The Bears make sense for Shaq Lawson; with the disgruntled Willie Young entering his contract season, Chicago will have to find a pass-rushing complement for Pernell McPhee, and the explosive Lawson seems like a great fit. I had Lawson mocked later in February and March updates because teams had concerns about his shoulder, but he has been cleared by everyone we've spoken to.
*** OTHER 2016 NFL DRAFT POSSIBILITIES: ***
1. Ezekiel Elliott, RB - The Bears tried to sign C.J. Anderson in free agency. That's a huge sign that running back remains a need for the team.
2. Jarran Reed, DE/DT - Tony Pauline reported that the Bears would consider Reed at No. 11, but I think there will be better players available.
Pick change; previously Ezekiel Elliott, RB
Rd. 2, Pk. 10
Kendall Fuller, CB, Virginia Tech
The Bears had the chance to grab Vernon Hargreaves in this mock, but passed on him. I don't think they'd do the same thing here if they happened to have Kendall Fuller fall into their laps.
Rd. 3, Pk. 9
Christian Hackenberg, QB, Penn State
Jay Cutler will probably be around for just one more year, so the Bears need to think about using an early draft choice on a successor.
Rd. 4, Pk. 8
Shon Coleman, OT, Auburn
Ronnie Stanley and Jack Conklin are both options at No. 11 overall for a reason. The Bears' tackle situation is a complete mess, and it needs to be addressed at some point.
Rd. 4, Pk. 29
Nick Vigil, ILB, Utah State
The Bears signed Danny Trevathan and Jerrell Freeman this offseason, but they could still draft a linebacker in the middle rounds for depth purposes.
Rd. 5, Pk. 11
Zack Sanchez, CB, Oklahoma
Drafting two cornerbacks in this class wouldn't be the worst idea, given how dire of a need that is for Chicago.
Rd. 6, Pk. 9
Daniel Lasco, RB, California
The Bears tried to sign C.J. Anderson, but failed. Here's an alternative.
Pick change; previously Darius Latham, DT
Rd. 6, Pk. 30
Nick Vannett, TE, Ohio State
Re-signing Zach Miller was crucial, but the Bears need another tight end with Martellus Bennett gone.
Rd. 7, Pk. 9
Jakeem Grant, WR, Texas Tech
We found out how thin the Bears are at receiver when both Alshon Jeffery and Kevin White were hurt last year. Something needs to be done about that.
The Bears could use a difference-maker on the back end of their defense. They signed Quintin Demps, so Adams would be a second strong safety, but he doesn't have the injury concerns of Malik Hooker. Additionally, Adams' leadership and personality fit other picks of the current regime in Leonard Floyd and Kevin White.
In 2016, Adams totaled 76 tackles with four passes broken and one interception. The junior is a future starting safety, who sources said during the preseason that they think is a top-20 talent. He is able to contribute in pass coverage in the underneath part of the field and is strong enough to play in the box.
Adams has versatility, but his play was subdued at times 2016, and perhaps he had the NFL on his mind. However, Adams turned it on and did play very well against Alabama and Ole Miss' receiving tight end Evan Engram. The 6-foot, 214-pound Adams has the size to play strong or free safety in the NFL, but seems to prefer strong safety, and that is more natural for him. He is an instinctive defender who always seems to be around the ball. In 2015, Adams had 67 tackles with six passes broken up and four interceptions. As a freshman, he recorded 66 tackles with five pass breakups.
Rd. 2, Pk. 2
Deshaun Watson, QB, Clemson
Let me preface this pick by saying I think Chicago will move back into the first round for Watson. The Bears have shown a ton of interest in him, and he could develop for a year behind Mike Glennon. Trading back into Round 1 for Watson would give Chicago a fifth-year option on his rookie contract, which could be massive savings if he pans out.
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 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 in the postseason. Watson can start games slowly, but plays his best when the game is on the line in the fourth quarter.
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. Watson also throws a lot of interceptions, and some of them come from forcing passes rather than reading the field. He also will have to make a huge jump to a pro-style offense, which will entail 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 in the NFL. Watson is great off the field with work ethic, character, quiet leadership skills, and loving football. His accuracy was better late in the year and in the fourth quarter when the game was on the line.
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.
Rd. 3, Pk. 3
Desmond King, FS/CB, Iowa
The Bears could use more cornerback help.
In 2016, King notched 58 tackles with seven passes broken up, three interceptions and one forced fumble. He also made some good kick and punt returns. King was one of the breakout players of 2015 as he displayed tremendous ball skills with eight interceptions and 13 passes broken up. He also had 72 tackles to go along with good returns on kicks and punts. In 2014, King totaled 64 tackles with five breakups and three interceptions. As a freshman, he had 69 tackles with eight passes batted.
King (5-10, 206) could have been an early round pick if he had declared for the 2016 NFL Draft. He is an instinctive corner with good ball skills, but running with speed receivers is a weakness for him in the NFL. Some teams might move him to safety, and that could be his best fit in the NFL.
Rd. 4, Pk. 4
Chad Hansen, WR, California
The Bears could use more wide receiver talent for their young quarterback.
Hansen (6-2, 202) was a wide receiver who impressed evaluators in 2016. California quarterback Davis Webb has second-day potential for the 2017 NFL Draft, and Hansen was his No. 1 receiver. In 2016, Hansen had 92 receptions for 1,249 yards with 11 touchdowns. It was a huge jump in production as Hansen made 19 catches for 249 yards and a score as a sophomore. Hansen has good size, but isn't the most explosive receiver. He could be a mid-round pick in the 2017 NFL Draft.
Rd. 4, Pk. 4
Dalvin Tomlinson, DT/NT, Alabama
The Bears grab some five-technique talent.
