Chicago Bears Mock Draft: Round 5 best case scenarios

Chicago Bears (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Chicago Bears (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Bears, Austin Bryant
Chicago Bears (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images) /

EDGE Austin Bryant, Clemson

Any time you can get an important player coming off a National Championship in the later rounds, I consider that a win. While Austin Bryant may not be ready to become a starter immediately as a pro, he definitely has the look of a key rotational rusher at the very least.

Last year with Clemson, he totaled 8.5 sacks and 15.0 tackles for loss. In 2017, he actually had a better season, statistically, when he compiled 15.5 tackles for loss, 8.5 sacks, two forced fumbles, an interception, and a pass defended. Bryant also amassed 50 tackles in 2017 as opposed to 45 in 2018, where he actually played one more game than he did the previous year.

Either way, Bryant’s consistency for two straight seasons has earned him a mid-round grade by most accounts. As an edge rusher or defensive end, Bryant has huge length he uses to his advantage. His frame would give the Bears a decision to make on whether he fits more as an edge rusher or an end, but ultimately he could be used as a situational pass rusher to begin with.

As a rookie, he likely wouldn’t contribute on a major level. But, he would provide much-needed depth going into the summer months and on into the season. The biggest thing he’d have to work on is his in-game strength. He’s built well at 270 pounds, but his overall balance isn’t quite there. He needs to win more matchups, instead of getting shoved to the ground. He’s capable, he just needs a bit more development.

Next. Bears Mock Draft: Round 4 best case scenario. dark

As a fifth rounder, Bryant would be a strong selection regardless. Solidifying the edge rusher position and bringing on a National Champion would make the fifth round a success.