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Mocking the Mocks: Do the Bears need more edge rush?

We take a look at the latest mock draft from NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein to see who he has the Bears taking.

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While most would agree the Chicago Bears need a massive upgrade at quarterback before they can truly contend for a Lombardi Trophy, the path to finding an elite passer is murkier. With plenty of names being thrown out for trade possibilities, including perennial Pro Bowlers Russell Wilson and Deshaun Watson, it was understandably a disappointment to some Bears fans when they landed Andy Dalton as a new addition.

A quarterback with a career passer rating of 87.5, to help inject life into an offense who finished the 2020 season ranked 26th in the league? (YPG)

If the Bears are looking for an upgrade at quarterback, this is one of the best drafts to be looking. Trevor Lawrence, Zach Wilson, and Justin Fields jump off the page on scouting reports, and Trey Lance has everything but experience to back up a potential top-10 selection. Even Mac Jones, who could have stayed at Alabama for 1 more year and almost guaranteed a #1 overall selection in 2022, elected to put his name into the draft. The class is loaded.

Quarterback is a position you simply can’t win without anymore, though. So naturally, they get drafted differently.

According to Lance Zierlein, writing for NFL.com, all 5 of those guys will be gone in the first 15 picks. Barring a trade-up, the Bears will go on the clock at #20 in this scenario without a bonafide starting-caliber quarterback on the board.

Zierlein has the Bears selecting an EDGE rusher, Gregory Rousseau from the University of Miami Hurricanes.

With Robert Quinn failing to impress in Year 1 with Chicago, the Bears could turn to help in the form of this rangy, long-levered defensive end who offers enticing traits but just one full season at the college level.

The Bears are no strangers to The U, with former star players such as Devin Hester and Greg Olsen coming to the Bears from the Hurricanes. Current Bears Jimmy Graham and Deon Bush played there all 4 years, and Pat O’Donnell attended his redshirt-senior season there.

Rousseau will be a fun one to watch in this draft; at 6’ 7”, 265 pounds, he’s a terror for offensive tackles because of how he keeps his feet moving and forces holding calls. He can drop off into short coverage or swallow a quarterback scramble when needed, and could seat into a yet unfilled role vacated by Leonard Floyd in this defense.

According to NFL analyst Daniel Jeremiah, the young pass-rusher Rousseau has plenty to bring to an NFL team:

Rousseau was clearly the best player on the field in all three of the games I studied. He lines up all over the defensive front, playing on the edge (occasionally standing up), at 3-technique (edge of the guard) or even head up over the center on obvious passing downs. He can win with his speed/quickness in every one of those alignments and his hands are very polished. He’s extremely long and does a nice job pressing out blocks before escaping to create pressure.

With the Bears most important needs clearly at offense, should they pass on such a talented defensive presence and opt for a stud receiver or lineman?

Bears General Manager Ryan Pace, like all GMs, has consistently stated his strategy for the draft is taking the best player available.