In last year's NFL Draft, the favorite prospect of many Chicago Bears' fans was Pittsburgh defensive tackle Aaron Donald. Some said it was a pipe dream to even think he'd be available when the Bears picked, but he nearly made it to them, going to the Rams just one pick before Chicago went on the clock.
The NFL Draft is full of twists and turns. Teams are constantly moving up and down looking to maximize their draft haul. Each year there are a number of prospects that seem to fall and a number of prospects that seem to be over-drafted. The actual draft boards of NFL teams can look much different than those of the mock draft gurus.
With Chicago picking 7th, there are a lot of directions the Bears could go. While Washington nose tackle Danny Shelton seems to be the most consensus pick, I've seen mock drafters going in a multitude of directions. There are mock scenarios playing out with the Bears trading down while others feel the Bears will trade up.
So with that being said, we want to know which player you hope the Bears take in the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft.
Just off the top of my head here are a few players I've seen mocked to the Bears in the first round the last several weeks; Marcus Mariota, Vic Beasley, Randy Gregory, Brandon Scherff, Dante Fowler Jr., Alvin Dupree, Kevin White, Danny Shelton, Amari Cooper, Trae Waynes and Shane Ray.
There are options aplenty for Chicago GM Ryan Pace on draft day.
But the one guy that I'm hoping the Bears pick is Clemson OLB Vic Beasley.
The last three season's at Clemson, Beasley racked up 33 sacks, 52.5 tackles for loss, 7 forced fumbles and 9 passes defended. He was the ACC Defensive Player of The Year in 2014, and he's the all time ACC leader in sacks and tackles for loss.
His work between the lines was impressive, but so was his work at the NFL combine. Some scouts wondered if he was too light in college, so the 6'3" Beasley bulked up 11 pounds to 246. He then had to prove his new weight was all good athletic weight so he went out and had a phenomenal workout at the combine.
40 Yard Dash: 4.53
Bench Press: 35
Vertical Jump: 41"
Broad Jump: 130"
3 Cone Drill: 6.91
20 Yard Shuttle: 4.15
Here's a spider graph of his measurables vs other OLBs courtesy of mockdraftable.com.
Former NFL player and current SB Nation contributor Stephen White, calls Beasley the "best edge rusher in the draft" by a wide margin. White has an incredible breakdown of Beasley's game that I linked above. A word of warning, White sprinkles his writing with the occasional adult language, so if that's not your thing, then just take my word for it, White loves Vic Beasley as a prospect.
Straight up, any team that needs an edge rusher would be a damn fool to pass on Vic Beasley. I said any and I mean any. I understand that everyone can have their own personal preferences, but I'm going to put it to you this way: You can't show me a guy with better 2014 tape than Vic Beasley. You also can't show me a guy who had a better overall Combine workout than Vic Beasley. Hell, you can't even show me another highly rated edge rusher who was as productive this past season than Beasley. His 11 sacks in the regular season are almost as many sacks Gregory (7) and Fowler Jr (5.5) had in the regular season ... combined.
Some of you may share my desire to see Beasley drafted at 7 to the Bears, but after last year's near miss of Donald you don't want to get your hopes up. I looked at a few recent mock drafts to see if Beasley was even still on the board when Chicago picked.
Over at NFL.com they have six mocks up and half of them have Beasley still available. CBSSports.com has 2 of 4 with Beasley there at 7. The MMQB and Scout.com both have the Bears taking Beasley, Fanspeak has Beasley off the board at 7, as does SB Nation.
Even though Beasley's my guy, I'd be happy with a number of prospects. The Chicago Bears are in prime position to snag a difference maker in the first round, whether they stay put at 7 or move up or down the board a few spots.
But now it's your turn... Who's your guy? Whom do you want the Bears to take in the 1st round of the draft?