With the draft three weeks away, I will throw my hat in the ring. I will mock the draft (maybe literally) for the Bears.
I have to say, this is more difficult than I had imagined. I have no stake in any of these players, but it felt like I did after all the research done on them. I have a new-found respect for the officials that have to make these decisions.
I feel that Phil Emery will pull off a trade, especially in the first round, and if he does, he will probably go after Aaron Donald. I will do it without trades, however. With that being said, here is my Chicago Bears full seven round mock:
Round 1 (14)- Justin Gilbert-CB, Oklahoma St.
I wrestled long and hard with this one. I, like many, love Donald. Gilbert,however, is the epitome of what Emery said he wanted after the season ended. He is an athletic playmaker who has a nose for the ball. He has the size (6’0, 202) and the speed (4.37) to stay with the new breed of receiver. He also has the aggressiveness needed to force turnovers, and would be a perfect replacement for Charles Tillman when he leaves. He would be a great pupil for Peanut’s teachings.
Round 2 (51)- Deone Bucannon-SS, Washington St.
Bucannon is a hard-hitting, aggressive safety. He is a fierce competitor with size (6’1″, 211 pounds). Had 78 solo tackles (11th in the country). He had three forced fumbles and six interceptions (15 in his career), which demonstrate his abilities against both the run and pass. This is another player Emery is looking to have on the Bears defense.
Round 3(82)- Justin Ellis-DT, Louisiana Tech
Ellis has a massive, wide body (6’2″, 334 pounds), who should be a great run stuffer, which would help enormously on a Bears team that was last in the league against the run last season. He has long arms and heavy hands that help him shed blockers, which makes him pretty good against the pass as well. In addition to being a load to handle, he is explosive off the ball, and is a quick thinker, reacting well to what blockers are doing.
Round 4(117) – Kenny Ladler-FS, Vanderbilt
Another athletic, aggressive safety. He is a good open field tackler who delivers big hits, forcing five fumbles in 2013 (do you notice a pattern here?). Has starting experience at both safety positions. Uses his instincts well, he is able to diagnose a play quickly and then attack. In addition to the fumbles, he was second in the SEC with five interceptions, and led his team with 91 total tackles. A guy who can uphold the Bears’ tradition of hard hitters.
Round 5(156)- Christian Jones-ILB, Florida St.
A tremendous athlete with great footwork. He is tall (6’3″)and has long arms, allowing him to blanket receivers downfield. While in pursuit, he uses textbook perfect technique and speed to take down the action. Has played outside, inside and middle linebacker in his college career.
Round 6 -183(From Tampa Bay)- Tyler Gaffney-RB, Stanford
The Bears must address their backup running back position, since, as of now, there is no backup running back. Gaffney is a strong runner. He is a physical runner who runs hard. He doesn’t mind taking on tacklers, enjoying delivering hits. Is a good blocker, and can catch out of the backfield. Finished in the top 10 in both yards (1,709) and touchdowns (21).
Round Six(191)- Richard Rodgers-TE, California
Rodgers is a lanky athlete with good initial quickness who is able to beat defenders downfield. He has long arms, which help him with his blocking. He has soft hands so he is able to gather in and secure passes. He usually played at 275 pounds, but showed team commitment by dropping 30 pounds when his coach wanted him to play an oversized wide receiver. Has the ability to play the Joker role, playing tight end, wide receiver, lineman, and even full back. Will do anything to play on the team. The Bears could use a “utility man” who can provide extra depth.