A Consensus is Forming Around WR Calvin Ridley and the Bears in the First Round of the Draft

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A Consensus is Forming Around WR Calvin Ridley and the Bears in the First Round of the Draft

Chicago Bears

An early smattering of mock drafts seems to suggest that the Bears will make an upgrade to their offense with the eighth overall pick in 2018. In fact, we can be more specific than that.

Larry Mayer (ChicagoBears.com) recently rounded up 13 of the most recent mock drafts, and it revealed a growing consensus among various NFL pundits: Six of the 13 analysts have predicted that the Bears will choose Alabama wide receiver Calvin Ridley with the eighth overall pick this Spring. This shouldn’t come as much of a surprise considering the team’s needs at the position and Ridley’s ranking as college football’s best draft-eligible receiver prospect, but the growing consensus is pretty overwhelming.

Of course, some still see Ridley as a reach for the top ten. But perhaps it’s not as much of a stretch as we thought, especially if this many insiders are already forecasting Ridley to the Bears at eighth overall. There’s obviously an element of “need” to it for Chicago, and that could skew where he should go versus where he will go, but still, I think it’s fair to say that taking Ridley in the top ten would be considered an aggressive move, but one that most would understand for this Bears team, in particular.

(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Nick Klopis of Newsday sees the Bears plucking a different receiver in the first round, though, projecting SMU’s Courtland Sutton as the team’s No. 1 selection this April. At 6-4 and 215 pounds, Sutton could use his frame to make the kind of contested catches on deep balls the offense lacked in 2017.

Bu it’s not as though wide receiver is the only direction the Bears could go on Day 1 of the draft. For example, four analysts mocked Ohio State cornerback Denzel Ward to the Bears with the eighth pick. Much like Ridley, Ward is a potential playmaker at a possible position of need – especially if Kyle Fuller and Prince Amukamara leave in free agency. Bucky Brooks describes Ward as a premier starting corner, while Daniel Jeremiah notes he has the tools to play inside and out despite lacking ideal size.

Ward isn’t the only cornerback mocked to go to the Bears, as SB Nation’s Dan Kadar envisions Chicago taking Alabama defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick. There is a case to be made for Fitzpatrick as the draft’s best defensive player. The Crimson Tide standout would slide into a full-time cornerback role if he fell to the Bears at eight, but it’s a spot he played often in Nick Saban’s defense.

The only other defensive player mocked to the Bears in this round was LSU edge defender Arden Key, who could fill in at a spot where Chicago lost four players to injured reserve.

But in the end, a majority of pundits are still guessing that the Bears will go the offensive route (specifically WR) in the first round this April, most often with Calvin Ridley square in their sights. And given their investment in QB Mitch Trubisky (and the so-far-so-bad wide receivers room), I don’t expect to see much push back on that either.


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Author: Luis Medina

Luis Medina is a Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at@lcm1986.