Calvin Ridley has been slotted here for several weeks, and he could still be the pick. However, Chicago may opt to take a slightly superior prospect and go after some receivers later. The Bears need some youth at cornerback, as Prince Amukamara doesn't seem like he's in the long-term plans. He's an impending free agent anyway.
Team sources have raved about Joshua Jackson, and there's a chance he's the first cornerback selected in the 2018 NFL Draft.
Rd. 2, Pk. 7
Rashaan Evans, ILB, Alabama
Pernell McPhee is a good player, but he hasn't been the most reliable person on the roster for the Bears. He's missed 10 games the past two years, so Chicago may part ways with him in the offseason because it would clear $7 million off the salary cap. If so, the Bears will be looking for a new edge rusher to pair with Leonard Floyd.
Rd. 4, Pk. 5
Trey Quinn, WR, SMU
Kevin White has been a bust thus far, while Cameron Meredith's long-term status is unclear because of the brutal injury he suffered in the preseason.
Rd. 4, Pk. 15
Dante Pettis, WR, Washington
It shouldn't surprise anyone if the Bears double up on receivers, given how desperate they are at the position.
The Bears could use a difference-maker on the back end of their defense. They signed Quintin Demps, so Adams would be a second strong safety, but he doesn't have the injury concerns of Malik Hooker. Additionally, Adams' leadership and personality fit other picks of the current regime in Leonard Floyd and Kevin White.
In 2016, Adams totaled 76 tackles with four passes broken and one interception. The junior is a future starting safety, who sources said during the preseason that they think is a top-20 talent. He is able to contribute in pass coverage in the underneath part of the field and is strong enough to play in the box.
Adams has versatility, but his play was subdued at times 2016, and perhaps he had the NFL on his mind. However, Adams turned it on and did play very well against Alabama and Ole Miss' receiving tight end Evan Engram. The 6-foot, 214-pound Adams has the size to play strong or free safety in the NFL, but seems to prefer strong safety, and that is more natural for him. He is an instinctive defender who always seems to be around the ball. In 2015, Adams had 67 tackles with six passes broken up and four interceptions. As a freshman, he recorded 66 tackles with five pass breakups.
Rd. 2, Pk. 2
Deshaun Watson, QB, Clemson
Let me preface this pick by saying I think Chicago will move back into the first round for Watson. The Bears have shown a ton of interest in him, and he could develop for a year behind Mike Glennon. Trading back into Round 1 for Watson would give Chicago a fifth-year option on his rookie contract, which could be massive savings if he pans out.
In 2016, Watson completed 67 percent of his passes for 4,593 yards with 41 touchdowns and 17 interceptions. He had nine rushing touchdowns as well. Watson turned in underwhelming performances during the year against Auburn, Troy, Georgia Tech and Louisville. However, he played much better during the final month of the regular season and in the postseason. Watson can start games slowly, but plays his best when the game is on the line in the fourth quarter.
A problem for Watson in 2016 was poor accuracy in the first two-thirds of the season. He has lots of room for improvement with his field vision and ball placement. Watson missed wide-open receivers for scores throughout 2016. Watson also throws a lot of interceptions, and some of them come from forcing passes rather than reading the field. He also will have to make a huge jump to a pro-style offense, which will entail learning to work under center and call plays in the huddle. The Clemson offense predetermined where Watson would throw pre-snap, so he will need to learn to make reads in the NFL. Watson is great off the field with work ethic, character, quiet leadership skills, and loving football. His accuracy was better late in the year and in the fourth quarter when the game was on the line.
As a sophomore, Watson (6-2, 221) made some beautiful passes and was a big-time point producer. Watson played really well in 2015 to lead Clemson to the National Championship game. In 2015, Watson completed 68 percent of his passes for 4,104 yards with 35 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. On the ground, he averaged 5.3 yards per carry for 1,105 yards with 12 scores.
Rd. 3, Pk. 3
Desmond King, FS/CB, Iowa
The Bears could use more cornerback help.
