In my first Chicago Bears mock draft of the season I went with a best player available philosophy, and I was surprised at some of the talent that was on the board when I made my selections. While I was able to address Chicago’s obvious needs of wide out, o-line, and corner, it wasn’t until day three that those positions came up.
For my latest “theme mock” I’m not waiting to get second year quarterback Justin Fields some help, and I’m doing it by going offense with all my day two picks. And to bolster my rookie class I also made a couple trades. The latest Pro Football Focus mock draft simulator allows you to trade not only picks, but players as well, so my first order of business was to move back up QB Nick Foles. I sent him back to Jacksonville for a 7th-rounder, but I also wanted to maximize the depth of this receiver class by trading back from 39, and I was able to send that pick to New England for three picks (54, 85, and 200).
Bears GM Ryan Poles is on record talking about what it takes to trade down, and while every team is looking to move back for more picks, this current Bears roster could really use an influx of youth.
“In terms of moving back, then it becomes a numbers game,” Poles said in a Q&A last month, “and I work with some of our analytics folks to come up with rules for that on draft day. If you have the ability to maneuver around and you still can get a guy in the proper value for where you’re picking, then that might be the best move because then you add draft capital as well.”
There’s value in that second round for receivers, so after trading back here’s what I did in the mock.
2nd Round, Pick 48 - Skyy Moore, WR, Western Michigan
Moore would be an ideal slot guy at 5’10”, 195 pounds, and his explosiveness would make an immediate impact for an NFL offense. In 12 games last year he had 95 receptions, 1,292 yards (13.6 avg.) and 10 touchdowns.
Many fans have wide receiver pegged for the Bears in the second round, and with so many quality players (of varying skill sets) potentially there, I had to move back for more picks. Teams will have the wide outs rated differently, so the order many of them fall is sure to be surprising to some.
2nd Round, Pick 54 - Jalen Tolbert, WR, South Alabama
Tolbert (6’1”, 194) is South Alabama’s all-time leading receiver, and he produced no matter the competition. He already has many of the technical aspects of receiver down, and he’s sure to be able to contribute as a rookie in the NFL.
The simulated mock I ran had 8 wide outs gone before I took Moore, and there were even some other “name” choices at WR still on the board when I grabbed Tolbert.
Check out this Tweet from Johnathan Wood which shows a historical snap shot of how many receivers have gone in the early parts of the draft.
There's been a lot of talk about Bears taking a WR at 39, and people are wondering who might be available for them. History can be a helpful guide there, so here's a list of how many WRs have gone in round 1 and top 40 for each of the last 10 drafts pic.twitter.com/SDXZXmUs0V— Johnathan Wood (@Johnathan_Wood1) March 31, 2022
Teams will have their boards stacked differently when it comes to the wide outs, so there’s no telling who will still be there when the Bears go on the clock. Take CBS Sports for example, they have Moore as their 10th receiver with Tolbert at 14. Sports Illustrated has them 8 and 10 respectively, and WCG’s Jacob Infante has them at 8 and 15.
3rd Round, Pick 71 - Dylan Parham, OL, Memphis
The Bears need more young talent on the offensive line, and the 6’3”, 311 pound Parham has played both guard spots for the Tigers. He may need to bulk up a bit to handle some of the really big guys, but that’s what an NFL weight room is for.
3rd Round, Pick 85 - Kellen Diesch, OL, Arizona State
The 6’7”, 301 pound Diesch may end up playing some guard due to his 32.25’ arms. He’s a better run blocker than pass protector at this point in his career, but he has the athleticism to get coached up and improve in that area.
5th Round, Pick 148 - Cordale Flott, CB, LSU
I couldn't go all offense, especially with the holes in the Bears secondary, and the athletic Flott plays the type of football that would appeal to the new Bears regime. While he’ll fly all around the field, he will need to add some more bulk to his 6’2”, 175 pound frame.
5th Round, Pick 150 - Grant Calcaterra, TE, SMU
Back to offense! In a recent interview Bears head coach Matt Eberrflus talked about adding a U tight end to his roster, and Calcaterra has 4.62 forty speed and some receiver skills at 6’4”, 241 pounds.
6th Round, Pick 186 - Sterling Weatherford, S, Miami (OH)
Would an athletic 225 pounder, that checked in about 6’4”, ran a 4.59 forty, pushed up 21 reps on the bench, and hit a 36’ vertical be a defender a team could figure out a place for?
6th Round, Pick 200 - JT Woods, S, Baylor
A double dip at safety may not be likely with the Bears recent signing of Dane Cruikshank, but Weatherford and Woods have different games. Woods can fly (4.39 forty), and each of these guys can would bolster the special teams.
7th Round, Pick 222 - Jason Poe, OL, Mercer
This small school o-line prospect was asked to do some fullback drills at his pro day.
Could you guys see the Bears ending up with any of these prospects?