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Which position should the Bears draft in the third round?

All things being equal (i.e. assume there is equal talent across the board), which position would you draft in the third-round for the Chicago Bears?

NCAA Football: Oklahoma State at Kansas Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

After reading that question posed in the title, I’m sure we’ll get some dopes that don’t bother to read the article before commenting down in our comment section or on social media something like this; ‘There’s no way to know what position to draft since there’s no way to know how the board will look!’

Yeah, we get that, but for the purposes of this latest roundtable exercise we want you guys to assume that there is equal talent across the board.

All things being equal which position would you draft in round three for Chicago?

Since the Bears don’t have a first or second round pick, that third-rounder will be the guy that the team will hope can step in and contribute immediately as a rookie.

There’s also the chance that Ryan Pace will use that third round pick coupled with a future selection to move up in the draft, or he could use it to trade back into the fourth round where he’s picked seven players in his four years as GM of the Bears.

But we’ll assume he’s staying put and also assume that all all things are equal for that third round pick.

Here’s my take: With how the roster is structured, I think Ryan pace is set up to truly go best player available, but getting defensive back depth is always a good idea. A third round selection at safety is how I’d go if there was a high rated one sitting there. Adrian Amos is likely going to price himself out of the Bears range, and I haven’t seen enough from Deon Bush to simply slot him in next to All-Pro Eddie Jackson in the starting lineup. DeAndre Houston-Carson is a restricted free agent — and more of a special teamer — so another option is needed at the position.

If the Bears do go with a safety at some point in the draft, I think they’d be wise to go after a prospect with some free safety skills. A big hitting strong safety is nice to have, but this is a passing league and coverage skills are more important than playing as an in-the-box safety.

Here’s what a few of our guys would do in the 2018 NFL Draft with that third-rounder.

*FYI: We gave our predictions before the Cleveland Browns signed Kareem Hunt and before the Carolina Panthers gave safety Eric Reid north of $7M a year.

Erik Christopher Duerrwaechter: I’m going with running back. That is, provided the Bears do not address the position in free agency.

The 3rd-round has been a goldmine for talent at this position group in recent years. Plus, this is really the only position on the Bears with a legitimate question mark in terms of long-term vision. Matt Nagy is looking for his featured back, someone that can contribute in the receiving game and the ground attack with explosiveness.

One such player to watch is Wes Hills out of Slippery Rock. After transferring down from Delaware into the Division II ranks, he tore up the competition with a ridiculous amount of production. He averaged 6.5 yards a carry while at Delaware, and over 7.0 yards a carry at Slippery Rock. In 2018 he produced 17 touchdowns on just under 2,000 total yards. This is including 193 receiving yards on 28 receptions. His combination of size, speed, and explosiveness would be a great fit in Nagy’s offense.


WhiskeyRanger: I’m with ECD on this one. Though it’s a weak running back class up top, day two should be rife with scheme appropriate talent. Other than the obvious growth questions with Trubisky, a back who can stay on the field no matter the situation (and be usable in all situations) feels like the only thing missing in this offense. There are a handful of guys who should be available where the Bears are picking, but the guy I feel is the best fit who has a realistic shot at still being on the board, is Justice Hill. He’s an all round back with decent power, an eye for the crease, good burst and is elusive in the open field. Basically, he’s a big play threat that can also be trusted in short yardage situations. His biggest knock is his size. He’s listed at 5’10” 190lbs, but reports that he’s currently up over 200lbs alleviate some of that concern. That’s my pick.


Jacob Infante: I’m going with strong safety on this one. Adrian Amos could very well reel in a big contract elsewhere in free agency, so the Bears should have a plan in place to replace him. They like Deon Bush, but he hasn’t proven enough to warrant legitimate starter consideration yet. I love Iowa’s Amani Hooker, as he’s an insanely instinctive ball hawk who is arguably the most underrated prospect in this class. I’d also watch out for Miami’s Jaquan Johnson, who is an intelligent safety who can tackle very well and lay the hammer down on ball carriers.


Robert Schmitz: Until about a week ago, I was certain that Ryan Pace would be looking for a new right tackle with his first pick in this year’s draft. Then Bobby Massie signed an extension, and now I’m not so sure. Massie’s extension fills our hole at RT and pretty much leaves the Bears without any first or second round level needs -- starting level RB, SS, and slot CBs can all be found in the third round or later.

With this in mind, I don’t want to make a claim about which position we’re going to draft without having gone through free agency. I expect the Bears to bring back either Adrian Amos or Bryce Callahan (but not both) and for Pace to pick the departing player’s replacement with that third round pick. There’s also an outside shot the Bears are comfortable with Deon Bush replacing Amos and may just draft an RB instead, so I’m only willing to say that we’ll have a new RB, SS, or CB after the third round.


Sam Householder: As the question is posed, I would draft a cornerback with the Bears’ first selection. I think that, with their needs being as they are, they are better off finding a replacement for Callahan, who consistently misses time with injuries and could walk in free agency, or simply to hedge for the potential future loss of Prince Amukamara who is turning 30-years old, hasn’t played 16 games since 2013, and has $1 million in dead money for 2020 vs. a $10 million cap hit.

So I think they try to boost the depth at corner, especially since Sherrick McManis is also on the wrong side of 30. The third round rookie could either be decent depth with eye towards a 2020 starting nickel or that number two corner opposite Kyle Fuller, or simply a quality young depth piece.

Ken Mitchell: If we are ever in a position to take best player available, this is the year. But, in the spirit of the question asked, I’m thinking if there’s an explosive running back out there then we need to look at that.

Personally I like a guy like Justice Hill from Oklahoma State, who is an explosive and fast runner who can accelerate at the second level. Another guy I like is Bryce Love from Stanford. I just love his game. He’s a guy who will clock about a 4.40 and he’s a gamebreaker with great vision. Also on my RB list is Michigan’s Karan Higdon, but I’d like him a lot better in the 5th-round.


Jeff Berckes: I’d be surprised if the 3rd-rounder isn’t spent on a defensive back, likely a corner. I’m assuming that Callahan walks and as great as McManis played down the stretch, adding competition and depth to this unit needs to be an off-season focus. If Fuller or Amukamara miss any time next season, I’m not sure who can step in and be effective. Is Kevin Toliver ready to contribute full-time? I’m not sure. Plus, given how slow the safety market moved last season, I wouldn’t be surprised if Amos makes his way back on a team friendly deal. Give me a corner. Bonus points goes to one who can return kicks.

Now it’s your turn.

All things being equal (i.e. assume there is equal talent across the board), which position would you draft in the third-round for the Chicago Bears?