It's Mock Draft Season! And the Bears Could Head in Any Direction

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It’s Mock Draft Season! And the Bears Could Head in Any Direction

Chicago Bears

At this time last year, we were up to our ears in mock drafts. But between a run to the top of the NFC North standings and not havinga first-round pick, early iterations of mock drafts weren’t worth following so early, this time around. However, with the Bears and 29 other teams preparing to watch Super Bowl LIII from the comforts of home, we’re finally ready to dig into the mocks.

Join us.

  • Offensive line figures to be a a place where draft gurus will make connections to the Bears. In addition to starting right tackle Bobby Massie being a free agent, right guard Kyle Long is the elder statesman of the offense and hasn’t played a healthy 16-game season since 2015. This is an area where the Bears could use reinforcements and some NFL Draft insiders see it, too.
  • Luke Easterling of Draft Wire has the Bears selecting South Carolina offensive tackle Dennis Daley with their first pick – which isn’t until the third round. We discussed Daley as someone to keep an eye on during Senior Bowl week and he’s someone who’ll be on our radar moving forward. As a junior college All-American and a two-year starter for the Gamecocks, Daley could make a play to be a Week 1 starter as a rookie, but that might be a lot to ask of someone who might be better off sliding inside to guard. In any case, Daley has the build and the floor of a suitable pro-caliber right tackle. But it’s not out of the realm of possibilities a strong showing at the Senior Bowl bumps him into the second round.
  • Walter Football’s mock drafts are among my favorite to keep tabs on, because the site seems in tune with team needs that might not be all up in your face. But when it comes to this updated version of the mock draft, the Bears taking Alabama State offensive tackle Tytus Howard makes a whole ton of sense. Howard is another Senior Bowl standout we’ll be keeping track of, especially since he could be the type of prospect who could step in and start at right tackle immediately. That WF notes the immediate need at the position and importance of getting it right as the team braces to potentially lose Massie makes me think this could be a place where the Bears target a Day 1 starter.
  • Elsewhere, is tracking the first three rounds of the draft at this point and sends Iowa defensive end Anthony Nelson to Chicago with the 88th overall selection. Nelson checks in at 6-foot-7 and 270 pounds and is coming off a junior season in which he racked up 9.5 sacks and 13.5 tackles-for-loss. The Bears don’t have a desperate need on the defensive line or at edge rusher, but you can never have too many options rushing the passer. For what it’s worth, ranks Nelson 16th among defensive ends and projects him to go in rounds 3-5. Depending on what happens in free agency, perhaps Nelson will be a fit here when draft weekend rolls around.
  • Over at CBS Sports, R.J. White highlights a handful of prospects who could be fits for the Bears when they go on the clock. Wisconsin offensive tackle David Edwards, Ohio State cornerback Kendall Sheffield, and Mississippi State safety Johnathan Abram stand out as probable targets on Day 2 who could fall into the team’s laps. What’s most fitting about these prospects is that each projects to fill in a position where the Bears could lose an impact starter in free agency. Edwards for Massie, Sheffield for slot corner Bryce Callahan, and Abram as a developmental piece who could grow into a starting role – much like Adrian Amos, the safety who could be on his way out the door.

Author: Luis Medina

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