It's finally NFL Draft week, and the WCG crew is in the middle of a draft-centric roundtable. The first two topics were all about the trenches — offensive line / defensive line — so today we had to pivot to the little fellas with this question.
Besides the trenches, who is the one player you want the Chicago Bears to draft?
Jacob Infante: Give me wide receiver Andrei Iosivas (Princeton). I've made it absolutely no secret I'm a fan of his game; he possesses several traits similar to that of Christian Watson, yet he's projected to go for a fraction of the second-round status Watson enjoyed. Raw? Yes, but he's a lengthy, explosive deep threat with elite athleticism. That's worth taking a shot on as early as late Round 3 and likely somewhere early on Day 3.
Aaron Leming: This might be a bit of a "homer" pick with me being an Oklahoma Sooners fan, but I'd love to see them take receiver Marvin Mims on Day 2. Mims is someone who has the skill set to be a "WR1" and even with inconsistent quarterback play over the past two seasons, was still the team's clear top receiving target. He's crazy-fast, has really good hands (there have been some bad concentration drops), and has the type of skill set the Bears should covet as a pass catcher. It feels like, as a whole, the draft community has overlooked him this draft cycle, but many had him as a late 1st round talent coming into the 2022 season.
Patti Curl: I don't think this will happen given the Bears' other needs, but I can't stop fantasizing about 6'7" 270-pound tight end Darnell Washington pancaking blitzing Lions and plucking balls out of the air well before they fall within reach of desperately leaping Packers safeties. Eventually, the goal is an offense with 11 players with Darnell's measurements and finally look like a team of Bears playing against...well any other animal. I fear the closest I'll come is a brief moment of hope before they get to the last name if the Bears draft Darnell Wright.
Jeff Berckes: Tyjae Spears, Tulane RB. Fun player to watch, and it worked out pretty well last time the Bears took a back from Tulane.
Sam Householder: Tyjae Spears. The Bears still need some running back help, and Tyjae has a lot of good traits that make him a solid mid-round player that could offer a lot for Chicago in the backfield. Plus, the Tulane connection to another great Chicago Bears back helps.
Ken Mitchell: Starling Thomas, CB, UAB. Thomas will be a day-3 guy because of his height (He's a 5'10er but has long arms), but the man is FAST and fluid, and came onto my radar when he tore up the Shrine Bowl. We have a need at CB, and a day-3 guy like Thomas might just fill it.
Editor's note: Ken is looking at the later rounds for all his responses.
ECD: I'm all for the Bears to draft more weapons at wide receiver. Kayshone Boutte would bring with him legitimate potential that, at one point, looked like a sure bet to be picked in the first round. He's now a player primed to be picked up on day two of the draft.
Josh Sunderbruch: I'd love it if one of the top tight ends fell to them somehow, but that doesn't make sense. Still, this is a deep tight end class, and there are plenty of guys who should go after the top three (Mayer, Washington, Kincaid). I'm going to single out Sam LaPorta out of Highland, IL. He draws my eye, and Iowa tight ends have a pretty decent recent history in the NFL, but he'll need to be coached up a bit more than most of them. Still, he would be #3 on the depth chart this year anyway.
Bill Zimmerman: I'm going to ignore any top 15 talent with this question because I want the Bears to use their first selection on the trenches. If I had to dream, and mind you, this is a BIG dream, I would love to see the Bears trade back with the Pittsburgh Steelers and take a lineman with the 17th pick, but acquire the 32nd pick along the way. With that 32nd pick, I would love to see Zay Flowers land with the Chicago Bears. I think most likely Flowers is going in the 20s, but if he happened to fall to the 32nd pick, if I was Ryan Poles, I couldn't run that selection to the podium fast enough. Flowers is small and needs to improve his routes, but he's slippery and lightning quick and I can only imagine the type of things Flowers could do with Justin Fields throwing him the football.
EJ Snyder: Cory Trice (Purdue) would be a really fun fit with the Bears as an outside CB in the middle rounds. He's got great size (6'3"/206) and is still very agile. He'd give Chicago a possible future second starter outside opposite Jaylon Johnson.
Editor: EJ is a running back film connoisseur, so he gave us a bonus response to the roundtable. He also punted on the next topic but more on that tomorrow.
EJ Part Deux: Roschon Johnson (Texas) would be a great complement to the Bears' RB room. He's got great size and was very productive for the Longhorns when he got touches. If Bijan Robinson wasn't at Texas I think we would have been talking about a Roschon as a top 5 RB in this draft.
Lester A. Wiltfong Jr.: Corner Jakorian Bennett from Maryland was one of the fastest players at the NFL Combine (4.3 forty), but he's physical and a willing run defender which makes him a nice developmental nickel prospect.
Robert Schmitz: Ohio State's Jaxon Smith-Njigba is the name on my Vontae Mack post-it note, but I really want the Bears to add a Tight End in the 3rd or 4th round. This Tight End class is deep, and if the Bears could add a potential starter like Tucker Kraft, Luke Schoonmaker, Will Mallory, Zack Kuntz, or even Darnell Washington if he somehow falls into the late 2nd round, I would personally be all over it. Lately, I've been taking Schoonmaker in the high 4th round because I love his gritty attitude when making the dirty blocks between the tackles that TEs have to make occasionally but also really like the play-speed he shows in both receiving and open-field blocking, but I'd take just about any of these guys and will spend the whole offseason talking about them if they do.
Luke Schoonmaker? More like Luke Swoonmaker!— Robert Schmitz (@robertkschmitz) April 17, 2023
Bad jokes aside, Schoonmaker is a TE that's easy to fall in love with -- he's big, he's athletic, and he's as hard-nosed a blocker as you'll find.
Anyone willing to meet Jack Campbell in the hole is a stud in my book. on for this! pic.twitter.com/MorHnfE3B2
Now it's your turn; besides the offensive and defensive lines, who do you want the Bears to draft?