If you’re looking for a mock draft that has something for everyone, this is it.
From No. 1 to No. 262.@dpbrugler's latest mock draft goes through all seven rounds.
◽️ First up: Aidan Hutchinson or Travon Walker?
◽️ Why the No. 3 pick is wide open
◽️ Could the Steelers move up for a QB?https://t.co/978dlfmetN
— The Athletic NFL (@TheAthleticNFL) April 14, 2022
Dane Brugler of The Athletic produced a seven-round behemoth of a mock draft. And his Bears picks check so many boxes.
The Freakishly Athletic Receiver
Christian Watson, North Dakota State
A three-year starter at FCS powerhouse North Dakota State, Watson is one of the most intriguing receivers in this class. At 6-5 and 208 pounds, he has the prototypical size of a playmaking “X” receiver that the Bears would love to give pair with Darnell Mooney for Justin Fields. And with a 4.36 second time in the 40-yard-dash and 38.5-inch vertical jump, Watson tested well enough to the point where his stock could jump him all the way into Round 1. However, Brugler has Watson falling to Chicago in the second round. Not that many would mind if that fortuitous bounce were to happen.
There are concerns about Watson’s hands, with PFF’s Ben Linsley pointing out Watson’s 12.7 percent drop rate in college. That number is straight up unsightly. But the juice could be worth the squeeze if Brugler’s WR10 were to work on that issue and trim that number in a significant manner.
A Big Baddie in the Trenches
Darrian Kinnard, OT, Kentucky
If adding one piece to the offensive puzzle on Day 2 is better, then why not double-dip?
Chicago’s needs at receiver are only matched in importance by its needs along the offensive line. Kentucky’s Darrian Kinnard could help in that regard. Kinnard, a three-year starter and a consensus All-American this past season, ranks third among guards on Brugler’s big board. But it swarth noting the UK prospect has experience at both tackle spots. Positional versatility in a top offensive line prospect is one of those things I wish more draft-eligible players had. And in the case of Kinnard, he has it — which could explain why Brugler pairs him with the Bears as a Round 3 pick.
SEC OT’s with the highest career grades (since 2014)
1️⃣ Darian Kinnard: 93.3
2️⃣ La’el Collins: 92.7
3️⃣ Isaiah Wynn: 91.3
4️⃣ Evan Neal: 88.4 pic.twitter.com/wr572z9mSi
— PFF Draft (@PFF_College) April 14, 2022
Help For the D
Perrion Winfrey, DT, Oklahoma
Even though Larry Ogunjobi’s deal didn’t go through because of a failed physical, the attempt at the signing gave us an inkling regarding a couple of things. Firstly, this regime values the 3-technique defensive tackle. So much so, it was willing to pay a top-of-the-market free agent deal to a player with some injury concerns that came with some yellow flags. And that is an important second tidbit. Because if the Bears are willing to pay good cash for that position, I can imagine they’d be into using good draft capital at addressing the position.
But that’s where Perrion Winfrey fits. The Oklahoma product is Brugler’s DT4. The Maywood, Ill., native was a Senior Bowl standout who was a two-year starter for the Sooners. He still has work to do as he grows as a player, but Brugler writes Winfrey’s “size, energy and the power in his hands help him to terrorize blockers.”
CorDale Flott, CB, LSU
LSU has a knack for developing defensive backs. So why not roll the dice with a Day 3 prospect who could slide in as an early option to play the role of nickel cornerback. CorDale Flott was a two-year starter for the Tigers who played a ton in LSU’s 4-2-5 defensive look. Considering the Bears’ flip to a 40 front that could feature two linebackers and five defensive backs, Flott’s familiarity with this alignment could be beneficial to him if he were to land in Chicago.
A Local Connection
Kyren Williams, RB, Notre Dame
It isn’t a draft weekend unless the Bears end up with a local connection by the time the dust settles. Whether it is in the draft or with a UDFA signing, Chicago’s football team always has some local flair. And while running back isn’t necessarily a position of need, Kyren Williams in a prospect who will garner some attention.
The Notre Dame product capped his college career with back-to-back 1,000-yard rushing seasons. He also tacked on 27 touchdowns for good measure. Williams isn’t a speedster (4.65 40-yard dash at the Combine) but is shifty, quick, and reliable catching passes out of the backfield. Brugler paints a picture of a complimentary back, which could make him a possible fit behind David Montgomery and Khalil Herbert in 2022.
First-Team All-Name Team Prospect
Smoke Monday, S, Auburn
Every NFL Draft class needs a prospect with a cool name. Something that sticks with you no matter how well he plays or where he goes after his time in Chicago. And when it comes to Auburn’s Smoke Monday, he certainly checks that box. But in addition to that, Monday has positional versatility as a safety, what Brugler calls a “competitive spirit that won’t go unnoticed by NFL coaches,” and potential to be a core special teams contributor. In other words, Smoke Monday is the perfect Day 3 pick who has the potential to become a training camp star based on name and effort alone.