Just because Round 1 of the 2020 NFL Draft is in the books doesn’t mean the mock drafts will stop coming. Let’s take a look around the web to see who some of the experts have landing in Chicago.
• Lance Zierlein (NFL.com) might have my favorite second-round mock (at least from a Bears perspective. Zierlein sends Minnesota safety Antoine Winfield Jr. with the 43rd overall pick. And with the 50th selection, he has Chicago snagging Baylor wide receiver Denzel Mims. This would be quite the haul for the Bears if they were able to get a pair of potential Day 1 starters with their second-round selections.
• Winfield Jr. is coming off a season in which he earned unanimous All-American honors, won the Big Ten’s Defensive Back of the Year award, and was named first-team All-Big Ten. That his dad was a long-time pro for the Vikings only helps his case.
• Mims dropping to 50 would be unexpected, especially since there were plenty of first-round vibes surrounding the Baylor product heading into draft weekend. At 6-3 and 207 pounds, Mims has desired receiver size to go along with speed to burn (he ran a 4.38-second 40-yard dash at the Combine) that would make him an ideal fit for any offense — but specifically, for a Bears team that needs receiver help. Part of me thinks the Panthers will snag Mims earlier in the second round, especially since Mims played for first-year Carolina coach Matt Rhule. But that’s not always how the cookie crumbles. Let’s keep an eye on what shakes out early in the round.
• Over at CBS Sports, Chris Trapasso has a mock that has the Bears addressing needs in the secondary and at receiver … but with different prospects.
• Trapasso sends LSU cornerback Kristian Fulton to Chicago with the 43rd pick. “The Bears are more than happy to halt Fulton’s fall here, Trapasso writes. “He’s a super-versatile cornerback prospect with clean film.” If the Bears were to take Fulton at pick No. 43, Chicago would have drafted a higher-ranked cornerback prospect with the pick once owned by Las Vegas than the Raiders selected with the pick previously owned by the Bears. Fulton was CB4 on our composite ranking grade scale, while Damon Arnette (who went 19th to the Raiders) was CB10. (You can check out the rest of those rankings here).
• With the 50th pick, Trapasso mocks Clemson receiver Tee Higgins going to the Bears. Trapasso sees Higgins — listed at 6-4, 216 pounds — as “a fit for the aggressive Nick Foles.” That’s an interesting angle. My gut says Foles will be the starter in Week 1, but I’m not willing to hand him the starting job in April. Anyway, back to the pick of Higgins, whom NFL.com draft analyst Lance Zierlein lists Bengals stud pass-catcher A.J. Green as an NFL comparison. That would be pretty neat if Higgins played to that potential.
• The mock draft put together by Michael David Smith (Pro Football Talk) is easily the most surprising, at least from a Bears fan’s point of view. With the 43rd pick, Smith has Chicago choosing Ohio State running back J.K. Dobbins. And with the 50th selection, Smith sends Southern Illinois safety Jeremy Chinn.
• The Chinn pick, it’s a sensible one. Although, it comes with some considerable head scratching. Passing on prospects such as Alabama CB Trevon Diggs, Penn State WR K.J. Hamler, Boise State OT Ezra Cleveland, and Alabama S Xavier McKinney (a much higher-ranked safety prospect than Chinn) comes with a fair amount of risk.
• Speaking of risk, tabbing Dobbins with the 43rd overall pick would be a stunner. The Bears don’t have a *NEED* to pick a running back, but Dobbins might be the highest-ranked prospect on the board. And if GM Ryan Pace were to strictly follow a “best player available” mandate, then I can envision where Dobbins is a fit. Teaming him with David Montgomery in the backfield, while passing on an early wide receiver, might force Head Coach Matt Nagy into running the ball more often because that’s where his offense’s best assets would be. But if the Pace was to make that leap of faith, the 50th pick might be better used on an offensive lineman.
• ESPN.com’s Steve Muench plucks a pair of prospects I think Bears fans would totally be into if they ended up in Chicago. Muench has LSU safety Grant Delpit going with the 43rd pick, while Louisiana-Lafayette guard Robert Hunt lands with the Bears at pick No. 50. If “Louisiana-Lafayette” rings a bell, it’s because that’s where Charles “Peanut” Tillman played his college ball. If the Bears were to double-dip there and Hunt became a fixture on the offensive line the way Tillman did in the secondary, then that would be wonderful.
• Dane Brugler (The Athletic) goes all-in on maxing out the Bears defense in his second-round mock. Burgler has the Bears snagging the top safety available in Alabama’s Xavier McKinney with pick No. 43. Down the line, Brugler mocks Boise State edge rusher Curtis Weaver to Chicago with the 50th pick.
• If you thought watching an offensive line prospect jump out of a pool triggered Bears fans last night, hearing a Boise State pass-rusher go to Chicago might break Twitter.
• On the other hand, maybe the McKinney pick would be so good that people might forget the Weaver pick.
• On second thought … nah. Picking Weaver and passing on cornerbacks like Diggs and Felton, offensive linemen like Hunt or UConn’s Matt Peart, and receivers like Hamler, Higgins, and Laviska Shenault Jr. wouldn’t please me one bit.
• Also at The Athletic, Adam Jahns ranks his 15 best available prospects:
Who are the best available prospects for the #Bears in Round 2?
My list of 15, including trade-back options.
(Free 90-day trial in the link.)
— Adam Jahns (@adamjahns) April 24, 2020
• And in case you missed it, here’s our composite list of best available players:
These Are the Best Available Prospects as We Enter Day 2 of the 2020 NFL Draft https://t.co/9OErs9gW7j
— Bleacher Nation Bears (@BN_Bears) April 24, 2020