The latest mock draft from ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. has the Chicago Bears going in an interesting direction at eight overall, linebacker Tremaine Edmunds from Virginia Tech. In the first version of his mock he had the Bears taking Alabama wide receiver Calvin Ridley which is a pick I’m not very high on. I like this version much better, but how would the Bears utilize Edmunds.
Here’s what Kiper said about the pick.
Edmunds is a tremendous athlete. He could play inside or outside linebacker in the Bears’ 3-4, and it’s that versatility and athleticism that has scouts drooling. I expect him to put up huge numbers at the combine. Edmunds had 109 total tackles, 14 tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks in 2017, and he does a good job covering pass-catchers out of the backfield. At 6-5, 250, Edmunds doesn’t look like a traditional middle linebacker, but he’s such a physical specimen that you can’t rule it out. And the Bears just released Jerrell Freeman. Chicago could also be in the market for an offensive tackle or wide receiver here.
Outside linebacker is a need, and with the release of Freeman, inside linebacker could be perceived as a need now too. Edmunds has OLB length, but he’s at his best off the line of scrimmage. If the Bears did draft the ultra-athletic Edmunds they would have options.
In my latest podcast I talked to our own Jacob Infante about Edmunds’ potential fit with the Bears.
In this Kiper mock draft Ridley was still available at eight, and here are a few other players that were still on the board when he had the Bears take Edmunds.
- Denzel Ward, CB, Ohio State
- Roquan Smith, ILB, Georgia
- Kolton Miller, OT, UCLA
- Marcus Davenport, DE/OLB, UT San Antonio
If the real draft fell this way, would you be fine with Edmunds or would you rather the Bears took a different prospect?
In the latest mock draft from SB Nation’s Dan Kadar, he also has the Bears taking Edmunds at eight.
The Bears could try and trade back from here to get back the third-round pick lost as part of the trade to get Mitchell Trubisky last year. If they can’t find a partner, general manager Ryan Pace has shown he values athleticism. Edmunds is a superb athlete with unique size for an outside linebacker. He’s not quite the pass-rushing threat the Bears need, but he could blossom in that area of the game.
Edmunds, still only 19-years old, could certainly learn the proper technique of a pass rusher, and with his athleticism I think he could eventually thrive in that role.
But Kadar brings up a good point about trading back. I think Pace would love to move back because there’s really good value at the Bears’ need positions all the way through the third round.
Check out his latest mock draft as well and let us know how you would draft for the Bears in that scenario.