clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

2020 NFL Combine: 5 standouts who could be draft targets for Bears

New, comments

The Bears would be wise to give these Combine stars a look when the draft rolls around.

NFL Combine - Day 6 Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

The 2020 NFL Scouting Combine is in the books, and it sure was one for the ages.

This year’s class put forth a tremendous effort, whether it be blazing 40-yard dashes, explosive numbers in jumping drills or polished performances in positional drills. All four days of workouts brought exciting action for all fans of football, regardless of their interest in the draft.

With the biggest pre-draft event now in the books, teams will use Combine performances and interviews in these next two months to enhance their existing analyses on this year’s prospects and see which players will be best suited for their rosters.

With two second-round selections but no picks in the first or third rounds, the Bears will have plenty of different options with their early selections, and some of those options could see them selecting a Combine hero.

Though there were many players to put together strong Combine outings, these five players who fit that bill could be of interest when Chicago is on the clock with any of their picks.

Kyle Dugger, S, Lenoir-Rhyne

Many expected Kyle Dugger to put forth an impressive outing in Indianapolis this weekend, and put forth an impressive outing he did.

The 6-foot-1, 217-pound safety jumped out of the building, finishing with the second-highest vertical jump of the entire class at 42 inches, as well as the second-best broad jump among safeties at 11-foot-2. He complemented those explosive numbers with a 4.49 40-yard dash, solidifying his status among the top defensive backs at the Combine.

When you turn on the tape, Dugger certainly brings plenty to the table. That speed is apparent in games, as he can move around incredibly well for his size and accelerate quickly downhill. He isn’t afraid to lower the boom on the opposition, and he brings good form as a tackler and a nasty edge in run support. Though he has the versatility to play either safety position, his frame and physicality underneath indicate he could be a good fit at strong safety.

Depending on what the Bears do in free agency, they could be in the market for a safety early in the draft. Assuming he’s available in the second round, Dugger could be a good fit for them with either of their two selections.

A.J. Terrell, CB, Clemson

Though his performance in the national championship game dropped his draft stock a little bit, A.J. Terrell reminded the nation why many saw him as a top-50 pick for much of the regular season.

Measuring at 6-foot-1 and 195 pounds, the lengthy Terrell put together quite the performance on Day 4 of workouts. He ran a 4.42 40-yard dash that was the fifth-fastest at his position, and his 10-foot-9 broad jump finished within the top 15 among all defenders at the Combine. He also looked fluid in positional drills, showing off plus agility for a taller cornerback, as well as quality ball skills.

Though the Combine doesn’t typically favor press-man cornerbacks, Terrell managed to break that mold. In addition to his athleticism he brings on the outside, he has good instincts in coverage and is able to anticipate routes fairly well. He also plays with good physicality at the line of scrimmage and has shown some promise attacking the ball in tight windows.

If the Bears choose to draft a cornerback early to compete for a starting spot alongside Kyle Fuller, a player like Terrell could fit that press cornerback mold that Prince Amukamara previously filled for them.

Denzel Mims, WR, Baylor

Wide receiver is far from the biggest need for the Bears right now, but they do lack speed with the release of Taylor Gabriel. With the depth at the position in this year’s class, the best player available when they pick could be a wide receiver like Denzel Mims.

Despite being a bigger receiver at 6-foot-3 and 207 pounds, Mims absolutely shredded athletic testing at the Combine this year. His 6.66 three-cone drill led all players at the event, finishing a whole tenth of a second faster than the second-best player. He placed fifth among all players with a 4.38 40-yard dash, and he ended up with well-above-average 38.5-inch vertical and 10-foot-11 broad jumps. He looked fluid in positional drills, displaying top-notch body control for the wide receiver position, especially considering his length.

As far as traits-based prospects go in this class, very few are as enticing as Mims, whose obvious combination of length, speed and leaping ability make him high in command as a draft prospect. He has progressively gotten better as a route runner throughout his time in college, adding new techniques and moves to his repertoire, all while increasing the sharpness with which he makes his cuts. He’s still developing, but his sky-high ceiling makes him well worth a selection in the first two rounds.

The Bears do have an influx of young talent at wide receiver, but Mims could be too good for them to pass up in Round 2. If he’s available with either of their second-round selections—which is looking less likely by the day—he would at least be worth considering.

Jeremy Chinn, S, Southern Illinois

With two second-round picks and a lack of favorable draft capital behind them, the Bears could find themselves in prime position to trade down with at least one of the aforementioned selections. If they do, then a player like Jeremy Chinn could be an interesting target for them.

Chinn made as big of a splash as any prospect at the Combine this year. He ran a 4.45 40-yard dash that placed him in the top 15 among defenders. He also finished sixth in total with a 41-inch vertical jump, as well as second among all players with an 11-foot-6 broad jump. The former Saluki also displayed solid fluidity in positional drills and was more than able to hold his own against safeties from Power 5 schools. Oh, and he did so at 6-foot-3 and 221 pounds.

A hard-hitting safety with ample athleticism and versatility in terms of his alignment, Chinn finished with 13 collegiate interceptions and dominated the Missouri Valley Football Conference for the entirety of his tenure in Southern Illinois. While he’s a work in progress in terms of his instincts, the raw, physical tools he brings to the table could be too good to pass up.

With the Bears’ potential need at safety, Chinn fits the bill as a potential trade-back target if the team chooses to acquire additional draft picks early on in Day 3.

Ezra Cleveland, OT, Boise State

The Bears’ offensive line didn’t live up to expectations in 2019, which could lead to them targeting a rookie or two at some point in the draft. If they want to find an intriguing player on Day 3, then Ezra Cleveland could be worth a look.

Cleveland dominated athletic testing on the second day of the Combine. His 4.93 40-yard dash at 6-foot-6 and 311 pounds finished third among offensive linemen, all while putting forth an impressive 1.74 10-yard split. His 30-inch vertical was above average for an offensive lineman, while his 9-foot-3 broad jump placed him in the top 10 for his position. He finished fifth with 30 bench press reps, and his 4.46 20-yard shuttle and 7.26 three-cone drill both led all blockers at the event by a considerable margin.

Though Cleveland isn’t necessarily a nasty or polished blocker, the length and athletic ability he possesses make him an ideal developmental offensive line prospect. The three-year collegiate starter has shown some promise in regards to his hand usage and the punch he packs at the initial point of contact, too.

With Bobby Massie’s future with Chicago looking murky after the 2020 season, the team could look to add some depth to their offensive line in the form of a potential future starter. Cleveland could be worth a look with their fourth-round compensatory pick.