The Chicago Bears are exactly three weeks away from going on the clock with a third-round pick. As we touched upon in Bullets, Olin Kreutz – a damn good third-round pick in his own right – will make the announcement. Pick a winner, Olin!
- Because the Bears don’t have a pick on Day 1, finding mock drafts that include potential picks on GM Ryan Pace’s radar are few and far between. But Pro Football Focus has us covered with a three-round mock from Steve Palazzolo and Mike Renner. In this mock, Palazzolo has the Bears selecting West Virginia offensive tackle Yodny Cajuste with the 87th overall pick. It’s an unexpected pick, to be sure, so let’s explore it.
- Cajuste grades out as one of the better offensive line prospects in the draft. PFF has Cajuste as having allowed just 11 pressures on 414 pass-blocking snaps last season. The Bears don’t have a need at offensive tackle after locking in Bobby Massie and Charles Leno Jr. to multi-year extensions, but it wasn’t that long ago when Cajuste was a projected first-round pick. Back in January, PFF had Cajuste going to the Texans with the 23rd overall pick. Drafting a player with a first-round grade in the third round would be a steal, even if it’s not at a position of need.
- Chad Reuter has a mock draft at NFL.com in which he shares Bears picks in the third and fourth rounds. Nifty! In his latest mock, Reuter sends TCU edge defender Ben Banogu to Chicago with the team’s third-round pick, then had the team choosing running back Elijah Holyfield with its fourth-round selection. The Banogu mock pick was made before the Bears re-signed Aaron Lynch to a one-year deal to shore up the pass-rush, but one can never have enough edge defenders. However, the Holyfield pick is far more intriguing. Let’s talk it out for a moment.
- Elijah Holyfield, who rushed for 1,018 yards and scored 7 rushing touchdowns for Georgia last season, has a certain prospect pedigree as he is the son of famed heavyweight boxing champion Evander Holyfield. A projected fourth-round pick in a draft loaded with middle-round running backs, Reuter describes Holyfield’s timed speed (he ran the 40-yard dash in 4.78 seconds at the Combine) as not being indicative of his game speed – meaning he is faster than what the stop-watch suggests. The combination of power and speed in Holyfield’s game allows for projections of him being an early contributor as a rookie.
- This was a fun segment to watch:
- I can’t get enough running back information:
- DraftWire’s Luke Easterling also has a four-round mock draft that sends the Bears a running back prospect. Easterling forecasts the Bears will take Penn State running back Miles Sanders with their third-round pick. Sanders has been one of the running backs who has been most often mocked to go to the Bears during mock draft season, and I think the Bears would be okay with that if it happens. Sanders has a unique skill set and hasn’t taken the punishment most college rushers receive because he spent considerable time behind Saquon Barkley during his time in State College.
- The fourth-round selection Easterling sends Chicago’s way is more of an eyebrow raiser as he pegs James Madison cornerback Jimmy Moreland as the pick. Even after signing Buster Skrine to take Bryce Callahan’s spot in the secondary, one can never have enough cornerbacks. I don’t want to place Moreland in the slot just yet, but knowing how teams haven’t been shy to run four-receiver sets, there isn’t any harm in investing in another cornerback with upside.
- And what do you know, the Bears have their eyes on Moreland and are hosting him for a visit:
Jimmy Moreland, James Madison corner, has top 30 visits with Giants and 49ers and Bears #NFLDraftNews
— Aaron Wilson (@AaronWilson_NFL) April 1, 2019
- How do you not love cornerbacks with ball-playing skills?
- I’m digging this seven-round monster mock from Windy City Gridiron, which I feel addresses the Bears’ draft-related needs by using the best player available approach:
— Windy City Gridiron (@WCGridiron) April 4, 2019
- A mock draft without Bears picks:
Mock Draft 1.0. https://t.co/FRgQH3RPeu
— Brad Biggs (@BradBiggs) April 5, 2019
- We discussed Oshane Ximines as a prospect to keep tabs on from a Bears perspective, so let’s check out some highlights:
— Matt Bowen (@MattBowen41) April 4, 2019
- Ximines is the type of high-risk, high-reward prospect the Bears front office has liked in early drafts, so it wouldn’t surprise me if the Bears used one of their late-round picks to really bulk up on pass-rushers with upside. Much like the defensive back positions, there isn’t a team out there that couldn’t use more pass-rush help.
- Over at USA Today’s For The Win, Steven Ruiz highlights the Bears’ primary needs as running back, edge rusher, and cornerback, while also listing guard and kicker as “secondary” needs. It’s rare to see someone view kicker as something other than a top-tier need, but here we are.
- What’s fitting here is that Miles Sanders and Ben Banogu are the top two names to watch on Ruiz’s list have already been mentioned earlier in this post. Something about where there’s smoke, there’s fire goes here.
- Back off, Gase. You too, Loggains.
— Arthur Arkush (@ArthurArkush) April 5, 2019
- One of the draft’s top quarterback prospects meeting with four teams scheduled to play the Bears in 2019? Yep, that’ll land you in Bears Draft Notes:
Duke QB Daniel Jones has had recent private meetings and workouts in Durham, NC with the Giants, Broncos, Dolphins and Chargers, per source. He also is scheduled to visit the Redskins on Wednesday and Thursday.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) April 5, 2019
- A different type of draft note:
Some numbers from the previous decade of draft classes to reach free agency (2006-2015)…
48.9% of players failed to get a second NFL contract
Just 13.2% of the players to get a second NFL contract got that deal from the team that drafted them.
— Rich Hribar (@LordReebs) April 4, 2019
- Sneaking this into draft notes because I can: Ravens Head Coach John Harbaugh wants to move the draft up, according to Ben Volin of the Boston Globe. And frankly, I can appreciate Harbaugh’s honesty when discussing the matter. “Let’s be honest, they’re all coming,” Harbaugh said in reference to the college prospects. “Nobody’s taking their last semester of school. You want to get in the real world here? Let’s understand how it works. Because they end up graduating a high percentage of the time we get them, anyway, because we make sure they do. Let’s help them, but let’s not have them worried about running 40 times. Let’s get them working on football so they can contribute their first couple of years.”