The time is almost here. Fans will either agonize over their team’s pick, or praise their general manager for being the smartest one in the room. On Thursday, lives will be changed and history will be made.
This draft is one of the deepest we have seen in awhile, and the Bears could very well benefit from that depth. Let’s look at who the Bears could take with their respective picks in today’s Chicago Bears mock draft.
First round: No.14- S Calvin Pryor, Louisville
I’m a man of my word, so when I say safety is the Chicago Bears’ biggest need, I stick with that decision. Pryor fits the mold of a prototypical Bears safety — he’s tough, rugged, and a playmaker. At 5-foot-11, 207 pounds, Pryor isn’t exactly the tallest safety out there, but he makes up for it with his tenacity, play-making ability, and the ability to make the highlight-reel hit.
He is extremely productive around the line of scrimmage, and has great closing speed, the latter of which has not been shown by a certain Bear as of late (*cough cough Conte cough*). If Pryor is available, GM Phil Emery will earn a ton of praise for selecting Pryor.
Second round: No. 19 (51st overall) – DT DaQuan Jones, Penn State
Jones would fit in perfectly with the Bears’ defensive line. At 6-foot-4, 322 pounds, you know he would be a force to be reckoned with alongside the already-imposing big bodies the Bears have on the line. He shed weight during his senior year and improved his stamina, making him more physical in the trenches and more dangerous overall. He has the versatility to play both 3-4 and 4-3, which is a plus considering the Bears will have coaches with experience with both schemes. Plus, Jones would add depth, as the Bears have had issues with DTs getting injured lately.
Third round: No. 18 (82nd overall) – ILB Shanye Skov, Stanford
With the aging of Lance Briggs and the continued struggles of the linebacking corp, Skov would light a fire under this unit and provide a much-needed splash of energy. Standing tall at 6-3, 244 pounds, Skov has both the ideal height and weight for the linebacker position, along with the physicality.
During his senior year, he amassed 109 total tackles (13 for loss) and 5.5 sacks, and was a very active linebacker for the Cardinal. He is very explosive, busting through holes to make the tackle in the backfield. These are all traits the Bears need to keep up their “Monsters of the Midway” moniker, so Emery would be wise to take him here.
Fourth round: No.17 (117th overall) – CB Pierre Desir, Lindenwood
Coming out of Lindenwood University, Desir is not a very well-known name to the casual football fan. To scouts and the media, however, he is very well-known. Scouts love Desir for his size (6-1, 198 pounds), and his instinctual play. He’s also experienced, as he was a four-year starter for Division-II Lindenwood.
The Bears love ballhawks, and Desir is just that. He finished second among all levels of NCAA football with nine interceptions, and he tied for the NCAA D-II lead with 18 passes defended. He also is tied for the sixth-most interceptions in the history of his conference (MIAA), so the Bears would gain another Tillman-like ballhawker.
Fifth round: No. 16 (156th overall) – TE Colt Lyerla, Oregon
An imposing figure at 6-foot-5, 246 pounds, Lyerla would make a great backup to current tight end Martellus Bennett, while also providing depth if the Bears choose to roll with more than two tight ends this upcoming season if Fendi Onobun develops into the player the Bears hope he will become.
Like Bennett, Lyerla is a great run-blocker, keeping his legs churning to sustain the block. He has very impressive Yards After Catch, or YAC, which is something the Bears continue to look for in their tight ends, although Bennett seems to have that covered. His weaknesses (relies on athleticism over technique, which causes problems with route-running, and the myriad of off-field issues) can be worked on and eradicated with some solid Bears coaching, and being reunited with OL Kyle Long would not hurt matters, either.
Sixth round: No. 7 (from Tampa Bay; 183rd overall )- RB Storm Johnson, Central Florida
What isn’t to like about a guy named “Storm”? He’s “lightning” quick, and is a dual factor in terms of bursting through gaps with the ball, and being patient enough to let the play develop and come to him. I liken him to Matt Forte — an effective stiff arm, out-runs pursuers, and can find holes when the play breaks down. Other media pundits have him falling to either the fifth or sixth round, so if he falls to the Bears here, he would be a great addition.
Sixth round: No. 15 (191st overall)- LB Chris Borland, Wisconsin
Rounding out the mock draft is Wisconsin linebacker Chris Borland. At 6-foot-0, 248 pounds, Borland is an intimidating factor. At Wisconsin, he amassed unbelievable numbers — specifically in 2011 — where he had 143 tackles (19 for loss), 2.5 sacks, 2 interceptions and 5 forced fumbles. Keep in mind, this was after season-ending shoulder surgery in 2010, so to perform like this after a huge surgery is phenomenal. He’s extremely active around the ball, showing the ability to blitz and make offensive linemen look like roadkill. He has some issues with coverage and getting depth, but the high effort he displayed throughout college should help him get past those issues.
Be sure to take a look at other mock drafts for other NFL teams at isportsweb.com.