Some mock drafts around this time of year start to get a bit outside-the-box by mocking prospects to the Chicago Bears that we’ve yet to see any other analysts predict. The Bears have some obvious needs this offseason, and this year’s draft board seems to line up for them to address those needs without reaching.
Most have them grabbing an offensive tackle, cornerback is another frequently mocked position to Chicago, I’ve seen wide receiver, and depending on how some mocks have fallen, quarterback is another position I’ve seen analysts getting to the Bears.
But safety is one I’ve yet to see until today.
In this situation, the Bears will likely look at the second tier of quarterbacks later in the draft. Moehrig will pair with current safety Eddie Jackson to form a rangy duo on the back end.
Moehrig can do it all from a coverage standpoint, but he excels when playing in a two-high role. He patrols the field gracefully, leading to a 99th-percentile coverage grade, a 94th-percentile grade at free safety, a 95th-percentile grade in the slot and the top forced incompletion percentage in the class (23.7%).
Like most mock drafts, Palazzolo has 5 QBs off the board before the Bears come on the clock at 20th overall, so reaching for a 6th quarterback would be silly, but he only has 3 offensive lineman off his board at this point.
So the question has to be asked; Is there more value in taking the best safety in the class instead of the OL4?
I can understand the argument that in a loaded o-line class the Bears could wait and look to address the position on day 3, but I would have a hard time doing that.
If there’s a guy sitting there that fills a need (OT) and could easily be lumped in the cloud of best-player-availables, then do not get cute.
If the real mock went this way from 1 to 19, I’d be pulling for the Bears to take Oklahoma State offensive tackle Teven Jenkins. What makes this mock extra cringe-worthy is the team he mocks Jenkins to, the Green Bay Packers.
The Packers have had one of the best offensive lines in the league over the last few years, but they have a question mark at right tackle heading into 2021. Jenkins can step in as a starter after an outstanding career at Oklahoma State that saw him grade at an impressive 90.1 in true pass sets over the last three years. Jenkins is also a powerful run-blocker who ranks above the 87th percentile in run-blocking grade on both gap and zone runs. He fills a big need at right tackle and allows Billy Turner to kick back inside to guard.
If the Bears pass on Jenkins and he ends up in Green Bay...
Jenkins has the ability to win the Bears right tackle job this offseason and stay there for a decade plus. He plays the game with a nasty demeanor but he’s an athlete too, and don’t come at me with any nonsense about right tackle not being as important as the “blind side” tackle. These days teams are just as likely to line up their premier edge rusher (Khalil Mack, Von Miller, Myles Garrett, the Bosa brothers, etc.) to match up against right tackles as they are against left tackles.
I know there are no guarantees in the draft, and anything is possible, but Ryan Pace going safety in the first without a trade back scenario being in play would be roster building malpractice.