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Chicago Bears draft targets: Leonard Williams, DT

As unlikely as it seems that the draft's best player would be available at the No. 7 spot, it is a scenario that is worth considering.

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Bears are sure to have a lot of options at the No. 7 pick, and there are few players that wouldn't fit into general manager Ryan Pace's best player available philosophy.

Chicago has so many roster holes that any number of players could fill a need. The thing is though, at this point in the process, fans are used to seeing one of about the same half-dozen players being mocked to their team.

For the Bears this year those players are, usually: Amari Cooper, Kevin White, Vic Beasley, and Danny Shelton. Occasionally I've seen Shane Ray or Randy Gregory. While these are all written by the experts, who are extremely dialed in to the rumors, the visits and the inklings of all the teams and insiders, they can become somewhat...tedious.

I mean after all the fun of NFL draft season is speculation and playing over scenarios that could happen during the draft. Inevitably there will be trades and speculating those are part of the fun as well.

Now, back to the scenario part, let's take a look at something that today seems far-fetched according to the standard mock draft logic that's been beaten over fans' head over the past few months.

What if Leonard Williams fell to number seven?

You might be saying to yourself, "Whoa, no way that happens, he's always mocked to the Titans at No. 2, he can't possibly get out of the top three or five selections, no way."

Surprises happen in the draft, though.

Let's walk through a very possible, logical scenario for a minute. Let's say that in the first six picks both the top quarterbacks and wide receivers go, and then the last three spots go to three OLB/DEs. it's plausible; Jameis Winston, Marcus Mariota, Amari Cooper, Kevin White, Dante Fowler Jr. and Vic Beasley are considered top 10 prospects. It's certainly possible that offensive tackle Brandon Scherff, cornerback Trae Waynes, defensive tackle Danny Shelton, and DE/OLB Bud Dupree are a few players who could sneak up into the top 10 as well. If one team in front of the Bears covets one of those guys over Williams, then he could be there for the Bears' taking.

It is a highly unlikely scenario but it's something different to think about. Williams, a DT from USC is widely considered the best prospect in this year's class and would likely fit as a 3-4 DE for Vic Fangio in Chicago.

From SBNation:

At the top of the list is Leonard Williams of Southern California, the best player in the draft. Some have discounted Williams' impact early last season or knocked his pass rush skills. But don't forget that he played most of last season injured and still had 80 tackles, 9.5 tackles for loss and seven sacks. Williams is a dominating force up front who can manhandle offensive linemen.


COMPARES TO: Gerald McCoy, Buccaneers - Williams is earning comparisons from scouts to everyone from McCoy to Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt for his ability to dominate the line of scrimmage while alternating between defensive tackle and defensive end.

IN OUR VIEW: Regardless of where he lines up, the Daytona Beach, Fla., native has been a standout. His physical make-up is extremely impressive with his size, length and athleticism to line up at any position on the defensive line, inside or outside, and be effective.

Williams in all likelihood will be long gone by the time the Bears get on the clock on the first night of the NFL Draft, but isn't the idea of a prospect of his caliber playing for Chicago tantalizing enough to at least dream about? Is it so crazy to think that he could fall out of the top six?