Seven-Round Mock, Pass Rush Prospect, Value In Protection Over Workout Stats, and Other Bullets

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Seven-Round Mock, Pass Rush Prospect, Value In Protection Over Workout Stats, and Other Bullets

Chicago Bears

A good run for a good cause is one of the best things to annually come from the NFL Scouting Combine, and the Bears did their part in participating in the #RunRichRun movement:

  • The post-Combine mocks continue to roll in, with WGN’s Adam Hoge being the latest to share his projection. Hoge lists Notre Dame guard Quenton Nelson, Penn State running back Saquon Barkley, Alabama defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick, and North Carolina State pass rusher Bradley Chubb as the prospects he would like the most for the Bears, but the chances of one of those players being available when Chicago is on the clock are pretty slim. With that in mind, Hoge sends Iowa cornerback Josh Jackson to the Bears with their first pick, valuing Jackson’s ball skills and instincts in man coverage over Ward’s raw speed and quick-twitch movements.
(Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)
  • Hoge’s mock is a seven-rounder that addresses needs with notable names, but some of the under-the-radar choices stand out. North Carolina A&T left tackle Brandon Parker would represent the Bears taking a late-round flier along the offensive line for the fourth straight year. Northwestern running back Justin Jackson could be a nice fit among the running back group with Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen, especially with Benny Cunningham hitting free agency.
  • In an ideal world, the Bears can pull a draft day shocker by plucking a player like Nelson, Barkley, Fitzpatrick, or Chubb because a bunch of teams ahead of them take quarterbacks. As Patrick Finley of the Chicago Sun-Times points out, Bears fans should be hoping that quarterback-thirsty teams jump ahead of the Bears to take their signal-caller-of-the-future, which would force some pretty neat targets to fall down the draft board.
  • If I had to guess which of those dream candidates lasts to the Bears pick, here is how I would handicap it: Nelson, Fitzpatrick, Chubb, Barkley. That is to say I can picture Nelson dropping because teams are hesitant to commit to a guard in the top-5 and Fitzpatrick taking a tumble because he doesn’t necessarily have one position. Chubb is the draft’s best pass rusher, so it’s unlikely he falls outside the top-3, while Barkley is the draft’s top talent and has the Combine numbers to prove it.
  • Rich Campbell of the Chicago Tribune sees the shortage of impact edge rushers on the Bears roster, so he compiled a list 10 options they could turn to in the draft. Tremaine Edmunds (Virginia Tech), Marcus Davenport (UTSA), Harold Landry (Boston College), Arden Key (LSU), Lorenzo Carter (Georgia), Sam Hubbard (Ohio State), and Kemoko Turay (Rutgers) join Chubb as the best of the bunch. Edmunds, Davenport, Key, and Carter are projected to go in the first two rounds and each has the kind of ultra-athletic pedigree that seems to entice the Bears’ decision makers. Just keep that in mind when pouring over your list of preferred prospects.
  • The only thing as important as rushing the passer is protecting him. With that being said, I liked what Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield had to say in support of teammate Orlando Brown after he struggled at the Combine. Brown didn’t test well and was mocked on social media for not producing great 40 times or bench press numbers. But none of that means anything to Mayfield, who knows first-hand how good Brown can be. “Look at his film,” Mayfield said, via Pro Football Talk. “He gave up zero sacks last year.”
  • To be fair, every time we watched Oklahoma play, it was Brown clearing space for the running game and keeping Bradford upright by dominating pass rushers. Combine numbers look nice, but Brown’s production shouldn’t be overlooked because he had some less-than-great testing numbers. But if Brown was to drop out of the first round altogether, it’s worth pointing out the Bears have the 39th overall pick – or to put it in differently – the seventh pick on Day 2.
  • We have spent a bunch of time discussing Quenton Nelson’s greatness as a guard prospect, but reading it from the perspective of the players who faced him really paints a picture of dominance. Over at NBC Sports Chicago, JJ Stankevitz gets some insight from Stanford defensive tackle Harrison Phillips, Georgia’s Trenton Thompson and John Atkins, and North Carolina State defensive lineman, among others to get the inside scoop on the draft’s best interior lineman.
  • Hayden Hurst has put a troublesome mental block behind him that caused him to leave baseball. But when one door closes, others tend to open and Hurst has since emerged as a top tight end prospect in this draft class. Patrick Finley’s profile at the Sun-Times digs into how the yips put a premature end to Hurst’s baseball career and how he made moves to become a possible Bears draft target. Chicago’s tight ends room is in limbo entering 2018. Adam Shaheen still has growth to make, Dion Sims could get cut, and Zach Miller is a free agent. If the Bears don’t address the position in free agency, Hurst could be a Day 2 option.

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Author: Luis Medina

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