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Windy City Gridiron draft roundtable: Players the Bears should avoid at No. 3 overall

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We’ve talked players we’d like Chicago to take with their first-round pick. Now it’s time to find out who we’d prefer they stray away from.

NCAA Football: Michigan at Ohio State Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

A top pick in the NFL draft, particularly in the top five, should have dynamic playmaking ability, no red flags in character on or off the field, and possess a clean bill of injury history. This is a player that needs to be a franchise guy who can you can lock in for years while also setting an example at whatever position he plays.

Though, finding someone with all of these marks that you’re confident in, is easier said than done. That puts the Chicago Bears in an interesting bind here. Because while there are some “safe” picks in the 2017 Draft - as with any class - there are also some very talented players who could pan out terrifically or also become huge busts for a variety of reasons.

In the first two parts of this Bears’ No. 3 overall pick roundtable, we discussed the first preference of guys we’d like Chicago to take and “consolation” prizes of other selections we would be okay with.

Now let’s touch on the one prospect or several, we think the team should avoid and ignore altogether with their top pick.

It can be either because of injuries in the past, questions of ability translating to the NFL, or something else along those lines.

3. Who are prospects the Bears should avoid selecting at No. 3 overall?

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Robert Zeglinski: I think if he can stay healthy, Ohio State cornerback Marshon Lattimore will be one of the best at his position within a year or two. He checks all of the boxes with fantastic physical tools and is a smart, instinctive coverage guy. However, I don’t want the Bears to be that team that takes the chance on him, especially considering their recent history.

Two hamstring injuries that robbed Lattimore of most of his freshman and sophomore seasons in college, along with a hip flexor injury at the Combine this year, have all of the alarms blaring uncontrollably for me in regards to him. Note that the Bears’ first two first-round picks under general manager Ryan Pace have also had relative injury issues in Kevin White and Leonard Floyd (although Floyd’s are less serious) in 2015 and 2016, respectively.

Which has me perplexed as to why some recent mock drafts from more national perspectives keep slotting Lattimore to Chicago. I guess some want to look past the huge injury history along with what the Bears have gone through, and in that case, why?

With that in mind, I don’t feel comfortable if Lattimore’s on Chicago’s radar, because this top pick has to pan out and be a core player with no availability issues from the outset. You can’t miss in the top five of the draft. That’s how a regime is eventually set up to fail. Taking a guy you’ll have to develop (a quarterback) is different from one who might never be on the field consistently, because at least the former is healthy.

I’m not at all confident Lattimore is past any of his previous injury problems. Logically, there’s no reason for him to even be on the Bears’ board.

Ken Mitchell: Without a doubt it's Lattimore. The Bears don't need a guy hobbling around the field for the next three years until he's cut because he's always got an issue with his hammy. That's Lattimore's deal: He ALWAYS has a problem with his hammy.

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Lester Wiltfong Jr.: Anyone with injury concerns, most notably the Ohio State defensive backs. Safety Malik Hooker and corner Marshon Lattimore have very high ceilings, but the Bears can't take a chance on a kid with injury red flags.

I'd also pass on Alabama defensive lineman, Jonathan Allen, at third overall. If the Bears could trade back and acquire more picks, that’s when when I'd be okay with rolling the dice on one of thee guys.

Josh Sunderbruch: I'll just point and say: "what Lester said.” Same thing I was thinking, only more on point.

NCAA Football: Notre Dame vs Navy Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

Jeff Berckes: I'll give you the entire position group of quarterbacks and I'll give you four reasons.

1. I think all of the top guys would be a major reach at No. 3 overall. The talent of this group falls short of even last year's crop of the RamsJared Goff and EaglesCarson Wentz. Flushing value should make us all sick.

2. If you draft a QB at No. 3, you're cutting off the chance that Mike Glennon could ever develop into your guy of the future and why the heck did you do what you did if that was your plan?

3. The opportunity cost of adding a blue chip defensive player for head coach John Fox and defensive coordinator Vic Fangio to a unit that appears to be ascending is simply too high to roll the dice on a sketchy passing class in my mind.

4. Taking a quarterback effectively takes us out of the 2018 draft market, which is reportedly going to be much stronger.

Sam Householder: Lattimore. I feel about him as some do about Alabama’s O.J. Howard or one of the quarterbacks: He's fine but I wouldn't take him with the No. 3 pick.

I'd feel a lot better about him in the 5-8 range. He could be a good player but the soft tissue injuries have me worried because the Bears can't seem to get their current players' soft tissue issues corrected. So they don't need to add potential problems to those headaches.

Michigan v Ohio State Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Also, as a bonus, I'll throw in Michigan safety Jabril Peppers. The guy has a huge reputation but has few game-changing plays (i.e. turnovers) to back it up.

E.J. Snyder: Lattimore. He is amazingly talented but his litany of leg injuries really worry me at a position that depends on top speed and movement skills. If Lattimore ended up on the trainer's table much at all, Bears fans would figuratively tear him and Pace to bits.

WCG Contributors: Jeff Berckes; Kev H; Sam Householder; Ken Mitchell; Steven Schweickert; Jack Silverstein; EJ Snyder; Lester Wiltfong, Jr.; Robert Zeglinski; Like us on Facebook.