We’re only 15 days away from the NFL Draft. Below is my third complete Chicago Bears mock draft, which is the second to last as I will unveil my fourth and final version the week of the draft.
Round 1 – 3rd overall
Jamal Adams (S), LSU
Previous Pick: Solomon Thomas (DE), Stanford
I’ve officially flip-flopped. My first mock had Chicago taking Adams, my second had Thomas and now I’m back with Adams. Why? Well, to put it simply, it’s his drive and determination. He inspires teammates, elevates their play and sets the standard. Adams, coupled with freshly signed Quintin Demps, would be a vast improvement from Adrian Amos and Harold Jones-Quartey. Adams is well-versed. He can cover in zone, man, and has the ball skills to create turnovers. He’s a reliable last line of defense, which is something I cannot say about any safety the Bears have fielded in a long time. Adams is the next Eric Berry. He will be a household name. Hopefully, he’s the next great Bears safety since Mike Brown.
Round 2 – 36th overall
Malik McDowell (DE), Michigan State
Previous Pick: Marlon Humphrey (CB), Alabama
When you look at McDowell’s tape, you can see glimpses of DeForest Buckner. His strength is shedding one-on-one blocks and can penetrate the pocket by utilizing his strength and arm length to set up a variety of moves. However, there have been questions regarding his motor and inconsistency with his effort, but that does not overly concern me. Vic Fangio has a knack of motivating his players and demanding them to play with urgency. I believe if he came to Chicago, the light would come on for McDowell. He possesses all of the traits to excel opposite of Akiem Hicks and would be an immediate upgrade over Mitch Unrein.
Round 3 – 67th overall
Taylor Moton (OT), Western Michigan
Previous Pick: Nathan Peterman (QB), Pittsburgh
Moton’s draft stock has risen ever since he produced a strong outing on John Fox’s North Team at the Senior Bowl. He has a massive frame and has experience starting at both right guard and tackle. I saw his draft profile call him a “bear with strong claws” and instantly thought it was a perfect fit. There are some questions regarding if he would be better suited at guard than at tackle, but either way, he provides excellent value here in the third round. One area the Bears have not addressed in free agency has been the exterior of the offensive line, so I have a feeling they snag one by the end of the second day of the draft.
Round 4 – 108th overall
Josh Reynolds (WR), Texas A&M
Previous Pick: Josh Reynolds (WR), Texas A&M
The Bears have already brought in speed by signing Markus Wheaton and Kendall Wright. So, why not add more? I’m a big fan of Reynolds, which is probably why he is the only remaining player from my first mock. He finished last season with 61 catches and 12 touchdowns. Reynolds is a dangerous vertical threat and would help the Bears stretch the field. He also dominates in the red zone and would be an excellent option in this offense.
Round 4 – 114th overall
Brad Kaaya (QB), Miami
Previous Pick: Jake Butt (TE), Michigan
It takes until the third day, but the Bears finally take a quarterback. Kaaya is someone the Bears have been doing their homework on since the early stages of last season. He’s a pro-style pocket passer who has experience playing under center and understands his limitations. Kaaya can read the entire field and throws with balance and has a quick release. He does struggle with his accuracy, proven by him consistently missing throws on immediate routes. That said, after some time developing behind Mike Glennon, Kaaya could take the reins by 2020.
Round 5 – 148th overall
Cole Hikutini (TE), Louisville
Previous Pick: Conor McDermot (OT), UCLA
Hikutini had a really strong 2016 season. He finished it with 49 receptions for 656 yards and eight touchdowns. He’s a dangerous threat that moves well in space and has the speed to attack over the top of linebackers. Hikutini does need to improve his blocking in order to become a legitimate NFL tight end. That said, there’s no rush for him to play with Zach Miller and Dion Sims atop the depth chart. Hikutini can be a sleeper pick in the fifth round.
Round 7 – 226th overall
Deatrich Wise Jr. (EDGE), Arkansas
Previous Pick: Deatrich Wise Jr. (EDGE), Arkansas
I’m sticking with Wise here. You can’t have too many players who can get after the quarterback. He has incredible arm length (35 inches) that allows him to generate impressive power in his punch and knock down passes (six over the last two seasons). His production dipped enough in his senior season to drop his stock. Wise has the traits to bounce back, and with Chicago’s current crop of pass rushers, Wise can be given time on the practice squad to work on his weaknesses. His length and power make him an attractive final pick of the draft for the Bears.