I've had the Bears selecting Mitchell Trubisky here for the past month-and-a-half, but I don't think they'll go in that direction in the wake of paying Mike Glennon a ton of money.
Instead, Chicago can focus on its defense. Jonathan Allen is the best player available, and he would fill a big hole on the defensive line across from Akiem Hicks. There are some concerns with Allen's shoulders, but those could just be overblown. I'm sure Chicago would have a difficult time passing up on a major talent like Allen.
Rd. 2, Pk. 4
Zay Jones, WR, East Carolina
The Bears lost Alshon Jeffery this offseason, while Kevin White has yet to prove that he can remain healthy. Using an early-round selection on a receiver makes a lot of sense.
Pick change; previously Ahkello Witherspoon, CB
Rd. 3, Pk. 3
Chidobe Awuzie, CB, Colorado
The Bears signed Prince Amukamara, but that was to a 1-year deal. This pick could be used on a more long-term solution.
Pick change; previously Carlos Henderson, WR
Rd. 4, Pk. 4
George Kittle, TE, Iowa
The Bears could go for combine standout George Kittle, as their starting tight end, Zach Miller, is skilled, but often injured.
Rd. 4, Pk. 10
Mock is currently being worked on. Last updated 3 hour(s) 13 minute(s) ago
Rd. 5, Pk. 3
Mock is currently being worked on. Last updated 3 hour(s) 13 minute(s) ago
2016 First Round Pick: Leonard Floyd, Georgia (9)
2016 Offense Rankings: Total (15) Pass (14) Rush (17)
2016 Defense Rankings: Total (16) Pass (7) Rush (27)
2017 Projected Salary Cap Space: $53,988,863
Needs: (1)QB, (2)OL(2x), (3)WR, (4)34OLB(D), (5)CB(D)
GM: Ryan Pace Head Coach: John Fox
Offensive Coordinator: Dowell Loggains Defensive Coordinator: Vic Fangio
Offensive Scheme: Erhardt-Perkins Defensive Scheme: 3-4
DT: NT: DE:
(1) Hicks (1) Goldman (1) Allen
(2) Bullard (2) Sutton (2) Washington
NFL.com Grade: 6.81 ESPN Grade: 94 NFL Comparison: Fletcher Cox
Measurables: H: 6'3 W: 292 40: 4.76
Allen won the 2016 Chuck Bednarik and Bronco Nagurski Award as the nation's top defender on the nation's top defense in 2016 (69 tackles, 16 TFL, led team with 10.5 sacks). He repeated as first-team All-SEC following an excellent junior year where he finished second in the SEC with 12 sacks (14.5 TFL, 4 PBU). The 2012 Virginia Gatorade High School Player of the Year contributed early in his first year, playing regularly as a freshman reserve (16 tackles, three TFL) and then stepped into the starting lineup as a sophomore (11.5 TFL, 5.5 sacks).
Outstanding leader and athlete with an ability to rush the passer from outside or inside. Has produced against the run and pass thanks to his strength, agility, elite hand usage, and plus footwork. He might not be the cleanest fit inside as a full-time tackle for some teams, but his talent should trump any size concerns. Allen is a likely first-round selection with Pro Bowl potential down the road.
Chicago realizes that they can save $14-million against the cap by releasing Jay Cutler in 2017 assuming he doesn't deliver. Jay Cutler, Brian Hoyer, and Matt Barkley are not enticing options at quarterback.
At the same time, this is a weak quarterback group plus head coach John Fox is coming back. Chicago can save $16-million if they wait until 2018 to release Cutler and Chicago has $62-million to spend this year. If you think about it from a financial standpoint Chicago is more likely to need $16-million in 2018 than $14-million in 2017 for salary cap room plus if John Fox got to keep his job this year it may imply that Cutler gets to keep his job. Also drafting a new quarterback in this weak class and firing Fox the following year also implies that you are setting your quarterback up to fail.
Chicago can save $1-million in cap space if they release 3-4 right end Mitch Unrein and they can save $5-million in cap space by releasing 3-4 left end Akeim Hicks. Both are in contract years heading into 2017, plus this pass rush would make a major improvement if you had Allen at 3-4 right end and Jonathan Bullard your 2016 third round pick at 3-4 left end next to Allen with Eddie Goldman your 2015 second round pick at nose tackle this could potentially be one of the best 3-4 defensive lines in the entire NFL if all 3 of those guys managed to start next season. That would at least make the Bears competitive even with a quarterback as incompetent as Cutler or a head coach as incompetent as Fox.
The Bears pick Alabama senior Jonathan Allen here over a quarterback. Jonathan Allen had 10.5 sacks, 16 tackles for a loss, and 15 quarterback hurries in 2016 during his senior season. My biggest concern with Allen is that I see him as a 3-4 only player. Allen got schooled on tape when facing Arkansas left tackle Dan Skipper and does better against guards and right tackles on tape. He had similar problems against Clemson left tackle Mitch Hyatt who is expected to be a top 5 pick in 2018. Allen also struggled against Kentucky center Jon Toth as well, but he did get a sack on Western Kentucky's Forrest Lamp which was the only sack Lamp allowed in the last two years there, but I'll get to Lamp later.
Allen also loses count of plays at times when you watch his tape. If scouts notice this Allen could drop from being a top 3 pick to a top 5 pick, but that's entirely dependent on what what Chicago does with Jay Cutler. Allen won four different awards in 2016 so its hard to see him falling out of the top 3 if Chicago sticks with Cutler.
