Chicago Bears Mock Draft 3.0: Feel the Frustration
The BearDigest Mock NFL Draft 3.0 for the Chicago Bears should more appropriately be renamed the frustration mock.
The picks in this first mock BearDigest.com draft in April were made through the website simulator of Nflmockdraftdatabase.com, as were the first two versions.
In this one the other NFL teams seemed far more determined take players on my watch list to get my ire up.
Or maybe it's just this cooped up feeling that's getting to me.
I identified cornerback AJ Terrell of Clemson, guard Cesar Ruiz of Michigan, safety Antoine Winfield Jr. from Minnesota and cornerback Jaylon Johnson as real alternatives as picks at No. 43 to fit Bears needs, and all were available when the simulator rolled into Round 2.
Then every single one of these players disappeared before Pick No. 43. Knowing what tackle Ezra Cleveland had done at the combine, how his stock has risen, and how much the Bears need a tackle, I made this selection and ignored a need at cornerback. The real desire was Ruiz, but he went to the Miami Dolphins at No. 39.
Having made a pick, in real life I'd have traded the next pick down for more picks in later rounds. But this was a mock without trades. The trade option will come into play in mock draft 4.0.
Wide receivers Brandon Aiyuk or Jalen Reagor were players targeted for pick No. 50 because the Bears haven't replaced burner Taylor Gabriel. Instead, both were taken, Reagor at No. 44 and Aiyuk at No. 46.
The Bears need both a cornerback and a safety. Cornerback Damon Arnette from Ohio State was available but because of his poor 40 time at the combine (4.56), I took safety Jeremy Chinn from Southern Illinois and will hope his pedigree as Steve Atwater's nephew outweighs my misgivings about selecting a player who has faced lesser competition throughout his career.
The Bear, at least, seem to like that pick. They've reportedly talked twice with him.
So as the picks flew by I experienced the helplessness GM Ryan Pace will feel on Day 2 of the draft and into early Day 3 because he has no more picks after Round 2 until well into Round 5. For this reason, I'm more convinced than ever he'll trade at least one of those two second-round picks to move down and acquire more picks, possibly in Rounds 3 and 4.
Linemen Charlie Heck and Logan Stenberg were personal favorites and went before my very eyes, as did quarterback Anthony Gordon, the passer with the quickest release in the draft.
Finally at 164 I hoped to take wide receiver John Hightower of Boise State and thank you Ron Rivera and Co., the Redskins took him at 163.
The Bears instead wind up with UCLA cornerback Darnay Holmes. A fifth-round cornerback is quite the long shot if you're looking for immediate production at this position.
Coach Matt Nagy will like him. He loves guys on defense who can play offense and Holmes once scored five touchdowns in four different ways during a high school game. Holmes did run a 4.48-second 40 at the combine, much faster than Arnette, who was a possible choice three rounds earlier.
Even in later rounds the angst continues.
Defensive lineman McTelvin Agim and Michigan guard Jon Runyan were potential targets, or even running back Darius Anderson to fill a need at backup behind David Montgomery. All went off the board just before pick No. 196, so it was best athlete available with Michigan linebacker Khaleke Hudson. He's an all-purpose type in the secondary who is big enough to play linebacker. With the Bears, he'd put on some weight, 10 pounds, like Josh Woods did and play inside linebacker.
One minor triumph came later in Round 6 when Joe Reed of Virginia was chosen. He was fast enough to be a kick returner in college and ran a sub 4.5 in the 40 at the combine after catching 106 passes in his college career.
It was a successful pick because I avoided selecting tight end Jared Pinkney of Vanderbilt. The Bears need another tight end like the Cubs could use one more power-hitting leadoff batter. Besides, Pinkney had a combine so disappointing you'd have thought he sent a body double to work out.
The final two picks were Florida State cornerback Levonta Taylor and Minnesota edge rusher Carter Coughlin.
Taylor is no Deion Sanders. He made four interceptions and 10 pass defenses in his career, but played extensively as a senior and at least is more of a proven commodity in coverage than the seventh-round pick Pace made last year, Stephen Denmark.
Coughlin had 9 1/2 sacks last year but was chosen only because (why else) the player targeted—Michigan State defensive lineman and Chicago native Raequan Williams—had been selected one pick prior.
Such was the story of this disappointing mock draft.