2017 NFL Draft: 5 Chicago Bears Rumors You Need to Know

Patrick Mahomes 2017 NFL Draft

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

With the 2017 NFL Draft just over two weeks away, the rumor mill is painting an interesting picture of the Chicago Bears’ plans for late April.

On April 27, the 2017 NFL Draft gets underway. At that point, the Chicago Bears and their front office will be hard at work trying to ensure this franchise a brighter future. We all know they need it after putting together a pitiful 3-13 showing this past season.

With the No. 3 overall pick, the Bears should have no trouble adding an impact talent on Day 1. While there’s been plenty of speculation on how they plan on using it, we won’t know for sure what their true intention is until Roger Goodell reads off the name (or you see the selection spoiled on Twitter).

For now, all we really have to go off of are our own opinions and the latest rumors. Thankfully, there’s plenty of chatter out there regarding the Bears’ plan on attack on draft day. It certainly makes all of the speculation and mock drafting easier as we wait patiently for the football version of Christmas to arrive.

With that in mind, let’s cut to the chase and take a look at the latest Bears draft rumors out there right now. The rumor mill has been busy churning out some interesting reading material, and now’s your opportunity to see what general manager Ryan Pace could have up his sleeve during the 2017 NFL Draft.

Evan Engram 2017 NFL Draft

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5. Evan Engram on Bears’ Day 2 Short List?

Based on the current roster, the Bears could use an upgrade at tight end. Zach Miller is a plus starter, but simply can’t be relied on due to his proneness to injury. Dion Sims was signed this offseason, but is an average backup who doesn’t do anything exceptionally well. The rest of the depth chart is made up of young, inexperienced options with limited upside.

While most folks wouldn’t put tight end near the top of Chicago’s list of needs, it’s on there somewhere. So it makes sense why they’ve been spending time looking at some of the 2017 class’ top options at the position.

According to Chicago Sun Times’ Patrick Finley, the Bears recently met with Ole Miss’ Evan Engram. Considering one of this year’s top tight ends, it’s no surprise to see the team kicking the tires on the former Rebel. If they find themselves enticed by his ridiculous athleticism and receiving skills, they could target him with the No. 36 pick at the top of the second round.

The Bears need to make sure they’re giving Mike Glennon plenty of playmakers to throw to. Engram is seen as a true Y tight end with the potential to make a huge impact in the passing game with his hands, size and athleticism. He’d be a worthy investment at the start of Day 2.

Jamal Adams 2017 NFL Draft

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4. Jamal Adams Gaining Momentum as Bears’ Top Pick?

Right now, there’s a strong belief that, barring some unthinkable slide by Myles Garrett, Chicago will go with Jamal Adams at No. 3. It’s not a bad idea when you consider what the LSU product would bring to the Bears’ lackluster secondary.

During his days with the Tigers, Adams proved to be an intimidating force at strong safety. He’s a fierce hitter who can excel as both a run and pass defender. While people tend to label him as a box safety, he’s more than capable of shutting opposing offenses down while playing deep.

The Bears have already gotten face time with Adams (via the Advocate’s Ross Dellenger), who solidified his status as a top-10 talent with a ridiculous showing during his LSU Pro Day. Now it all comes down to who’s available when Chicago is on the clock, and which player sits atop their big board at that time. Most fans would guess that Adams is the guy, though.

Despite that, we must all keep in mind that nothing is a lock until the pick is announced on draft night. There’s a lot of talk right now about Adams going to the Bears at No. 3, but a lot can happen between now and April 27.

O.J. Howard 2017 NFL Draft

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3. Could O.J. Howard Be the Pick In First Round?

Remember how I mentioned tight end was a need for the Bears? Well apparently, the team may disagree with where I put the position on the its list of needs. Not only have they looked at Engram, but they’ve even taken time to meet with the position’s top prospect.

According to NFL.com’s Conor Orr, Chicago had a meeting scheduled with O.J. Howard. The Alabama product is the consensus top tight end of the 2017 class, even being mentioned in some mock drafts as a potential top-five pick. So would the Bears really go as far as calling his name when they’re on the clock at No. 3?

I don’t think so, but crazier things have happened during the NFL Draft. Every year, we see players drafted much higher than we would have expected. While it’s not as common in the top five, it does happen from time to time. In the end, though, I don’t see Chicago settling on a tight end with so many other playmakers likely on the board.

Still, it’s interesting to see them doing their due diligence with the class’ tight ends. Howard would bring a dynamic element to this offense with his mix of elite receiving skills and quality blocking abilities. Maybe they really are intent on upgrading Glennon’s arsenal before Week 1?

Patrick Mahomes 2017 NFL Draft

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2. Chicago Hoping Patrick Mahomes Slides?

The signing of Glennon signaled a new era for the Bears. The departure of Jay Cutler was painful but necessary, especially if this franchise plans on getting out of the NFC North basement anytime soon. Still, I wouldn’t go as far as saying Chicago is settled at quarterback.

In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Bears snag a gunslinger during the first two days of the draft. It’s highly unlikely they target an arm in the first round, but the second round might do the trick. Actually, there appears to be one particular quarterback prospect who has garnered the team’s attention.

That would be Patrick Mahomes, formerly of Texas Tech. The Red Raiders’ star passer has received a lot of interest leading up to the 2017 NFL Draft, with some folks even mentioning him as a potential first-round pick. The Bears, however, may be hoping he slides to the top of Day 2.

According to NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport, the Bears hosted Mahomes for dinner. You don’t take a prospect out on the town unless you’re serious about calling his name on draft day. At this point, the Chicago brass are likely crossing their digits hoping he’s available at No. 36.

Marshon Lattimore 2017 NFL Draft

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1. Marshon Lattimore a Real Option at No. 3?

The Bears went into the offseason with cornerback sitting atop their list of needs. Then, they went out and signed Prince Amukamara and Marcus Cooper during free agency, providing the position a semblance of stability as we move towards the 2017 campaign.

Then, they threw a curveball on Monday by waiving veteran Tracy Porter, who served as the team’s No. 1 cover man a season ago. While he was considered a potential cap casualty before the new league year began, he appeared to be safe after free agency when the Bears missed on top talents A.J. Bouye and Stephon Gilmore.

Obviously that wasn’t the case, because Chicago is now left with their two newcomers atop the cornerback depth chart. While it’s not the worst situation to be in, it in no way means they’re set at the position. In fact, it’s completely feasible for them to spend their first-round pick on a shiny new cover man.

Marshon Lattimore, who the Bears already visited with (via Rapoport), is widely seen as the class’ top cornerback and a potential top-five pick. Even the San Francisco 49ers are seen as a possible landing spot at No. 2 overall. However, if they end up passing on the Ohio State cornerback, Chicago could pounce — especially after Porter got the ax.

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