In 2016, King notched 58 tackles with seven passes broken up, three interceptions and one forced fumble. He also made some good kick and punt returns. King was one of the breakout players of 2015 as he displayed tremendous ball skills with eight interceptions and 13 passes broken up. He also had 72 tackles to go along with good returns on kicks and punts. In 2014, King totaled 64 tackles with five breakups and three interceptions. As a freshman, he had 69 tackles with eight passes batted.
King (5-10, 206) could have been an early round pick if he had declared for the 2016 NFL Draft. He is an instinctive corner with good ball skills, but running with speed receivers is a weakness for him in the NFL. Some teams might move him to safety, and that could be his best fit in the NFL.
Rd. 4, Pk. 4
Chad Hansen, WR, California
The Bears could use more wide receiver talent for their young quarterback.
Hansen (6-2, 202) was a wide receiver who impressed evaluators in 2016. California quarterback Davis Webb has second-day potential for the 2017 NFL Draft, and Hansen was his No. 1 receiver. In 2016, Hansen had 92 receptions for 1,249 yards with 11 touchdowns. It was a huge jump in production as Hansen made 19 catches for 249 yards and a score as a sophomore. Hansen has good size, but isn't the most explosive receiver. He could be a mid-round pick in the 2017 NFL Draft.
Rd. 4, Pk. 4
Dalvin Tomlinson, DT/NT, Alabama
The Bears grab some five-technique talent.
Tomlinson (6-3, 312) was a good run stuffer for Alabama and really improved late in the 2016 season with more plays in the backfield. He had 62 tackles with three sacks, four passes broken up and one forced fumble on the year. Tomlinson had a good week of practice at the Senior Bowl and wowed teams in the interview sessions. Tomlinson rotated into the game and totaled 34 tackles with six passes batted in 2015. With Jarran Reed and A'Shawn Robinson in the NFL, Tomlinson should take on a bigger role in 2016.
Rd. 5, Pk. 5
Ezra Robinson, CB, Tennessee State
The Bears could use cornerback upgrades, and Chicago has shown interest in Robinson.
Rd. 7, Pk. 7
Cameron Lee, G, Illinois State
The Bears grab some offensive line depth and have hosted Lee.
The Bears could use a play-maker and a scoring weapon for Mitch Trubisky. We have a long way to go before the 2018 NFL Draft, and right now, there isn't a clear-cut top wide receiver. I've heard scouts gush over Christian Kirk, while others have soured on him. Also, some scouts haven't been as enthusiastic about Calvin Ridley as the media is. I know some scouts who love the skill set and potential of Equanimeous St. Brown, but Notre Dame's quarterback play is hurting him, and some think of him as a second-day pick. I think of the receivers, Ridley might be the safest projection to go first from the group. <br> <br>
Ridley has 44 catches for 584 yards and two touchdowns in 2017. He totaled 82 yards on seven receptions with a touchdown against Florida State and its NFL-level secondary. The 6-foot-1, 188-pounder Ridley is capable of producing a lot more, but Alabama's ground-based offense and running quarterback limit his opportunities. If Ridley were playing at a school like West Virginia, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, or pretty much any Big XII school, his production would be off the charts. Ridley has quality height, speed and upside for the NFL. He does have a thinner frame though, and will need to add weight. <br> <br>
In 2016, Ridley made 72 catches for 769 yards with seven touchdowns. He had a tremendous freshman season for the Crimson Tide as the replacement for Amari Cooper. Ridley was very effective in that role with 89 receptions for 1,045 yards with seven touchdowns. He finished the 2015 season with impressive performances against Florida and Michigan State to help push Alabama to the National Championship.
Offense Style: Erhardt-Perkins
Defense Style: 3-4.
