The Chicago Bears finished the 2016-2017 NFL at 3-13, their worst season since 1982. En route to this finish we saw issues at depth along the offensive line, defensive line, tight end, wide receiver, and defensive back. Most pressing issues were front-end talent at the following positions: quarterback, cornerback, safety, tight end, and offensive tackle.
With regards to free agency, I did this mock draft under the assumption that the Bears will at least sign: one cornerback (Hopefully A.J. Bouye), lose or retain Alshon Jeffery short term (possibly one more year via franchise tag), and sign Calais Campbell (just for fun).
Below is my seven round mock for the Chicago Bears.
Round 1 (3): Patrick Mahomes II, QB, Texas Tech
Mahomes is my highest rated quarterback in this draft class. I wouldn’t be shocked if the Bears opted for DeShone Kizer or Deshaun Watson if available, but I’ll urge them to do something different. Bears fans must understand there is no growth in the comfort zone. His arm strength and downfield accuracy are impressive, and while he needs time to adjust to NFL nuance, he could become the playmaker at the QB position the Bears need in order to be contenders.
Round 2 (36): Jourdan Lewis, CB, Michigan
After two years of trial and (mostly) error, the Bears need to break the mold and stop chasing tall, stiff, zone cornerbacks. On tape, Lewis has consistently shown the ball skills, flexibility, and instinct, to be an immediate starter for this team.
Round 3 (67): Tedrick Thompson, S, Colorado
Thompson has been buried among a deep safety class, but with a good combine, I hope to see him become more popular. He’s not a great tackler but is a top-two free safety in terms of zone coverage and ball skills. Additionally, Thompson has the type of instincts to make Adrian Amos expendable.
Round 4 (109): Erik Magnuson, OT, Michigan
Magnuson is a guy who I projected as high as the first round of my most recent mock draft. I know this class doesn’t have many great prospects at tackle, and Magnuson is just under 6’5″, but his tape is great. He anchors in pass protection and can excel in a zone blocking scheme. Worst case scenario, they have a talented guard they can rely on if Kyle Long or Josh Sitton gets hurt.
Round 4 (115): Malachi Dupree, WR, LSU
Dupree didn’t finish his collegiate career in the way I would’ve thought after watching him a year ago, but he has some solid traits that can help him at the next level. On tape, he flashes good hip flexibility, runs solid routes, and a knack for tracking the deep ball. I see him as a WR the Chicago Bears could groom to be a starter if Alshon Jeffery, Cam Meredith, or Kevin White don’t make the 2018 roster. Worst case, this move will add depth and make names such as Marquess Wilson, Eddie Royal, Josh Bellamy, and Deonte Thompson immediately expendable.
Round 5 (148): Jonnu Smith, TE, FIU
Nope, I didn’t forget to address the hole at the tight end position. Smith in the fifth round is a great value, he’s a reliable receiver and could be a timely replacement for Zach Miller. Also, I believe will surprise people with how well he will test.
Round 7 (224): William Likely III, CB, Maryland
Likely is probably about 5’9″ and close to about 180, his great vertical and explosive speed are what made me completely ignore the fact that he was a smaller corner. He’s currently training, and if he’s close to as explosive as he was before his injury, this pick would be a steal. Likely is great in man coverage, has good ball skills, and was a dangerous return man in college.
Follow Montel Hardy on Twitter, @MontelNFL