On Tuesday I went into detail on my favorite first round prospect for the Chicago Bears and I asked you to let us know who your guy was. We had a lot of different players mentioned, so today we'll take a trip around the internet to see the direction the "experts" have the Bears going in the 2015 NFL Draft.
NFL.com has six mock drafts posted, but only two done this month. Lance Zierlein has the Bears taking Alabama wide receiver Amari Cooper in in the 1st...
The Bears could choose to go in any number of directions with this pick, but if a touchdown maker such as Cooper is here, how can they pass?
... as does Brian Baldinger.
With the loss of Brandon Marshall, the Bears have a glaring need at wide receiver and Cooper is too good to pass on here.
With Vic Beasley still on the board in Baldinger's mock, I think you know which direction I would go.
CBSSports.com has 4 mock drafters, but here are the 3 most recent.
Here's Dane Brugler's mock...
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.
Of the two top wide outs, it's White that many scouts feel has the higher ceiling.
And here's Rob Rang's...
Danny Shelton, DT, Washington: With the hiring of defensive-minded head coach John Fox (who in turn hired former San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator Vic Fangio), the Bears are looking for big improvements on that side of the ball. Fox and Fangio know better than most the value of dominant defensive linemen. The 6-2, 343-pound Shelton proved one of the elite prospects at the Senior Bowl. He's surprisingly quick and passionate in pursuit for a man of his size and eats up blocks, freeing up teammates to make big plays.
I can't help but think that some fans are souring on the possibility of Shelton being the pick at 7 because he's not a sexy pick. If the Bears take Shelton and he becomes an absolute Rock on the Bears d-line for the next decade -- à la Vince Wilfork -- will anyone really care that the Bears picked a NT at 7 overall?
But with that being said, if you look at who Rang still has on his board, I think you know who I would take at 7.
Will Brinson has the Bears going a popular direction.
Amari Cooper, WR, Alabama: Back-to-back wideouts here, with the Bears re-loading after the trade of Brandon Marshall to New York. Cooper is a different weapon but he's a nice compliment to Alshon Jeffery and is polished enough to start and produce for Chicago early.
The Sporting News also has the Bears going with the beef.
7. Bears: Danny Shelton, DT, Washington
The Bears defense is a mess and Shelton can help shore up the middle. The 6-2, 339-pounder was the best player at the Senior Bowl and then reaffirmed his status as one of the best players in the draft at the combine and again at his pro day. Shelton exploded onto the scene last year with 16.5 tackles for loss and nine sacks.
DraftTek.com has Chicago going with Nebraska's Randy Gregory.
Despite Lamarr Houston's recent promise to go "300" on the NFC next season, there is still some lingering doubt as to whether or not he can be an elite pass rusher. Fangio and Fox have always had a freak athlete wreaking havoc from the edge, and Gregory has the potential to be the pass-rushing monster that thrives in their system(s). The strengths are there, as Gregory is an exceptional athlete with rare height and length couped with a high football IQ and a magician's hand speed (without the ponytail). He is a little "light in the cakes" at 235, but should be able to overcome strength issues with improved technique. The big red flag, obviously, is his positive test for marijuana at the Combine. However, his weed use was a known concern before the Combine, and Gregory's stock among NFL GMs was consistently in the Top 10 then - so why would it change now?
They have Beasley going 8th overall, so I'd pass on Gregory. I'd actually pass on Gregory for a number of prospects.
Peter King of the Monday Morning Quarterback has Chicago going this way.
Vic Beasley, OLB, Clemson.
Bears would love White or Cooper. New GM Ryan Pace might trade up for one. But John Fox loves rushers, and even after spending $39 million in free agency on Pernell McPhee, Beasley is the best value for the rush-starved Bears.
I think we have a winner!
Fanspeak has the Bears taking Iowa offensive lineman Brandon Scherff.
Big Blue View has a full 7 round mock up and they also have the Bears going with Alabama's Cooper, as does DraftScout 24/7, as does The Big Lead from USA Today Sports, as does Chicago Football's Nate Atkins.
But Chicago Football's Arthur Arkush has the Bears getting tricky by trading down. He sees the Bears swapping the 7th overall pick with the New Orleans Saints for the 13th pick in the 1st round and their 2nd rounder (44th overall).
13. PROJECTED TRADE: Bears (from Saints)
Arik Armstead, DE, Oregon
Pace continues shrewd offseason by trading back, picking up former employer's extra second-rounder (44th overall) and pairing 3-4 cornerstone with top coordinator to unlock All-Pro potential.
While not a fan of losing Beasley to the Saints at 7, I think I'd be OK with getting Armstead and an extra 2nd rounder.
Armstead hasn't been discussed much around here, so here's a little info on the 6'7", 292 pound 3-4 defensive end from his NFL.com combine page.
Projection-based prospect with elite size and the traits to become a dominant run-stuffing defensive end in an odd front. Armstead has the explosiveness off the snap and in his jarring punch to gain early advantages and control offensive linemen. Armstead is a fast riser but is still very raw. He will need patience and coaching and must become a more effective pass rusher at some point.
WGN's Adam Hoge has a full 7 rounder for the Bears, but here's his pick at 7.
1st Round, No. 7: EDGE Shane Ray, Missouri (6-3, 245)
Compared to other positions on the defensive depth chart, outside linebacker actually doesn't look that bare anymore. It's cluttered with names like Pernell McPhee, Lamarr Houston, Jared Allen, Willie Young, David Bass and Sam Acho. But how many of those guys can actually play the position well? Two? Maybe three?
Finding a good edge rusher in the draft should still be a priority, especially if one is the best player available when the Bears are on the clock. My top rated edge rusher is Shane Ray, who was primarily at 4-3 defensive end at Missouri, but got experience kicking inside as a three-technique, while also standing up at times.
At 6-3, 245, Ray is too small to be an every-down rusher in a 4-3, which is why he projects better as a 3-4 outside linebacker. His motor never stops and he has the most impressive tape out of all the edge rushers in this year's draft. His first step is impressive and he already possesses NFL level pass-rush moves. Ray will be able to play right away in Vic Fangio's defense, as he's another player the defensive coordinator can line up in different spots in his system.
Hoge doesn't mock the picks taken before the Bears, so it's tough to see who he has still on the board. But, there are plenty of other prospects I'd rather see the Bears take with the 7th overall selection.
The Bear Report's Aaron Leming has his own full mock up for the Bears and he has the Bears going wide out in the 1st.
ROUND 1 (7TH OVERALL)
Amari Cooper, WR, Alabama
There are many different ways the board can fall for the Bears but if quarterback Marcus Mariota goes within the first three picks, Oakland could be in a great position to pick up defensive lineman Leonard Williams with the fourth overall pick. After Oakland there is no team probable to take a receiver before Chicago's pick at seventh overall.
Cooper would be the ultimate compliment to Alshon Jeffery. Cooper ran a 4.31 at the combine and showed his flashy playmaking ability during his three years at Alabama. At 6-1, the 21-year-old doesn't have elite size but could still blossom into a true No. 1 or elite No. 2 receiver in a very short time.
If Cooper is the BPA when the Bears go on the clock, it's be tough to argue with him being the pick.
The last time we looked around at a bunch of mocks, it was Danny Shelton that was the popular pick, but now the general vibe has the Bears going wide receiver, with Amari Cooper favored over Kevin White.