The Chicago Bears don’t have picks in the first two rounds in the upcoming NFL Draft, but that’s not the worst thing in the world. After all, winning the NFC North doesn’t happen without trading a for Khalil Mack, whose presence transformed the Bears’ defense into a top-tier unit.
And trading into a spot to take Anthony Miller (whose seven touchdowns led rookie receivers in 2018) was helpful in 2018 and figures to be a solid contributor for years to come. But still … mock drafts are fun and informative (and the Bears still do have some picks), so we’ll continue to monitor them as they land on our radar.
The ones we’ll keep tabs on the most are the seven-round mocks, which could give us an idea of what potential depth pieces could be on the Bears’ radar when they’re on the clock in Nashville.
Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller shares his first post-Super Bowl mock, a seven-round behemoth that provides a glimpse at what type of depth pieces could be on the board when the Bears go on the clock in Nashville. This is what Miller has the Bears doing with the four picks we know they have on draft weekend:
- ROUND 3: Sean Bunting, CB, Central Michigan
- ROUND 4: Benny Snell Jr., RB, Kentucky
- ROUND 5: Jalen Hurd, WR, Baylor
- ROUND 7: John Cominsky, DL Charleston
This mock doesn’t have many buzzworthy names, but Miller sends some intriguing prospects to Halas Hall with his selections.
For example, Sean Bunting was a first-team All-MAC cornerback for the Chippewas after a season in which he came up with 37 tackles and two interceptions. As a redshirt sophomore, Bunting came away with five interceptions (all of which came in the team’s final four games) and a team-leading 10 passes defended. At 6-1 and 181 pounds, Bunting looks the part and has a ceiling that projects as a long-term starter. When you see the likes of Patrick Mahomes, Aaron Rodgers, and Drew Brees on the schedule for 2019, a starting-caliber cornerback seems like an ideal place to start a draft.
Elsewhere … the Bears’ need to round out their backfield with someone who can contribute immediately, but also has the potential to start down the road. Benny Snell might be the ideal fit here. He entered the rotation as a true freshman in 2016, put together three consecutive 1,000-yard rushing seasons, and left Kentucky as its all-time rushing leader (3,873) and touchdowns leader (48). Only Herschel Walker (49) had more rushing touchdowns as a running back in SEC history than Snell. That’s elite company. Playmaking ability with a nose for the end zone makes Snell an ideal mid-round running back for Chicago.
If Snell isn’t the most intriguing player the Bears take in Miller’s mock, he’s definitely the most fun. Check this out highlight reel here: “I want people to know that when Benny Snell is here, I’ve got that winning mentality.” YEP. Sign me up.
As a late-round receiver, Jalen Hurd is an interesting choice. He has prospect pedigree (Tennessee’s Mr. Football in 2012) and was a standout at the University of Tennessee as a running back who rushed for 2,635 yards and scored 26 touchdowns (20 rushing, 6 receiving) in three years. Hurd transferred to Baylor in 2017 and re-invented himself as a receiver in a pass-happy scheme.
He caught 69 passes for 946 yards and four touchdowns, while also adding 209 rushing yards and three more scores on the ground. Possessing playmaking ability as a ball-carrier and pass-catcher is something that would probably put him on the Bears’ radar in the later rounds. A knee injury forced him out of Baylor’s bowl game last December, so that will need to be monitored as we move closer to draft weekend.
And then there’s Cominsky, a Division II defensive end who received an invite to the upcoming NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis. It’s not often when a D-II athlete gets invited to the combine, which says something about what NFL talent evaluators think of his upside. Cominksy was a Division II All-American on the field and an Academic All-American, to boot. Also, his highlight package is no joke:
And to think, Cominsky was a quarterback prospect coming in as a freshman. Evolution is fun, isn’t it?
But seriously … where are all the kickers?
As was the case in the last mock draft into which we dove, there were no kickers selected by the Bears – or anyone else for that matter. Should the Bears be unable to solve their place kicking problems in March during free agency, the fallback option would be to explore the undrafted free agent market if they decide to pass on using a late-round selection to find Cody Parkey’s replacement.
Two mock drafts without the Bears taking a player at their biggest position of need would be a cause for concern at any other position. But because we are in the infancy stages of mock draft season, not to mention the numerous options who could be available in free agency, there’s no reason to sweat the Bears not being connected to choosing a kicker in a mock draft. But come check in on us in a month or so to see how we’re doing.