I’m going to attempt to determine where the best value will be at every one of the Bears picks based on who should be there when they’re pick comes up. In this blog I’m focusing on defensive tackle.
14th overall- Aaron Donald- Pitt- Although I’m falling on the side that he’ll get picked before he makes it to the Bears there still is a good chance he falls in their laps. What can I say that hasn’t already been said. The kids clearly the best defensive tackle in the draft. His measurables along with his production not to mention his tape clearly define him as such. His size may actually be an advantage to him as he’ll have natural leverage. The Bears would be fools to pass him up should he be there, and defensive tackle is the position they target here.
Alternate choice: Timmy Jernigan- FSU- Some would say RaShede Hageman would be the best alternate choice. Heck some say the number one choice, but as talented, and physically imposing as Hageman is he also has red flags all over the place. Jernigan has a much higher floor while still projecting for a higher ceiling.
51st overall- Dominique Easley- Florida- It’s pretty much an assumption on my part and many others that a penetrating 3 technique is far more preferable to the Bears than a 2 gap space eater. So Easley is the next best thing if they don’t get Donald. An impressive athlete who may have been a top 10 pick if he didn’t tear his ACL.
Alternate pick: Will Sutton- Arizona State: Another kid that projects as a 3 technique, but was asked to gain weight to play more of a 2 gap style. Everyone who follows the draft as obsessively as I do knows it hurt his athletic ability. The thought is he’ll slim down get fit, and return to that cat quick disruptive force up the middle of the defense he was before he gained all that weight.
82nd overall- Kelcy Quarles- South Carolina- Great production that is questioned by some, because they feel he benefited from the presence of Jadaveon Clowney. I would argue that Clowney probably took some plays away from him. He offers positional versatility which raises his stock even higher than it already is.
Alternate pick: Ego Ferguson- LSU- Ferguson has a unique blend of size, speed, athleticism, and power. This gives him positional flexibility, and makes him scheme transcendent. If he puts it all together he may actually wind up being the best all around tackle out of this draft.
117th overall- DaQuan Jones- Big and athletic. Offers positional versatility as a 0, 5, and 3 technique. His only real knock is anticipation, and a poor first step. Great leadership, good citizen, and a high IQ to go with his high motor, and effort.
Alternate pick: Anthony Johnson- LSU- Johnson actually came into LSU’s program built more like a zero technique at over 330. He’s now down to 295. Johnson brings the same versatility as his teammate Ferguson which could make for a tough choice should both be on the board at this point in the draft.
156th overall- George Uko- USC- Another DT that offers positional versatility. Uko has long arms, and good hands to keeps blockers from getting a good hold of him. He’s got good size that projects to handling even more mass added to his frame. Very good athlete who played End and both DT spots.
Alternate pick: Deandre Coleman- California- Pretty good athlete for a big man. Can play 5 technique as well so offers some positional versatility. He’s pretty much a run stuffer, but can be an exceptional one.
183rd overall- Khyri Thornton- Southern Miss- Nice size, and quickness. Lots of raw ability in Thorton that would need some nurturing along at the next level, but a lot to like this far down the board. Could be a good rotational player day one.
Alternate pick: Shamar Stephen- Connecticut- Stephen is a large mass of humanity. Very strong powerful player who can take on double teams and not lose ground. Run stuffer/space eater/blocker occupier type primarily.
191st overall- Ryan Carrethers- Arkansas State- Big strong zero technique or 4-3 NT. Has surprising athleticism, and contributed with a pass rush this season to go along with his run stuffing ways. Even blocked a kick. Great value here.
Alternate pick: Jay Bromley- Syracuse- Great production in 2013 as a senior. He led Syracuse in sacks with 10 and tackles for loss with 14.5. Poor technique and pad level drop him down.