Getting to Know the NFL Draft’s Top Edge Prospects, Potential Bears Targets, and Fits

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Getting to Know the NFL Draft’s Top Edge Prospects, Potential Bears Targets, and Fits

Chicago Bears

The Chicago Bears’ offseason of talent acquisition has one more – very important step: The 2018 NFL Draft.

After GM Ryan Pace made moves to add Allen Robinson, Taylor Gabriel, Trey Burton, Aaron Lynch, and others in free agency, the organization’s focus shifts to adding more young talent to the roster through the draft.

Despite an active free agency period, the Bears still have many needs. We’re going to look at some of the best prospects at various positions of interest leading up to the draft.

Previous: Quarterback, Running back, Wide receiver, Tight end, Offensive line, Defensive line/interior defender

Today: Edge defender

Need: High

Currently on the Roster (2017 Pro Football Focus Grade):

  • Aaron Lynch (78.7)
  • Leonard Floyd (74.5)
  • Sam Acho (67.3)
  • Howard Jones (54.5)
  • Isaiah Irving (no grade)

Pro Football Focus’ Top-5 Prospects:

  1. Harold Landry, Boston College
  2. Bradley Chubb, North Carolina State
  3. Marcus Davenport, UTSA
  4. Arden Key, LSU
  5. Ogbonnia Okoronkwo, Oklahoma

Best of the Rest: Hercules Mata’afa, Washington State; Kemoko Turay, Rutgers; Sam Hubbard, Ohio State; Chad Thomas, Miami (Fla.), Lorenzo Carter, Georgia

Team Fit

The Bears don’t have a bigger need at any position more than the one at outside linebacker/edge defender/pass rusher. Leonard Floyd and Sam Acho are returning starters, while Aaron Lynch joins the team on what is essentially a one-year prove it deal. Beyond that, the depth is limited and so is the upside. Chicago needs a difference-maker at this position in the worst way.

Most Likely to be Available When the Bears Are on the Clock:

Is Bradley Chubb likely to fall to the Bears at No. 8? No. Is it impossible? Also, no. I wouldn’t bank on Chubb being available, which means Harold Landry (who PFF ranks above Chubb on the site’s edge defender rankings) would likely be the best available prospect at the position. Arden Key would have been that player had he been able to mach his sophomore year production. Marcus Davenport has an outside chance of moving into the conversation for top-billing, but his struggles early during Senior Bowl Week might prevent that from happening.

The Bears Have Reportedly Met With…

Bradley Chubb, North Carolina State; Arden Key, LSU

(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

If I Had to Pick One:

I think so much of Chubb’s talent and potential, he is the only player in this draft class I’d probably be OK with the Bears trading up to draft. The Bears don’t have too much draft capital to work with, so I wouldn’t expect a deal to go down. But because stranger things have happened and GM Ryan Pace has a history of pulling a rabbit out of his hat on draft day, I won’t rule anything out.



Author: Luis Medina

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