ESPN’s Todd McShay has the Chicago Bears’ best interests in mind with his latest three-round mock draft. And even though the Bears have just two picks, this mock sends quality players on both sides of the ball to Chicago.
With the eighth overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, McShay mocked Georgia linebacker Roquan Smith to the Bears.
Smith was a tackling machine for the Bulldogs, leading a top-tier defense to an SEC Championship and into the College Football Playoff championship game. And on an individual level, Smith’s final season on campus was a great one. Smith earned consensus All-American, was named first-team All-SEC, selected as the SEC’s Defensive Player of the Year, awarded the SEC Championship Game MVP, and given the Butkus Award for being the nation’s best linebacker.
Smith projects to be an instant starter and someone who can solidify the interior of the Bears’ defense. And if all goes well, Smith could be a Pro Bowl caliber player in the heart of a defense with his speed (4.51 40-yard dash at the Combine), instincts, and skills. He is the best pure inside linebacker prospect in the draft and would be a surprise if he fell out of the top-10.
McShay has the Bears also finding value in the second round, sending Ohio State guard Billy Price to Chicago.
Price was ticketed to be a first-rounder, until he tore a pectoral muscle while doing the bench press at the Combine. That injury will likely drop him out of the first round and possibly into the Bears’ laps. If it happens, it could be one of the draft’s biggest steals.
Price is one of the draft’s most intriguing offensive line prospects because excelled at three different positions. He is best known for being the nation’s top center, a unanimous All-American at the position, and the Rimington Trophy, which is awarded to college football’s best center. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Price was a starter at guard (three at left guard, 12 at right) for the Buckeyes’ national championship team in 2014 as a freshman. A year later, he earned third-team All-Big Ten honors as the team’s starting left guard. Price also earned second-team All-American honors as a right guard in 2016.
How the Bears’ draft board changes in the wake of the team’s decision not to match the offer sheet Cameron Meredith signed with the Saints is still to be determined. Chicago might be more inclined to draft a receiver with their second round pick, where there figures to be plenty of talented players available there and throughout the second and third days of the draft.