When you finish 3-13 on the season, everyone on the roster and upper management is expendable. Even though this is a situation where the Bears should have patience and let general manager Adam Pace have some time to do his job – the fan-base has just about had it. And why not? The Bears have seen the Packers dominate the division, and even seen the Vikings and Lions do things “the right way” to find themselves in a positive light. The Bears do everything in a mediocre fashion – at best.
All is not lost though, they seem pretty formidable on both sides of the line of scrimmage and if last year wasn’t a hoax. Running back Jordan Howard could be the ball carrier this franchise has been clamoring about for decades. . .
Round 1: Pick 3:
Jamal Adams – Safety – LSU
Before the signing of Mike Glennon, many believed the Bears would take a quarterback here. Namely Mitchell Trubisky or DeShone Kizer. It’s apparent that management wasn’t comfortable with naming either of those guys the “future” of the franchise, so instead they outbid – well no one, really – and signed Mike Glennon. The Bears secondary is one of the worst in the league – and has been for a few years now. Jamal Adams may be one of the best complete players in this year’s draft. He can cover one-on-one, has great reaction to the ball and is a fearless tackler as well who can play in the box to combat the run. He was the leader of one of the best defensive units in college and leadership is something this secondary needs. He can change the tone of this defense from day-one.
Round 2: Pick 36
Evan Engram – Tight End – Ole’ Miss
If the Bears get lucky and Engram is there, they HAVE to snatch him up. Besides being a great receiving tight end, this is a position (tight end) that the Bears need to rectify this off-season. Engram is a game-changer at tight end – great receiving skills and route running. He’s not the most polished blocker, but at least he tries – that already makes him potentially better than, let’s say, a Jimmy Graham. . .
Round 3: Pick 67
Taylor Morton – Offensive Tackle – Western Michigan
Although offensive line isn’t a huge need, it’s a need none-the-less and it’s always good to gain versatile big men upfront. The Bears caught lightning in a bottle last season with the versatility of Cody Whitehair, and Morton offers that versatility in a bigger package. Morton is 6’5″ 330 and started at guard but then moved into right tackle for the Broncos. It’s always a gamble when taking a lineman out of the MAC as they don’t see the defensive line talent seen at the Big 10 or SEC, but his versatility is key.
Round 4: Pick 111
K.D. Cannon – Wide Receiver – Baylor
His draft grades have been everywhere from the second round to the sixth round. Draft expert Justin Higdon predicts that he’ll be available in the 5th or 6th round, but in terms of “wishful thinking” let’s just say he’s around in the fourth. . . the Bears have a need at receiver which is why they went and signed two in the off-season. They lost Alshon Jeffrey to free agency (which will turn out being a blessing in disguise) and are relying on Kevin White to finally be healthy. Cannon is explosive and loves the spotlight. He hasn’t shown much of the route-running ability due to the way Baylor football is run, but he is definitely a gamer and has “big-play” ability, something the Bears desperately lack.
Round 4: Pick 117
Damonte Kazee – Corner Back – San Diego State
Is this a reach? Probably but the Bears are limited with draft picks and Kazee has an “upside” that is very promising. He went back to college for his senior year because he wasn’t impressed with his draft grade after being the Mountain West defensive player of the year but even with all his stats, it seems he’s destined to be slotted in the 4th – 6th rounds. He’s 5’10” 180 and is a decent tackler, but a great cover guy who also works his way to force some fumbles.
Round 5: Pick 147
Chad Kelly – Quarterback – Ole Miss
Not too many guys beat Alabama. He did. He can make all the passes, great arm strength and above average mobility. Unfortunately, character concerns and a leg injury last season have folks very wary of the gunslinger out of Ole Miss. After the Johnny Manziel fiasco the NFL had to deal with, having a young headache at the quarterback position is something no team wants to deal with. For a team like the Bears though, it’s worth the gamble. Pound for pound, if given the chance he can surpass the likes of Mike Glennon – it’s all about how focused the young Rebel is. . .
Round 7: Pick 221
Krishawn Hogan – Wide Receiver – Marian University
One of my favorite prospects in the draft, Krishawn Hogan. At 6’3″ 220 pounds, he brings the physicality corners fear to the position of wide out. Not many people see football games played by Marian University, and he was the first player from his university to be invited to the NFL combine. It was there where the naked eye revealed that he belonged. Good hands, good speed for his size (4.6 at the 40) and showed nice cutting ability. He could be a steal if there ever was one in the NFL Draft.
It would be nice to see the Bears maybe trade for a few more late round picks, which may very well happen. Maybe draft a running back to push Jeremy Langford at the two spot behind Jordan Howard? Maybe Baylor’s Shock Linwood or Utah’s Joe Williams deserve a look from Chicago. Of course they can also look for a sleeper pass rusher like Steven Taylor of Houston or even Illinois product Hardy Nickerson, whose father of the same name, playedin the NFL.