ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay have been firing off their mock drafts at a steady pace, but their most recent is their annual “Grade A” mock. In this one, they don’t mock their selections based off of what they feel each team will do in the 2018 NFL Draft, they go with their gut. They pick as if they were the general manager for each team, taking who they think each team should pick. They aren’t speculating based on info they’ve picked up from their sources around the league, they are simply doing what they would do.
Each mock went a full three rounds, but since the Chicago Bears don’t have a third round pick, and since there were no trading allowed in their mock, the Bears only had two picks apiece.
McShay’s mock went live yesterday and here’s how he had the Bears drafting.
Round 1 (8): Roquan Smith, ILB, Georgia
Round 2 (39): Billy Price, C/G, Ohio State
The Bears still need pieces on their defense and Smith provides a three-down sideline-to-sideline linebacker. He’s a plug-and-play starter, who has excellent leadership. Price tore his left biceps at the combine (expected to be out four months), or else he’d go higher than this. He’s a two-time team captain who set the Ohio State record for consecutive starts with 55. Chicago gets two very solid players here.
I really like both of these prospects. Smith is ready to step in and start from day one at inside linebacker and Price could likely do the same at center, which would allow the Bears to slide Cody Whitehair to left guard.
McShay did have Tremaine Edmunds on his board in the first round still.
Kiper’s mock also addressed both sides of the ball, but it was in reverse order.
Round 1 (8): Quenton Nelson, OG, Notre Dame
Round 2 (39): Lorenzo Carter, OLB, Georgia
Nelson makes a ton of sense in Chicago, as his former position coach at Notre Dame, Harry Hiestand, joined the Bears this offseason. I expect Chicago to take a close look at Virginia Tech linebacker Tremaine Edmunds, too.
As I wrote in my two-round mock there’s a chance Carter goes in Round 1. Cornerback is another position to watch at No. 39.
It really seems like if Nelson is there at eight that the Bears will take him. He’s an instant starter at left guard and will impact the entire offense. Carter is a guy that has really shot up internet scouting boards of late, but he fits the mold of what the Bears want at outside linebacker. He’d likely start opposite Leonard Floyd at some point this year.
Which mock do you guys like better?