Tomlinson (6-3, 312) was a good run stuffer for Alabama and really improved late in the 2016 season with more plays in the backfield. He had 62 tackles with three sacks, four passes broken up and one forced fumble on the year. Tomlinson had a good week of practice at the Senior Bowl and wowed teams in the interview sessions. Tomlinson rotated into the game and totaled 34 tackles with six passes batted in 2015. With Jarran Reed and A'Shawn Robinson in the NFL, Tomlinson should take on a bigger role in 2016.
Rd. 5, Pk. 5
Ezra Robinson, CB, Tennessee State
The Bears could use cornerback upgrades, and Chicago has shown interest in Robinson.
Rd. 7, Pk. 7
Cameron Lee, G, Illinois State
The Bears grab some offensive line depth and have hosted Lee.
I really like this pick. Chicago needs help rushing the QB Leonard Floyd will do just the trick in helping out getting to the QB.
Scouting report: Unique combination of length and athleticism. Extremely rangy with great chase speed from sideline to sideline. Good change of direction for taller player. Long limbs and twitch to spring into a tackle from a mile away. If unblocked, will chase down line of scrimmage from backside and foil run plans. Elusive in open space dodging blockers and sifting through traffic in pursuit of the ball. Has the traits to be highly effective in man coverage. As an edge rusher, able to shoot out of the starting blocks and cover substantial ground with long second and third strides. Not a great bender, but has ankle flexion necessary to lean at 45-degree angle and buzz inside the rush arc. Substantial pass rush potential with a variety of options to the quarterback. Pet move is upfield burst followed by jump-cut inside tied with inside club. Able to dip and rip around the corner. Dangerous on T/E twists and blitzes underneath. Able to worm his way through the A-gap as standup blitzer
Other possibilities: Connor Cook QB, Jarran Reed DT, A'Shawn Robinson OT
Leonard Floyd could be the pick here, but his size and inconsistency worry John Fox and Vic Fangio, who share a penchant for technically sound edge-rushers that are just plain MEAN. Shaq Lawson isn’t a combine star, but his first step is strong and his production speaks for itself, as he led the FBS with 25.5(?!) TFL this season. Most importantly, he brings a relentlessness that Chicago would love to put opposite Pernell McPhee—with free-agent acquisitions Jerrell Freeman and Danny Trevathan and second year nose tackle Eddie Goldman, this unit that experienced a revival under Fangio last season suddenly becomes mighty intimidating. I love the NFC North this year—Green Bay should find more stability as they remain healthier, the Vikings should continue to grow, and the Lions...well, Calvin's gone, but Gunslingin' Matty Stafford is always dangerous. If Kevin White rehabs successfully and Jeremy Langford takes to his starting role, we’ve got ourselves some excellent division games on the docket.
Chicago would love to take Ronnie Stanley here. Unfortunately, New York beats them to it in this mock. Hargreaves is quite the consolation prize though. Able to immediately slot in as a starter next to Kyle Fuller, the former Gator gives Chicago an outstanding duo for years to come.
Hargreaves has gotten some negative vibes by the media, but those concerns are overblown. Hargreaves is a fantastic corner who displays shutdown potential. His relative short height (5'10) may give some pause, but a smart team will look at his tape and see the talent that jumps off the screen. There were some speed questions, but after running a 4.5 at his pro day, Hargreaves showed that, while he'll never be the fastest corner out there, his speed is good enough when paired with his outstanding technique.
Another potential top 10 pick falls. Stanley has a few question marks about his work ethic but what he did for Notre Dame on the field is undeniable. He has the ability to be a 10 to 15 year starter in the league. He has better size than Tunsil (6'6 320) but doesn't have as nimble feet as Tunsil. Stanley could end up being your Tyron Smith, or he could be your Greg Robinson it really depends on if the rumors of his work ethic are true, or if he's a hard worker that loves the game of football and wants to come to work everyday. He has the tools now he just needs to use them.
This pick gave me a really hard time but I eventually went with the massive run-stopping Robinson. He is an absolute load in the middle of a defense. More than likely an interior tackle, here the Bears hope he is versatile enough to play one of the end positions in their 3-4 defense with rising DT Eddie Goldman manning the middle some combination of young, but slightly disappointing so far Will Sutton and free agent signing Akiem Hicks opposite of Robinson. This may not be the best pass rushing dline in the league but it should be a formidable run stopping combination. Robinson is an immovable force down in the trenches with great power and the ability to use that power effectively to absorb double teams and make teams pay when they don’t double him. He plays a little high and doesn’t have a ridiculously high level motor, and his production at Alabama wasn’t always top notch, so he is more of a projection at this point. Scouts however seem to believe that he can live up to immense upside and he finds himself in a great fit with Vic Fangio and the Bears.
Show/Hide Other Mocks with A'Shawn Robinson Going to Bears
Rd. 1, Pk. 9
Leonard Floyd, OLB/3-4OLB
The Bears felt the need to leap the Giants for Leoanrd Floyd, and rightly so. The Giants were going to take Floyd, and the Buccaneers had interest in him as well, but they obviously must have liked the trade better.
This pick makes sense. Floyd is arguably the best 3-4 edge rusher in this class - yes, above Joey Bosa, who was a 4-3 player - and he fills a position of weakness for Chicago. I can't really say anything is wrong with this pick, as it would've been a "B" without the trade.
Rd. 2, Pk. 25
Cody Whitehair, G
Wow, what a great pick. An A+ for the Bears, for sure. First of all, Cody Whitehair was projected by some to be chosen at the end of the first round, so they're getting great value at this spot. Second, Whitehair fills a big need; Chicago's offensive line had its issues heading into the draft, and Whitehair can pretty much play every single position up front (though he's best as a guard). And third, Chicago obtained him after trading down twice! This is excellent drafting by the Bears.