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.
Last week I stuck to a very strict best player available philosophy when I mock drafted, because there's a good chance Chicago Bears general manager Ryan Pace will do something similar at the real draft. This time out I wanted to mix things up, so I went in with a plan to trade back in either the 1st or 2nd round, depending on how the board fell.
With me lucking into Oregon defensive end DeForest Buckner in my first draft, I was hoping he would fall again allowing me to move my 2nd rounder for more picks. With Buckner gone, I was then planning on going with Notre Dame left tackle Ronnie Stanley, who is growing on me thanks to this scouting report from SB Nation's Stephen White.
But with both Buckner and Stanley gone, I figured I'd trade out of 11. I was able to move the 11th overall pick to the Arizona Cardinals for their 1st, 3rd, 4th and 5th. So with 12 total draft picks I set out to build up the mock depth of the Bears. I played around with drafting for need a little more this time out, but I stayed fairly true to my board. I didn't drop down more than a few spots at any pick.
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 29: Leonard Floyd, Outside Linebacker, Georgia
Floyd would be a nice speed rushing compliment to Pernell McPhee. His game may not be developed to be an every down player right now, but as a rookie he could come in on passing downs and get after the quarterback.
Second Round - Pick 41: Vernon Butler, Defensive Line, Louisiana Tech
Just like in MockV1, I was able to get Butler in the 2nd. Butler has the ability to step in from day one and make an impact on the d-line rotation.
Third Round - Pick 72: Jalen Mills, Safety, LSU
This is probably the spot I went down the board the furthest, but in all my scenarios I mocked out, safety was the most difficult position to fill. Mills has played safety, corner and nickle as a four year starter in the tough and talented SEC. He has a couple red flags in his past, but if he checks out he has the coverage skills to stick around the NFL for a while.
Third Round - Pick 92: Christian Hackenberg, Quarterback, Penn State
The shine has come off Hackenberg from 2013 when some were speculating he could be the top pick once he finally came out of college. His freshman season was the highlight of his Penn Stats career, but a coaching change and some personnel issues on offense may have led to his decline in play. As a third round developmental prospect he has upside.
Fourth Round - Pick 106: Jordan Howard, Running Back, Indiana
I also took Howard in my 1st mock, but this time I grabbed him a little earlier in the 4th round. I just like the idea of a bigger back (6', 230) bringing a different dimension to the team.
Fourth Round - Pick 127: Leonte Carroo, Wide Receiver, Rutgers
I don't have wide out as a big need for the Bears, but I do expect them to get some competition in at some point. Carroo has good size at 6', 211, he has good hands, and he's a good blocker.
Fourth Round - Pick 128: Connor McGovern, Offensive Line, Missouri
I ran through this mock before the Bears added a twofer on the interior, but I don't think I would have went in a different direction with this pick. While McGovern projects to guard, he did play both right and left tackle in college, and both free agent Bear guards are probably only one year stopgaps. The 6'4", 306 pounder is a weight room warrior that just needs to be coached up.
Fifth Round - Pick 150: Tyler Higbee, Tight End, Western Kentucky
Higbee isn't a traditional inline tight end, which the Bears could use, but he's a willing blocker with the frame (6'6", 249) to add some strength and bulk. Higbee's upside could see him go before the 5th round, but in this mock he's my pick here.
Fifth Round - Pick 167: James Bradberry, Cornerback, Samford
Bradberry was a 4 year starter at Samford, but his solid play at the Senior Bowl did as much for his stock than his four years of tape. He's 6'1", 211 pounds with long arms that plays a physical brand of football.
Sixth Round - Pick 185: Ken Crawley, Cornerback, Colorado
Crawly (6', 187) is the 3rd guy I snagged in both mocks. He has press man experience as a four year starter and he's a decent athlete.
Sixth Round - Pick 206: Tyvis Powell, Safety, Ohio State
Powell graduated in 3 and a half years, so he decided to enter the draft after his junior season. His speed and athleticism projects him to more of a center field free safety. He has good size (6'3", 211), but some scouts say he's not a very physical player.
Seventh Round - Pick 230: Derek Watt, Fullback, Wisconsin
If Watt can make half the impact that his big brother J.J. has made in the NFL, then he'll be able to stick on an NFL roster. The 6'2", 236 pounder has lined up at both fullback and tight end, so he could provide some formation flexibility for an offense.
What are your thoughts on my V2 Mock?
And if you haven't checked out EJ's Seven Round Mock Draft, you should do that asap. His level of detail makes for a very fun read.