Matt Nagy has been open and forthcoming with interesting perspectives since taking over as the Chicago Bears’ head coach.
Just don’t expect him to reveal any draft secrets:
#Bears coach Matt Nagy was asked if he'd prefer an offensive player with the No. 8 pick: "It would make sense, wouldn’t it? If you think I am going to tell you anything about where we’re going with this draft, you’re crazy. There are some special guys in that group there."
— Brad Biggs (@BradBiggs) March 27, 2018
- With wide receiver no longer viewed as a need that should be addressed with a first-round pick, we’re pretty much done seeing Alabama’s Calvin Ridley and SMU’s Courtland Sutton being mocked to the Bears with the eighth pick. So much for that budding consensus. Moving on, I think we’ll start seeing a new consensus form around Notre Dame guard Quenton Nelson.
- The fifth installment of the Chicago Sun-Times’ mock draft has Nelson falling to the Bears at No. 8. Drafting Nelson fills the hole at left guard opened up when the team decided not to pick up the third-year option on Josh Sitton’s deal. Long believed to be one of the draft’s best players and safest bets, there aren’t too many arguments to be made against taking Nelson – outside of the fact that interior linemen aren’t valued as highly as tackles. Still, if protecting the quarterback is as important as we all believe it to be, then why wouldn’t a team want to secure a top-tier talent when it has the chance?
- But if the Bears were to value other positions more highly than guard, there are other options available. Ohio State cornerback Denzel Ward could be the latest Buckeyes product to make an immediate impact on the defensive side of the ball in the NFL, following in the footsteps of secondary teammate Marshon Lattimore. Virginia Tech linebacker Tremaine Edmunds, Georgia linebacker Roquan Smith, and UTSA pass rusher Marcus Davenport are all options who would be available on the board in this mock.
- If you’re looking for a Bears draft-related trend, here’s one: Chicago has traded up in the first-round in each of the last two years to take a player they really want. Will Brinson of CBS Sports seems to think the Bears really want Nelson and it is reflected in his latest mock. Brinson has Pace moving up (again) for a third straight year with Nelson being his must-have player. And while the Bears don’t have a third-round pick in 2018 (which is what Brinson offers up as a possible payment to the Indianapolis Colts in this scenario), I suppose I can see where Pace trades up for a player – if only because I don’t like the idea of ruling anything out.
- The only thing that would be more controversial than drafting an interior lineman in the top-10 is moving up in the draft to get one. If this mock were to hold true, the Bears would be moving up to draft Nelson while passing on Penn State running back Saquon Barkley, Florida State safety Derwin James, Alabama defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick, Georgia inside linebacker Roquan Smith, and others. If you’re a believe in drafting the best player available regardless of position, the idea of drafting Nelson ahead of Barkley will be tough to swallow.
- It wouldn’t be a popular move and it will likely be widely ridiculed, but Nelson plays to his potential and becomes an immediate All-Pro lineman who helps Mitch Trubisky stay upright long enough to put up big numbers, then no one will care what the cost of drafting him was at the time. While we’re riding that tangent, the same goes for Trubisky. Do you remember what the Eagles traded to move up and draft Carson Wentz? (Pause for dramatic effect.) Exactly.
- Brinson’s CBS Sports teammate Chris Trapasso also has the Bears taking Nelson, but not trading up to do so. SB Nation’s latest mock also has Nelson landing in Chicago without the team mortgaging a pick (or picks) to do so. Getting Nelson without trading up to do so would be a much better situation for a team that could stand to add more picks.
- DraftWire’s Luke Easterling doesn’t have the Bears taking Nelson in the first round. Then again, it’s impossible to take a player who is already off the board. Easterling’s latest seven-round mock is one that addresses several areas of need with possible impact talent. Virginia Tech linebacker Tremaine Edmunds is the team’s go-to-guy in the first round, bringing versatility, athleticism, and potential pass-rushing prowess in a still growing 19-year-old. The team follows it up with another new receiver for Trubisky to throw to in Texas A&M’s Christian Kirk. Perhaps the Bears see Edmunds as the premier inside linebacker of this draft and want to keep him at one spot. If that’s the case, then drafting Georgia’s Lorenzo Carter in the fourth round to put on the opposite side of Leonard Floyd seems like a great value. I encourage you to go through the entire post to see what other picks Easterling has in store for the Bears.
- Kyle Crabbs of FanRag Sports also has a seven-round mock draft that starts with the Bears selecting Edmunds. And once again, a mock that features Edmunds early is followed by an edge defender. In Crabbs’ mock, he has Ohio State’s Sam Hubbard as the team’s second-round pick. Hubbard could be the latest impact pass rusher to come out of Ohio State. And while he has a late first-round grade, it’s possible he falls to Round 2. If that happens, that would be a heck of a win for the Bears on draft weekend.