Every mock draft I go through, I’ll be sure to take a different mindset. In my first one, I went strict best player available. My last one, was the trade for Jimmy Garoppolo edition. This time, I went with what I would do if I were making the picks for the Chicago Bears, but with a couple of caveats.
First off, I wouldn’t go too far down my board just to find a player I really liked. General managers generally stick with their draft boards, and the one I was playing with was the CBS Sports’ board. Scouts, coaches and GMs spend a lot of time ranking players, so I had to trust the process.
And secondly, I had to get a quarterback. My plan was to grab Deshaun Watson with the 3rd overall pick, because most mocks have had him available at three, when the Bears were on the clock. But, go figure, in this simulation he went 2nd overall. My backup plan was to trade back into the first round for Patrick Mahomes, because most mocks have him as the fourth quarterback off the board. But go figure, he went thirteenth overall.
Plan C was Pittsburgh’s Nathan Peterman in the 4th, but he went seven picks before mine. Leaving me to plan D, taking the highest rated QB left.
Here’s the link to the entire Fanspeak mock draft that I ran through.
First Round - Pick 3: Solomon Thomas, OLB/DE, Stanford
Thomas may be a more natural fit as a 4-3 defensive end, but I have a feeling that he can transcend scheme and position. A good defensive coordinator will use him all along the front, depending on the match-up. His athleticism is off the charts for his size, so rushing the passer out of a two point stance wouldn’t be a problem.
Second Round - Pick 36: Obi Melifonwu, S, Connecticut
Obi has been shooting up the mock draft boards the last few weeks, because of the versatility he brings to teams. He’s a 6’4”, 224 pound safety that has the athleticism to make to move to corner. I think he sneaks into the 1st round, on potential alone, but with so much top end defensive talent available, Obi might fall to 36 and the Bears.
Third Round - Pick 67: Taylor Moton, OT, Western Michigan
This isn’t the best offensive tackle class, but Moton is considered one of the better ones available, even though some scouts have him pegged for a move to guard. I think he can play right tackle in the NFL, but he has college experience at both RT and RG.
Fourth Round - Pick 109: Brad Kaaya, QB, Miami (Fla.)
I think Kaaya is a lot like Nate Peterman, in that both have the skill set to be long time NFL players, but neither have a very high ceiling. Kaaya was a three year starter for the Hurricanes and in 2016 he played in a pro style offense. The learning curve won’t be as steep for him to transition to what the Bears want to do.
Fourth Round - Pick 115: Ethan Pocic, C, LSU
The 6’6’, 310 pound Pocic is listed at center, but I think he can play anywhere along the offensive line, and at LSU he did just that. His coaches laud his football IQ, so being a super sub as a young NFL player should be feasible.
Having a couple of young versatile offensive linemen on the team, should put an end to the scrap heap signings we’ve seen in the past.
Fifth Round - Pick 148: Kenny Gollady, WR, Northern Illinois
Gollady is a 6’4”, go up and get it wide out, that would be a red zone and a deep threat as he becomes a better route runner.
Seventh Round - Pick 224: Bryan Cox Jr., DE/OLB, Florida
Cox played both from a three point stance and a two point stance at Florida, but he’ll need to make an impact on special teams to stick as a rookie. He had some injury issues in 2016