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. And that's really what mock drafts are all about; Learning more about some potential prospects.
The odds of hitting on every pick in a mock draft are astronomical, so just sit back and enjoy the ride.
With this particular mock I stuck to a strict best player available policy. Since Chicago Bears general manager Ryan Pace filled some glaring needs in free agency, he has more options come April. The only time I planned to veer from BPA was when the next man up was going to force me to double down on a position I already took, but the way this mock fell, I was actually comfortable doubling down at a couple positions.
The other rule I used was no trades. Fanspeak's Premium simulator allows trades, but for my first mock I didn't want to get too crazy. I will do a few other mocks at a later date and I will play with some different scenarios. And finally, I passed on a couple character/injury flagged players and simply went down the board.
Also a quick reminder, even though hitting on all the picks isn't going to happen, I did correctly hit on the Bears' #1 and #2 last year when I ran through a BPA mock.
One more thing, to all those that cry, 'There's no way that guy will fall," keep in mind that every year when the draft ends there are people that are saying, "I can't believe that guy fell." We never know how teams will draft until they draft.
Here's the link to my full mock draft so you can see what I left on the table and I used the CBS Sports big board for my mock.
First Round - Pick 11: DeForest Buckner, Defensive End, Oregon
In consecutive seasons the Bears came within a pick of getting Aaron Donald and Leonard Williams. Two players fans never thought would be anywhere near the Bears pick. Could the third time be the charm and could a game changing defensive end fall to Chicago?
Chicago Bears Draftwatch: 2016 defensive end prospect DeForest Buckner and a look at 2015 rookie news and notes
The Oregon Ducks churn out uber-athletic defensive ends like they are coming off an assembly line, but Deforest Buckner might be the best one yet.
Buckner is a legit 3-4 defensive end at 6'7", 291 pounds. He has the length and power to set the edge, but he also has a quick enough burst to rush the quarterback. Sure he has some technique issues he has to improve on, but that's what NFL coaches are for. Buckner would be an immediate starter.
Second Round - Pick 41: Vernon Butler, Defensive Line, Louisiana Tech
If the real draft falls this way, the Bears would be tickled to get Butler to add to their d-line rotation. He gives defensive coordinator Vic Fangio another talented big body ( 6'4", 323) that could play anywhere along the Bears 30 front. Just imagine a four man rotation of Eddie Goldman, Akeim Hicks, Bucker and Butler.
Third Round - Pick 72: Kentrell Brothers, Inside Linebacker, Missouri
The Bears really don't need another ILB after signing Danny Trevathan and Jerrell Freeman in free agency, but Brothers was the BPA and in my opinion, good value in the 3rd round. He's never played inside on a 3-4 defense, so there will be a learning curve. But he was a tackling machine at Missouri with more tackles in the last two years than any one in college football. He did play special teams in college, so he can earn his keep on the 3rd phase for a couple seasons.
Fourth Round - Pick 107 Roberto Aguayo, Kicker, Florida State
Kicker isn't the way I would have gone, but I'm sure this pick would please the anti-Robbie Gould crowd. Aguayo is a 3 time All American and was 46 for 46 on field goals from 39 yards and closer. His leg strength is considered average, but so was Gould's when he entered the NFL. Aguayo could have a Gould-like career trajectory on long kicks. During Gould's first 4 years with the Bears, he was 0-2 on 50+ field goals, but since that time he is 23 for 29.
Fourth Round - Pick 128: Jordan Howard, Running Back, Indiana
The Bears have been poking around some running backs this offseason, so it makes sense for the Bears to add one via the draft. Howard is a different type of guy than what they currently have on the roster. He's a powerfully built 6', 230 pounds and he runs like a power back. He has had some injury issues in the past, but the Bears wouldn't expect him to the the lead guy. As a change of pace short yardage guy, Howard could thrive.
Fifth Round - Pick 151: Bryce Williams, Tight End, East Carolina
Williams played some fullback for a couple seasons, so he could bring some H-Back skills with him, but he also was use in a Joker TE role as a senior (58 receptions,588 yards, 4 TDs). At this point he's a better receiver than he is a blocker, but he has the size (6'6", 257) to grow into an inline TE role.
Sixth Round - Pick 186: Ken Crawley, Cornerback, Colorado
Scouts say Crawley is a little sloppy in his technique, but he has good athleticism and length (6', 187) to play in the Bears D. Has played some press man in his 4 years as a starter for Colorado.
Sixth Round - Pick 207: Kevin Peterson, Cornerback, Oklahoma State
The board fell his way and I thought adding another corner would make sense. At 5'10", 181 pounds, he may project to nickleback, but he's a cover corner that isn't afraid to get physical.
Seventh Round - Pick 231: Daniel Braverman, Wide Receiver, Western Michigan
Braverman is a 5'9", 175 pound slot receiving prospect who caught 108 passes for 1,367 yards and 13 touchdowns last year. Most sites have him as a 7th round prospect, but Pro Football Focus gave him a 2nd round grade on the strength of no wide out "in this draft class averaged more yards per route run from the slot than the 3.27 Braverman managed."
What are your thoughts on this BPA draft?