2017 Draft Picks:
2 Mitchell Trubisky QB NORTH CAROLINA
45 Adam Shaheen TE ASHLAND UNIVERSITY
112 Eddie Jackson S ALABAMA
119 Tarik Cohen RB NORTH CAROLINA A&T
147 Jordan Morgan G KUTZTOWN UNIVERSITY
Offense Rankings: Total 32 Pass 32 Run 12
Defense Rankings: Total 14 Pass 12 Run 15
Sacks Allowed Per Attempt: 23
Sacks per Attempt: 7
Areas of need: WR OT CB
Chicago has the worst offense in the NFL for one simple reason, they have no receivers. Kevin White is a bust and Chicago's rookie hasn't had much to work with in order to attract free-agent talent.
<i> 2017 NFL Mock Draft Pick (as of 3/27): Jonathan Allen, DL </i>
The Bears could use more talent at offensive tackle, especially a top left tackle to protect their quarterback. <br> <br>
McGlinchey was very impressive at left tackle for the Fighting Irish in 2016. He looked natural in pass protection, and one wouldn't have thought that he wasn't playing the position before 2016. <br> <br>
McGlinchey has excellent feet to get depth in his kick slide and cut off speed rushers. As a run blocker, McGlinchey can get movement at the point of attack. He flashes heavy hands to push defenders out of their gaps and open holes for his back. McGlinchey also has a nice ability to bend at the knee, and that in combination with his feet, keeps him from having to reach after edge rushers. His performance in 2016 protecting DeShone Kizer is evidence that McGlinchey is a future starting left tackle in the NFL and a first-round pick. <br> <br>
McGlinchey (6-7, 310) is a tough run blocker and has been part of a good Notre Dame line for years. In 2015, he showed well as a right tackle and had a more physical style of play than former Notre Dame left tackle Ronnie Stanley. The one area that McGlinchey really needs to improve is his repeated problem with false starts. <br> <br>
<u> <i> Pick change; previously Arden Key, DE </i> </u>
Chicago could use more receiving help for Mitch Trubisky, but that would be a significant reach with the sixth pick. Of the options available, the Bears grab a difference-maker at safety to pair with Quintin Demps. <br> <br>
James has 52 tackles with 10 passes batted and two interceptions in 2017. While he didn't put together flawless performances against Alabama and N.C. State this season, they were impressive overall. James was healthy and able to display his great instincts and rare combination of great size, speed, physicality and versatility. He played dime linebacker, nickel corner, free safety and strong safety, basically doing everything a coach could ask of him. The one steady problem James has had this season is some painful missed tackles, and he could have some limitations deep downfield, but he still is a tremendous strong safety with versatility. <br> <br>
James totaled 11 tackles and an interception through two games in 2016 before sustaining a season-ending knee injury. He had been playing well for Florida State. Entering last season, there was a lot of hype that James was an elite player and perhaps the best defensive player in college football. As a freshman in 2015, he had a strong debut with 91 tackles, 9.5 tackles for a loss, 4.5 sacks, four passes broken up and two forced fumbles, but zero interceptions. <br> <br>
The 6-foot-3, 211-pounder has a great athletic skill set with tremendous speed, instincts, and strength to hit. He shows the ability to do everything an NFL safety is needed to do. James is fast and long with coverage skills in the deep middle of the field. He also is strong enough to be the eighth man in the box and tackle.
<i> 2017 NFL Mock Draft Pick (as of 2/20): Mitch Trubisky, QB </i>
Key is too good to pass on for the Bears. Key and Leonard Floyd could restore a lethal pass rush for a new Monsters of the Midway. <br> <br>
Key was one of the best players in college football in 2016. He recorded 56 tackles with 14.5 for a loss, 12 sacks, three forced fumbles and three passes broken up on the year. Key is a dangerous pass-rusher with excellent speed and the ability to bend around the corner. He flashed a ton of potential as a freshman for LSU, totaling 41 tackles with 6.5 for a loss, five sacks and one pass broken up. The 6-foot-6, 231-pounder is a lightning-fast edge rusher with a ton of upside to develop. <br> <br>
<u> <i> Pick change; previously Mike McGlinchey, OT </i> </u>