Chicago Bears' general manager Ryan Pace was active in free agency again this offseason, filling needs and bringing back some key depth. On paper, he's added 4 brand new starters with inside linebackers Danny Trevathan and Jerrell Freeman, defensive end Akiem Hicks, and right tackle Bobby Massie. The Massie acquisition will also strengthen the right guard position, because now Kyle Long can return to the position that he feels most comfortable at.
For a full recap of all their moves so far you can check out my Bears' Free Agency Tracker.
With Pace filling needs in March, he'll most likely stick with his best player available philosophy in the 2016 NFL Draft. Draftniks have been all over the board for the Bears at 11 overall the last month or so, and that remains how the latest mocks are falling. Dane spotlighted the Cris Collinsworth mock right here, and he had the Bears taking Michigan State offensive lineman Jack Conklin. I like Conklin, I just don't see how he starts as a rookie. Conklin is a right tackle/guard prospect, and the Bears seem set at those spots. If I'm drafting an offensive lineman at 11th overall, I want a guy that will play right now.
Let's take a look at a few other recent mock drafts.
Bucky Brooks of NFL.com has the Bears taking Clemson defensive end Shaq Lawson.
John Fox loves edge defenders with nasty temperaments and solid technical skills.
While I like Lawson, the news that he was flagged for a medical re-check has to be concerning. If he checks out 100%, he would be a fine pick up at 11 overall. SB Nation's Stephen White broke down Lawson's game right here.
Brooks' colleague at NFL.com, Daniel Jeremiah, has the Bears going with North Dakota State quarterback, Carson Wentz.
The Bears have an established QB, which will allow Wentz the time needed to develop.
If Wentz is Pace's BPA at this point in the draft, I'd be OK with the pick. Wentz seems like a guy that would need a few years to acclimate himself to the NFL game after playing at a smaller school, but he has the physical traits to be a good player. Jay Cutler would be 36 years old in 3 years with a contract that could easily be rid of, and Wentz coul dbe ready to take over.
But with that being said, if Wentz were on the board at 11, I'd rather the Bears try an dwork a trade to move down the draft.
CBS Sports had 4 mock drafts go live in the last 6 days, so we'll start with Pete Priscos'.
A'Shawn Robinson, DT, Alabama: They have issues up front and this is a power player who would really help in the run game. He won't be much of a pass rusher, but he is powerful.
I would have no problem with the Bears adding Robinson. He'd slide into a starting DE role and could work on his pass rushing skills.
Rob Rang has the Bears taking Robinson's Alabama teammate.
Jarran Reed, DT, Alabama: The Bears made strides defensively in the first year under coach John Fox and coordinator Vic Fangio and focused on linebackers in free agency, signing Danny Trevathan and Jerrell Freeman to long-term deals. The defensive line, however, remains a concern. Well-versed in Nick Saban's pro-ready defense, Reed is a plug-and-play option as one of the draft's better run-stuffers, offering the combination of length and strength to play anywhere along Chicago's base three-man front.
Redd is 6'3", 307 pounds and Robinson is 6'4", 307. Both should be very good pros, but some scouts consider Reed the more polished player.
Dane Brugler also has the Bears getting a defensive lineman.
Sheldon Rankins, DT, Louisville: The Bears addressed the linebacker position in free agency and could look at the defensive line with this pick. Rankins starred in a 3-4 scheme at Louisville and offers the versatility to line up at various techniques in Chicago's base.
Rankins is a bit smaller (6'1", 299) than the two 'Bama d-linemen, but he's strong enough to play 2 gap football. He's also a better athlete than the two big fellas above.
And finally, CBS Sports' Will Brinson has the Bears addressing the secondary.
Eli Apple, CB, Ohio State: Another defensive piece from Ohio State's dangerous defense gives the Bears the makings of a very young secondary along with Kyle Fuller. Ryan Pace could quickly remake this defense over in the offseason.
Apple has the size (6'1", 199), speed (4.4 forty) and experience playing press coverage that could allow him to push Tracy Porter for a starting corner job in 2016.
SB Nation has their handy dandy pie chart thingy updated, so make sure you check out all the mocks they peeked at.
Sticking with SB Nation, Dan Kadar dropped his latest mock earlier this week and here's how he had it falling for the Bears at 11.
11. Chicago Bears: DeForest Buckner, DE, Oregon
The Bears have mastered free agency with reasonable deals for starting-caliber players in Danny Trevathan and Jerrell Freeman at middle linebacker, Akiem Hicks at defensive tackle, right tackle Bobby Massie and cornerback Tracy Porter. That leaves pass rusher and running back as arguably the team's two top needs heading into the draft. With Buckner still on the board, he's the choice. He can rush from the inside and outside and will let the defense have more variety up front.
Buckner may be my favorite player that I realistically think could fall to the Bears. Buckner is 6'7", 291 pounds, with 83 tackles, 17 tackles for loss and 10.5 sacks as a senior. He has the strength to set the edge from the 5 technique DE spot, but also the athleticism to rush the passer.
Yahoo Sports' Eric Edholm has the Bears going with Louisville's Sheldon Rankins.
Rankins who played a variety of techniques for the Cardinals should be a penetrating 5-technique (even if he doesn't have textbook length for that spot) and give the Bears more of an interior push. They'd love someone to scream off the edge, but does that player exist at this point in the draft? This is a good fit.
Do any of these mock drafts fall the way you'd like the real thing to go?