All that can be gained from the Bears’ remaining games is internal development. Ryan Poles and the rest of the front office have likely fixed their collective gaze on the offseason by this point. Justin Fields has shown plenty of promise this season and now it’s time to get some more talent around him. I’ve done a four-round mock draft for the Bears with PFF’s Mock Draft Simulator.
Bear With These Guys
Very few positions on this roster have a long-term solution in place but for the sake of this exercise I’ll list them here:
- Safety – Jaquan Brisker – 23y/o – could play either free or strong
- Left Tackle – Braxton Jones – 23y/o – very strong play after a shaky start to the season, only four pressures and zero sacks allowed in his last four games.
- CB1 or CB2 – Jaylon Johnson – 23y/o – may not have CB1 upside on a great defense
- LB2 – Jack Sanborn – 22 y/o – they should look for a more athletic off-ball backer who has more coverage capability to compliment Sanborn, but he is a smart player and an absolute tackle machine
- RG – Teven Jenkins – 24y/o – it looks like the spat is over. Jenkins has been a stud at guard since the switch from tackle.
- QB – Justin Fields – 22 y/o – I mean
- RB – You could put David Montgomery or Khalil Herbert here, both solid young backs, 25 and 24 respectively.
- I do like Mooney and Claypool and Kmet but this group of pass-catchers is far from complete.
- Maybe CB Kyler Gordon, we’ll see about RT Alex Leatherwood
The rest of the Bears roster is either aging, or a replacement-level (or worse) talent.
Regardless of how Free Agency (and the draft for that matter) turns out, this still won’t be a complete roster by the beginnning of next season. This leaves us with everyone’s favorite draft mindset: BPA (Best Player Available). With all of that out of the way, let’s mock.
First Round, Second Overall Pick – Will Anderson Jr., EDGE, Bama
Houston went with Bryce Young number one here so we were still left with our pick of the litter (Bear joke). Anderson is an absolute freak off the edge. Measuring in at six-foot-four, 245 pounds, he has excellent bend, top-notch burst, and impressive strength for his frame.
His greatest asset against most NFL o-linemen will undoubtedly be his speed and agility. The other side of that coin of course can be strength/weight concerns for a true edge-setter. Teams don’t spend the second overall pick on edge players who should come off the field on running downs. Good news is, there is definitely room on his frame to add some weight.
Second Round, 52nd Overall Pick – Christian Gonzalez, CB, Oregon
Here I found Christian Gonzalez too good to pass up at 52. The Bears of course traded the 33rd (if the season ended today) pick for WR Chase Claypool and Center John Michael Schmitz of Minnesota had just gone off the board. Gonzalez is a rangey boundary corner with great speed and length.
At six-foot-two, 200 pounds with long arms, Gonzalez could spell trouble for some NFL recievers. Gonzalez’ skillset would complement the current group as well, filling the void at the other outside corner opposite Jaylon Johnson while the Bears’ brass hopes for more growth from 2021 second-rounder Kyler Gordon in the slot.
Third Round, 65th Overall Pick – Cody Mauch, OT/OG, NDSU
Cody Mauch just looks like an offensive lineman. Six-foot-five, about 310 pounds, missing his front teeth. A force in the run game and a stout pass protector, Mauch can do it all.
Last time he was measure his arms were under 32″ which, for an NFL offensive tackle, is tough to get away with. He will most likely play guard at the next level.
Fourth Round, 97th Overall Pick – Jalin Hyatt, WR, Tennessee
The 2022 Biletnikoff Award (best college receiver) winner was still available here in the early fourth and I couldn’t pass him up. His slender, six-foot, 175 pound frame is a big reason he will fall but he has all of the intangibles to succeed at the next level if he can fill out his frame.
He could operate out of the slot mostly (although Claypool takes a lot of snaps there as well) and cna run just about every route. He does not have top-end athleticism but could still be a very solid pro.
The rest of the roster holes, of course, will be filled with free agency prior to the draft.
I passed on tackle propects like Zion Nelson, Dawand Jones and Jaelyn Duncan in favor of Mauch this time around.
I also favored Gonzalez over Eli Ricks of Alabama and Syracuse’s Garrett Williams.
Jalen Carter, IDL, Georgia, could get SERIOUS consideration as the first non-quarterback off the board
Who is your favorite prospect selected in this mock draft?
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