Only two more days to go until the 2015 draft gets going, and writers and analysts are pinning their choices to the mast. Yesterday we looked at three seven-rounders to get an idea of how it might pan out for Ryan Pace's first draft as Chicago Bears general manager. "But," you might be saying to yourself, "I could really do with a linkdump that rounds up all the latest mocks in one handy place."
Well, you're in luck: we got one. Here's how it all looks with a little over 48 hours to go.
NFLDraftScout.com senior analyst Dane Brugler sees Todd Gurley break into the top 10, going just one place after the Bears' selection. He mocks a very popular pick for the Bears, albeit one that is made with Amari Cooper still available:
Kevin White, WR, West Virginia: This pick has to be defense, right? After the Brandon Marshall trade, wide receiver is now a possibility and with White still on the board, it's a match that makes sense.
Rob Rang also has the Bears taking White, though this time Cooper is already off the board.
Kevin White, WR, West Virginia: John Fox's first instinct will be to grab a defensive lineman here but the trade of Brandon Marshall created a significant hole at receiver. Bigger and faster than Cooper, White is viewed by many scouts as the most gifted receiver in the class.
Kevin White, WR, West Virginia: A lot of people will say Chicago must go defense, but a lot of people must not know that Marquess Wilson is currently slated to be the starter opposite Alshon Jeffery.
Dan Durkin sees Cooper going sixth overall and the Bears pouncing on White. He didn't leave any comments, though, so I can't credit him with a quote.
Kevin White, WR, West Virginia: You snooze, you lose, Durkin.
Greg A. Bedard has a different approach, namely to pick the player that he thinks each team should take.
Kevin White, WR, West Virginia: Really wanted to go defense here at nose tackle or pass rusher, but Danny Shelton and Shane Ray don’t warrant this selection. The only player that can help early is White, who has great physical tools but isn’t as refined as Amari Cooper. With Brandon Marshall gone, Alshon Jeffrey gets a new running mate.
Fear not, those of you who prefer Cooper over White. Brad Biggs is here! And the first receiver taken in the draft is:
Amari Cooper, WR, Alabama: In Carolina and Denver, John Fox got Julius Peppers and Von Miller with his first draft picks. But if the board doesn't fall right, the Bears can get a talented playmaker.
Steven Ruiz and Michael Middlehurst-Schwartz also both mock Cooper to the Bears, with the former having already projected White to be off the board and the latter not. Says MMS:
Amari Cooper, WR, Alabama: The Bears’ defensive needs are hard to overlook, but going with the best player available is the right route. Cooper would bring a stabilizing presence to an offense that has been uneven at best.
Amari Cooper, WR, Alabama: Trading Brandon Marshall to the Jets opened the door for one of the college wideouts to blow into Chicago and start. Receiver is a deep position in this draft, and the Bears bite immediately.
Vic Beasley, OLB, Clemson: Pace and Fox love pass rushers and are on record that you can never have too many. Beasley, with a school-record 33 sacks, an NFL Combine showing of 4.53 speed and benching 225 pounds 35 times, is a speed-strength comp to Von Miller (Fox’s first pick at Denver in 2011).
Vic Beasley, OLB, Clemson: The Bears do need help at wide receiver, but there will be some very talented pass catchers available in round two. You’ll only find a player like Beasley in the top 10 picks.
Bud Dupree, OLB, Kentucky: The Bears could go wideout here, easily, dipping into the treasure-trove position of the draft for a very good complement to Alshon Jeffery after saying goodbye to Brandon Marshall. But they can wait until their second-round pick, 39th overall, and get a fine receiver. Dupree, Kevin White and Trae Waynes are all players who could hear their names picked by GM Ryan Pace, running his first draft since coming north from New Orleans.
Randy Gregory, OLB, Nebraska: I believe enough in 21-year-old wide receiver Marquess Wilson to develop into a solid contributor, if not a good starter, that adding a first-round receiver isn't necessary when there are other talented receivers to grab later. Gregory's weight concerns and marijuana use will sink his stock in real life, but he has the size to add and maintain weight. Give Gregory a chance to sit a year behind Pernell McPhee and Jared Allen and I'm bullish on what the former Cornhusker can become.
Danny Shelton, DT, Washington: With injury to Shane Ray & issues with Randy Gregory, the best value is with Shelton or White. Fox wants defense and goes with durable, run-stopping freak who can pressure and hopes deep WR class lasts.
Hub Arkush and the Not-Hub crew each took the part of 8 GMs for a mock, and Hub went with a different direction:
Iowa, OG/OT, Brandon Scherff: Plug-and-play at right tackle; one of best O-Lines in NFC?
ESPN's Jeff Dickerson took part in their beat reporters mock draft and made the same pick:
Iowa, OG/OT, Brandon Scherff: The temptation is for the Bears to roll the dice on the available pass-rushers, but Scherff is the safe pick. A powerful and nasty run-blocker, Scherff fits perfectly with head coach John Fox’s run-the-football mentality. A future NFL right tackle or guard, Scherff paired next to Pro Bowler Kyle Long gives the Bears a fearsome right side on their offensive line.
Finally, as a bonus, Adam Hoge drops his seven-rounder 4.0 on us. His selections for the Bears go:
Round 1, Pick 7: Washington DT Danny Shelton
Round 2, Pick 39: UCLA edge rusher Owamagbe Odighizuwa
Round 3, Pick 71: Ole Miss safety Cody Prewitt
Round 4, Pick 106: Washington State WR Vince Mayle
Round 5, Pick 142 (from the Jets): Kansas ILB Ben Heeney
Round 6, Pick 182: Northwestern State CB Imoan Claiborne
Click here to read his profiles for each pick.
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