I know we've already hit on two other mock drafts this week, but this full 7 round mock from Bleacher Report's Matt Miller caught my eye. He has the Bears addressing some needs while staying mostly on the defensive side of the ball.
Being Bleacher Report, the entire mock is presented in slide show form, but thanks to the wonderful world of technology, here's his full mock de-slided.
In the 1st round Miller has the Bears addressing their need at linebacker and edge rusher, by taking Missouri's Shane Ray.
The hiring of John Fox as head coach and (more importantly) Vic Fangio as defensive coordinator points to the Chicago Bears running a 3-4 defense. To do that, they need a pass-rusher off the edge.
Shane Ray isn't the biggest player (6'3", 245 lbs), but he's built like Miami Dolphins defensive end Cameron Wake and has the first-step quickness and agility to be dangerous in passing situations. He won't be a fit for many 4-3 teams, but in a 3-4 he's an ideal outside linebacker with Day 1 impact potential. For the Bears to get back on top, they need a defender like Ray sparking the change to a 3-4.
Ray would instantly become The 3-4 edge rusher that 3-4 teams covet, but keep in mind he played defensive end in college and even lined up at defensive tackle on occasion. There may be a learning curve transitioning to linebacker in the NFL, but if the Bears wanted a prospect with explosive athleticism, pound for pound power and a knack for getting to the quarterback, Ray is their man.
In the 2nd round, Miller sticks with the linebacker position and mocks the Bears Denzel Perryman from Miami.
The 3-4 defense means more linebackers on the field, and the Bears need a lot more talent at every position on defense.
Perryman is 6', 242 pounds and he plays the game with an edge. He's tough and physical and he uses his height to his advantage by staying low and winning the leverage battle with blockers. One of the knocks on him is lack of elite speed, but as an inside linebacker in a 3-4 he won't be asked to go sideline to sideline like Brian Urlacher did.
Miller's 3rd round pick for the Bears is again on defense, and he again address a need without overreaching for a prospect. Free safety Derron Smith from Fresno State is a 5'11", 197 pounder that started all 4 years in college. He's best known for his coverage skills, but he filled the stat sheet every season. In 43 games at Fresno State, he had 293 tackles, 11 tackles for loss, 4 sacks, 15 interceptions (with 2 returned for TD), 18 passes defended, 2 forced fumbles and as a senior he averaged 11 yards per punt return on 9 returns.
In the 4th round, Miller goes receiver for the Bears with Fresno State's Josh Harper. The Bears could use some different wide outs among their taller targets and the 6'1", 185 pound Harper could be just that. Most scouts call him more quick than fast and predict his best work in the NFL would be from the slot. He was a very productive receiver for the Bulldogs making 169 catches for 2,108 yards and 20 TDs the last two years.
His 6th round pick for the Bears is defensive end Travis Raciti of San Jose State. Because of his size (6'5", 285), he best projects to a 3-4 DE in the NFL, but his best work in college was done at defensive tackle. Some scouts feel he's athletic enough to slim down to play as a strong side OLB in a 3-4 D.
With the Bears' 7th round selection, Miller gives Chicago another OLB, this time it's J.R. Tavai of USC. Tavai started his collegiate career as a defensive lineman, but finished at OLB. There is an injury history with him, but he's known as a high energy, relentless type player. He could find a home as a special teamer in the NFL.
Now you know the drill, check out the full 7 round mock draft (de-slided) and let us know if these are the picks you'd have made if you were drafting.