Just yesterday, I talked about the possibility of Ohio State safety, Malik Hooker, going to the Chicago Bears at three overall in the 2017 NFL Draft. The draft buzz from social media and the traditional media has both of the Ohio State defensive backs popping up in that third spot for the Bears.
In the latest mock draft from ESPN, this one a dueling two-rounder from both Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay, Hooker comes off the board for the Bears at three according to Kiper. “Safety is a clear need. I had gone with Jamal Adams here, but Hooker is more of a center fielder-type with deep range and great speed.”
The Hooker over Adams buzz is a bit perplexing to me, because Adams is clearly the safer pick, and he has enough speed and athleticism to not be pigeonholed as an in the box safety.
“He has some Ed Reed in him as a playmaker,” Kiper says of Hooker. “In his first season as a starter, he had seven interceptions in 2016, including three pick-sixes.” Hooker’s ceiling may be higher than Adams’, but Adams can do more for a football team.
McShay believes the Bears are back in on Alabama defensive lineman, Jonathan Allen, saying “Stick with the tape on Allen. He's still our No. 2 overall player, even after mediocre workouts. Allen's quickness and power help him constantly push the pocket as a pass-rusher, and he had 22.5 sacks in the past two seasons. The Bears could use a solidifying force along the interior.”
Allen has some injury concerns with his shoulders, but if the doctors give the OK, and so far they have, he’s a top 5 talent.
In the second round Kiper has the Bears going with Colorado cornerback, Chidobe Awuzie, saying that the Bears “brought in Prince Amukamara and Marcus Cooper in free agency, and I had them taking a safety in Round 1, but the Bears' secondary could still use a boost. Awuzie, my No. 5 corner, is another big defender (6-0, 202) with dynamite athleticism (4.43 40, 11-foot broad jump at the combine).”
Two high rated defensive backs would be a welcome addition for the Bears.
McShay also has the Bears taking a corner in the second round in his mock draft, but he favors Florida’s Quincy Wilson. “Awuzie is one of my favorite under-the-radar players in this draft, but I like Wilson better for the Bears. Chicago had just eight INTs all last season (tied for 29th overall); Wilson has some of the best ball skills in this CB class.”
Which 2 round mock do you like better for the Bears?
S - Malik Hooker
CB - Chidobe Awuzie
DL - Jonathan Allen
CB - Quincy Wilson
For the record, both ESPN draftniks had the same two players going 1-2, Myles Garrett, DE, Texas A&M and Solomon Thomas, DE, Stanford. They both also had the top four quarterbacks all off the board by the time the Bears were on the clock in the second round.
In case you missed my podcast yesterday...