The NFL Draft is 76 days away. And while the Bears don’t have a pick in either of the first two rounds, I still plan on keeping tabs on what happens in the early part of the draft because what the Lions, Packers, and Vikings do could shape the NFC North and the playoff picture in 2019. As the saying goes: “Keep your friends close and divisional rivals closer.”
- Just because the Bears don’t have a first-round pick doesn’t mean we shouldn’t know the draft order:
Only 76 days until the 2019 NFL Draft! pic.twitter.com/Q7ZQtMJ7Rp
— FOX Sports: NFL (@NFLonFOX) February 7, 2019
- Chad Reuter has a three-round mock draft at NFL.com and sends Ohio State receiver Terry McLaurin to the Bears in Round 3. “McLaurin’s always had speed,” Reuter writes. “but a big Senior Bowl week showed that he might now be a reliable enough receiver to go in the top 100.” We highlighted McLaurin as a player to watch at the Senior Bowl and the Buckeyes speedester did not disappoint. Chicago sent waves of change through its wide receivers room in 2018, but could always stand to add more depth and upside – especially with Kevin White and Joshua Bellamy approaching free agency.
- WGN Radio’s Adam Hoge has the most detailed mock draft of the bunch, sharing five picks in the process. Let’s give them a look:
- ROUND 3: Devin Singletary, RB, Florida Atlantic
- ROUND 4: Terry McLaurin, WR, Ohio State
- ROUND 5: Anthony Nelson, DE, Iowa
- ROUND 7: Montre Hartage, CB, Northwestern
- ROUND 7: Chase Hansen, LB/S, Utah
- Well, won’t you look at that … another mock draft linking McLaurin and the Bears! Because I expect at least one spot in the receivers room to open up because someone (either Bellamy or White) leaves for free agency, it would make sense for the Bears to fill that void with a younger, more cost-efficient player. And if that player happens to have some much-needed speed and upside, then so be it. McLaurin, Nelson, and Hartage are Big Ten standouts with positive traits that should transfer onto the NFL playing surface and can be further developed with professional coaching.
- The most intriguing prospect Hoge introduces is Singletary, a running back who forced the most missed tackles in college football, according to Pro Football Focus. Adding an elusive running back to the mix should be a high priority for the Bears. this offseason.
- I’m digging McLaurin’s work here:
— Brad Kelly (@BradKelly17) February 8, 2019
- Draft Wire’s Luke Easterling has an updated four-round mock draft. We’ll fast forward to Round 3, Pick No. 87, where the Bears select Penn State running back Miles Sanders. After spending time behind Giants stud Saquon Barkley at Penn State, but broke out with a 1,275-yard rushing season and scored nine touchdowns. It might not appear as if Chicago has a desperate need at the position, but Jordan Howard’s contract is up at the end of 2019 and Tarik Cohen’s rookie deal extends for just two more years. The Bears would be wise to add someone to their group who can round out the room this year, but also be a long-term option. Sanders won’t be the last running back connected to the Bears during mock draft season.
- Easterling also has the Bears taking Mississippi State cornerback Jamal Peters in the fourth round with the 119th overall selection. Peters was a four-star recruit coming out of high school and was Mississippi’s top-rated high school prospect when he committed to Mississippi State. At 6-2, 218, Peters has size, long strides, and solid tackling ability. I’m not sure he is the perfect slot corner replacement for Bryce Callahan, but perhaps his skills in man coverage will fit what Chuck Pagano likes from his DBs.
- If the Bears didn’t have Mitch Trubisky and were in a position to draft a quarterback, I’d be all-in on the Kyler Murray bandwagon:
By our leaderboards, Kyler Murray leads this year's NFL Draft Class QBs in … everything! pic.twitter.com/CX60ef3U7d
— Sports Info Solutions (@SportsInfo_SIS) February 7, 2019
- A different way to look at who’s going to the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis:
States representing the most players on the 2019 NFL Combine invite list (where they played HS football):
1. Florida 51
2. Texas 31
3. Georgia 25
4. California 25
5. Ohio 20
6. Louisiana 13
7. North Carolina 12
8. Mississippi 11
9. Tennessee 10
T-10. Pennsylvania/Virginia 9
— NFL Draft (@NFLDraft) February 7, 2019
- Bleacher Report’s Maurice Moton has a list of rising and falling prospects who are early in the 2019 draft process. I don’t want to put a ton of stock in early risers and fallers, but stock watches can be informative. At minimum, it puts players on our radar who might otherwise not have made it. The player who stands out to me the most here is Alabama safety Deionte Thompson, whose stock is apparently on the decline. BR teammate Matt Miller had him as a top-15 prospect in January, but going 35th in an early seven-round mock draft. A rough showing in the College Football Playoff games against Oklahoma and Clemson might have hurt his stock, but I’m not one to bet against Crimson Tide defensive backs as I am old enough to remember when Eddie Jackson was a first-round talent who happened to slip to the fourth round.
- Looking for sleepers? Brent Sobleski has you covered with some underrated prospects who are under the radar right now.