Thanks to the folks over at Fanspeak, we have access to their wonderful On The Clock Draft Simulator again this year. It's a fun tool to help us go through the draft process and learn about some potential prospects for the Chicago Bears.
I try to take each mock draft I run through in a different direction by adopting different scenarios. For my first mock draft I stuck to a fairly rigid best player available philosophy For version 2.0 I took a trade back approach to stock up on picks and for this mock I'm taking the trade up scenario that was floated earlier this week.
In the Fanspeak Premium version trades are permitted, but there's no way to trade players, only draft picks. So I had to get creative in my "deal" with the Titans. I had to substitute a future draft pick in place of a player (Cutler) to get the trade to feel right.
The way the trade looks on paper is the Bears sent Jay Cutler, their 1st round pick and their 3rd round pick to the Titans for the #2 overall pick. In actuality, this may not be enough for the Bears to move up 5 spots in the 2015 NFL Draft, but for the purpose of this exercise, it's what were going with.
First Round - Pick 2: Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon
If the Bears do swing the Cutler for Mariota swap, fans shouldn't expect much from the rookie in year one. The offense he ran in college is far from what he'd be expected to do in the NFL... then again... I seem to recall a few years ago the Denver Broncos starting Tim Tebow at quarterback and adjusting the offense to fit his strengths.
That Denver team had John Fox at the helm and Adam Gase as the QB coach. If Fox and Gase figured out a way to succeed with Tebow in 2011, they should be able to work with Mariota, who is a much better pro prospect.
Maybe there's something to these Mariota to Chicago rumors after all.
Second Round - Pick 7: Owamagbe Odighizuwa, OLB, UCLA
Even with the Bears adding outside linebackers in free agency and converting some defensive ends to the position, I still see them wanting a young edge rushing prospect. Odighizuwa is comparable to new Bear Sam Acho according to NFL.com's Lance Zierlein. He's athletic enough to be a premier pass rusher, but he needs some technique work. At UCLA he was more of a run stuffing DE, although he did stand up and rush from a 2 point stance on occasion.
Fourth Round - Pick 7: Marcus Hardison, Defensive Tackle, Arizona State
I took Hardison in my 2nd mock draft with this very same pick. He just seems to have the size (6'3", 307) and skill set that would work in a Vic Fangio defense. He was a JUCO transfer with only one productive year at Arizona State, but it was a very productive year (15 tackles for loss, 10 sacks, 3 forced fumbles, 2 interceptions and a fumble recovery).
Fifth Round - Pick 6: Chris Conley, WR, Georgia
I don't see wide out as a big of a need for the Bears as some do, but I do recognize they need a player that can get down-field in a hurry. With a 4.35 40 at the NFL combine, the 6'2", 213 pound Conley proved he has the speed to take the top off a defense.
Sixth Round - Pick 7: Kaleb Johnson, OL, Rutgers
I was this close to grabbing BC center Andy Gallick like I did in my last mock, but I decided to stay truer to the board I was using. Johnson wasn't invited to the combine nor to any of the post season all star games, but he didn't allow the disappointment affect his pro day. His 1.78 10 yard split and 34 reps of 225lbs on the bench would have placed him among the combine's best among offensive linemen. Johnson made 50 straight starts at three different positions (RT, LT, LG) in college.
What are your thoughts on this "trade-up" mock draft?