In three recent mock drafts their experts have the Bears going in three different directions. We'll take a look at the mock from Peter Schrager of FOX Sports first.
7. Chicago Bears: Vic Beasley, OLB, Clemson
Chicago's defense isn't getting any younger, with questions at the two outside linebacker spots. Vic Fangio will employ a complex scheme that will require pass rushers flying from the outside. Beasley, the 2014 ACC Defensive Player of the Year out of Clemson, is the guy at No. 7. A coach I spoke with said he expected Beasley to weigh in around 235 pounds and there was a fear he was too light. Beasley not only weighed in at 246 pounds, putting on at least 10 pounds of muscle since the end of the college season, but he also did an outstanding 35 reps of 225 pounds on the bench the following day.
Beasley just finished off a ridiculous athletic performance at the NFL Combine, but he's not just some freak athlete because he also produced in college. He had 8 sacks in 2012, 13 in 2013 and 12 last season. He did play defensive end at Clemson, but he has the speed and quickness to convert to a 3-4 OLB.
The FOX Sports mock draft already has the top nose tackle, Danny Shelton, off the board, but there are a few other prospects still available that other mocks are giving the Bears at 7.
Would you be OK with Beasley if he were the pick at 7?
Peter King of the Monday Morning Quarterback has the Bears going with the big defensive tackle of Washington at 7 in his mock draft.
Danny Shelton, DT, Washington
I could see the new team of John Fox/Ryan Pace picking from a number of front-seven options. But an interior combo platter of Stephen Paea and Shelton, all 643 pounds of it, would be tantalizing.
Paea is a free agent so there are no guarantees that he returns to the Bears. I would like him back, but that will ultimately be his decision whether or not he feels his best future is in Fangio's 3-4 defense. Plus it's also possible that the Bears will simply allow Paea to leave and pick up a compensatory draft pick.
And as for Shelton, he's clearly the top nose tackle prospect in the draft and he would provide the Bears a big 2 gap presence on their 3 man line.
There are plenty of edge rushers still on his board, so would you be OK with Shelton as the pick if the real draft fell this way?
Nate Davis of the USA Today has a player mocked to the Bears at 7 that I've yet to see any other expert mock them.
7. Chicago Bears - Nebraska OLB/DE Randy Gregory: He'll need to put weight back onto his 6-5, 235-pound frame. But with new coordinator Vic Fangio recasting this defense into a 3-4 base, he'll require a pass rusher like Gregory to provide the kind of pressure that Aldon Smith did for Fangio in San Francisco.
Gregory did play some from a 2 point stance at Nebraska and he even lined up and rushed the passer from an inside linebacker position. He's an explosive athlete with plenty of speed off the edge. He has the frame to carry more good weight, so an NFL weight room will do him well.
This USA Today mock has plenty of other prospects previously mocked to Chicago still available, so if the Bears went with Gregory at 7 if the actual draft fell this way, would you be OK with it?
Which of these three mocks do you like best?