Chicago can use their second round pick on a quarterback to develop behind Cutler. I'm not sure Chicago can pass on assembling a defensive line that features Jonathan Allen at 3-4 right end, Eddie Goldman at nose tackle, and Jonathan Bullard at 3-4 left end.
My Take: This is a weak QB class. And with Trubisky, the only QB I see worth a T20 pick, off the board I don't see a reason to reach. I could see the Bears keeping Cutler one more year and looking for a project in the 2nd or 3rd. Or maybe Ryan Pace takes a chance on another Eastern Illinois alumni and trades a 2nd rounder for Grappollo.
The Bears grab a potential franchise quarterback to build around. There is scuttlebutt that Chicago loves Trubisky. <br> <br>
I waited to put Trubisky in my mock of the 2017 NFL Draft because many first-year starters return to school. Additionally, Walt had Trubisky <a href="/http://www.walterfootball.com/draft2017.php">in his mock</a>, so not having him in mine gave our readers mocks with both options to ponder. Eventually, I added Trubisky because NFL team sources believed Trubisky was more likely to declare than to go back to school, and he made that decision official. <br> <br>
Trubisky looks like a second-round caliber prospect, but that doesn't preclude teams from reaching on him in Round 1 of the 2017 NFL Draft. Sources from three different teams told me they graded Trubisky in the second round. The 6-foot-3, 220-pounder was very efficient in 2016, displaying good decision-making and flashing good accuracy. He has a quality arm and some athleticism. However, across the history of the NFL, there have been very few 1-year college starters who turned into good pro starters. <br> <br>
The junior beat up on some weak secondaries in 2016, but it still is impressive that he had three straight games throwing for over 400 yards without throwing a single interception. On the season, Trubisky completed 68 percent of his passes for 3,748 yards with 30 touchdowns and six interceptions. He also had five rushing touchdowns.
I’m in the population that believes Jay Cutler has run its course in the Bears’ offense, they got by with mediocre play from Hoyer and Barkley. Cutler is expected to be dropped due to dead money cap space and with no free agency market for the position they need to snag a passer but they will address that later in the draft. They have a couple of options in free agency coming up that everyone will keep an eye on to influence this pick whether it is targeting pending free agents like Kirk Cousins, Tyrod Taylor or maybe even trying for Tony Romo (I still don't believe the Cowboys would want to get rid of him). For now, adding someone over the top that will be an instant starter is the main priority in my opinion. Jamal is the best safety in draft and quite possibly the best in the past couple years. He is a hard hitting aggressive safety with a knack for the football. His draft stock is really high and hopefully it'll remain that way throughout the pro days and combine.
Quarterbacks get too much credit and take too much blame. I think Jay Cutler has been unappreciated in Chicago, but the team can move on from him after this season without any contract penalties. Considering the rebuilding job needed for the Bears, Chicago could try to trade Cutler to a team like Arizona and start the rebuilding process with a new quarterback. That might be the best course of action for both the Bears and for Cutler. <br> <br>
Of the quarterback prospects for the 2017 NFL Draft, Kizer has the best skill set. The 6-foot-4, 230-pounder has a strong arm that can make all the throws for the NFL. He also flashes superb accuracy and an ability make accurate touch passes downfield to beat good coverage in tight windows. Kizer also makes beautiful passes in the face of a pass rush. Additionally, he has the mobility to buy time for his receivers, bail out his offensive line, and pick up yards with his feet. <br> <br>
In 2016, Kizer has completed 61 percent of his passes for 2,470 yards with 22 touchdowns and eight interceptions. He also has run for six touchdowns. His completion percentage was thrown off by playing a game in the midst of Hurricane Matthew. In 2015, Kizer completed 63 percent of his passes for 2,884 yards with 21 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. He picked up 520 yards with 10 scores on the ground.
The Bears grab their quarterback to groom behind Mike Glennon. Chicago has shown significant interest in Watson. <br> <br>
I personally think Watson is a third-round prospect, but there are a lot of quarterback-desperate teams that could push him higher than where he should go. I know multiple playoff teams that are grading him in Round 3. One said they had him as a third-, fourth-rounder. A couple other teams told me they grade him in Round 2, but all of them wouldn't be surprised if Watson was taken late in Round 1, like the Vikings did with Teddy Bridgewater in the 2014 NFL Draft. We've seen a long track record of desperation trigging huge quarterback reaches this decade with the likes of Jared Goff, Blaine Gabbert, Christian Ponder and Jake Locker. Thus, Watson still has a serious shot at going early in the 2017 NFL Draft. <br> <br>
In 2016, Watson completed 67 percent of his passes for 4,593 yards with 41 touchdowns and 17 interceptions. He had nine rushing touchdowns as well. Watson turned in a underwhelming performances during the year against Auburn, Troy, Georgia Tech and Louisville. However, he played much better during the final month of the regular season and the postseason. <br> <br>
A problem for Watson in 2016 was poor accuracy in the first two-thirds of the season. He has lots of room for improvement with his field vision and ball placement. Watson missed wide-open receivers for scores throughout 2016. He also will have to make huge jump to a pro-style offense learning to work under center and call plays in the huddle. The Clemson offense predetermined where Watson would throw pre-snap, so he will need to learn to make reads for the NFL. Watson is great off the field with work ethic, character, leadership skills, and loving football. <br> <br>
As a sophomore, Watson (6-2, 221) made some beautiful passes and was a big-time point producer. Watson played really well in 2015 to lead Clemson to the National Championship game. In 2015, Watson completed 68 percent of his passes for 4,104 yards with 35 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. On the ground, he averaged 5.3 yards per carry for 1,105 yards with 12 scores.