Nov 13, 2016; Tampa, FL, USA; Chicago Bears head coach John Fox looks on against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the second half at Raymond James Stadium. Tampa Bay Buccaneers defeated the Chicago Bears 36-10. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
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The Chicago Bears have a lot of holes to fill and this Chicago Bears 2017 NFL Mock Draft starts that process.
This version of the Chicago Bears 2017 NFL Mock Draft aims to address some of the biggest roster needs. Chicago has several spots on the roster that need a major upgrade. Luckily, they are trending towards having a top-5 pick in the 2017 NFL Draft.
On the negative side, the Bears are unlikely to find a quarterback worthy of selecting with their 1st round pick. It would make more sense for them to wait until later in the draft to address the quarterback position.
There are several high-upside quarterback prospect that should be available in the middle rounds.
They will likely need to focus on addressing some needs on the defensive side of the ball. Top top-5 players on my Big Board are defensive players. My highest rated offensive player is Clemson’s Mike Williams.
He’d be an intriguing option if the Bears win a few games down the stretch and slip outside of the top-5 picks. Williams is an explosive receiver who uses his size and speed to make plays deep down field. His playmaking ability would address a major need for the Bears.
Oct 22, 2016; Tuscaloosa, AL, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide defensive lineman Jonathan Allen (93) hits Texas A&M Aggies quarterback Trevor Knight (8) during the first quarter at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports
1st Round- Jonathan Allen, DL, Alabama
The Chicago Bears are in a tough position because it’s unlikely they’ll be able to address their need at the quarterback position in the 1st round. It would be a major reach to use a top-5 pick on one of the quarterbacks available in the 2017 NFL Draft.
However, they still have a chance to add an elite talent. Alabama’s Jonathan Allen is a well-rounded and disruptive defensive lineman. He’s a two-way player who stuffs the run and generates pressure on the quarterback.
Allen would fit in nicely along Chicago’s defensive line that already features Akiem Hicks and Eddie Goldman.
The Bears have several strong pieces in place on the defensive side of the ball. Adding someone with Allen’s potential to the mix brings this unit that much closer to dominance. Opposing offenses would have a tough time keeping Allen, Leonard Floyd, Hicks, Pernell McPhee and Willie Young out of the backfield.
Allen’s toughness will also help free up space for linebackers Danny Trevathan and Jerrell Freeman to attack.
Another possibility with this pick is Michigan’s Jabrill Peppers. The Bears have major needs all over the secondary. Peppers would give them a true playmaker on the back end of the defense.
Nov 19, 2016; South Bend, IN, USA; Virginia Tech Hokies wide receiver Bucky Hodges (7) celebrates with running back Sam Rogers (45) after scoring a touchdown in the fourth quarter against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at Notre Dame Stadium. Virginia Tech won 34-31. Mandatory Credit: Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports
2nd Round- Bucky Hodges, TE, Virginia Tech
Chicago’s offense lacks firepower and playmakers. They are getting a glimpse of what life will be like without Alshon Jeffery and it isn’t pretty. The hope is that Kevin White can get healthy and start to live up to expectations, but at this point it’s hard to rely on that.
Luckily, the Bears can add an explosive athlete at a position of need by drafting Virginia Tech’s Bucky Hodges. Chicago has zero depth at the tight end position which will become more apparent with Zach Miller lost for the season.
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Hodges is a playmaker who uses his speed and size to create mismatches. This is the type of player who really helps his quarterback by aggressive attacking the football.
Chicago is looking to move on from Jay Cutler and it would be wise to give whoever is brought into the mix a weapon like Hodges.
The Bears could also use their 2nd round pick to address the receiving corps. Western Kentucky’s Taywan Taylor is a deep threat who’d immediately give Chicago’s offense more speed. Their receiving corps really lacks capable of taking the top off the defense.
At some point during the 2017 NFL Draft the Bears need to add some offensive firepower.
It’s no secret that the Chicago Bears need a lot of help in the secondary. There is room for improvement at all 4 starting spots. However, the bigger need is at cornerback where they lack anything close to a shutdown cover guy.
USC’s Adoree’ Jackson is an elite athlete who still needs refinement. However, he has the physical talents needed to develop into a No. 1 corner. The 3rd round is the perfect spot to take a gamble on someone with Jackson’s upside.
Jackson would immediate add depth to the position, but doesn’t completely solve the problems in the secondary. Chicago would be wise to use some of their cap space to target defensive backs in free agency.
Adding a few talented free agents wouldn’t keep Chicago from selecting a cornerback early in the 2017 NFL Draft. They still need to add depth and younger players capable of learning behind some veterans.
This is a round where the Bears will likely start looking at the quarterback position. The 2017 draft lacks sure-fire franchise quarterbacks, but has plenty of raw prospects with tons of upside. It’s possible that Chicago finds lightening in a bottle in the middle rounds.
Oct 29, 2016; Oxford, MS, USA; Mississippi Rebels quarterback Chad Kelly (10) passes the ball during the first quarter of the game against the Auburn Tigers at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Bush-USA TODAY Sports
4th Round- Cooper Kupp, WR, Eastern Washington
Cooper Kupp is a slot receiver who has had an excellent college career. He has good size for a slot receiver and does a good job using it to his advantage. Kupp also has good long-speed which allows him to attack the deep part of the field.
Chicago needs explosive playmakers like Kupp on the roster. He has the top-end speed the Bears must add in order to kick this offense into gear.
4th Round (via Buffalo )- Chad Kelly, QB, Ole Miss
Chad Kelly has the physical tools to be a successful NFL quarterback. However, he has some maturity questions that will likely push him down the draft. Kelly is also dealing with an ACL tear that could keep him out of early offseason workouts.
The Bears are likely to move on from Jay Cutler in the offseason and need a long-term replacement. Kelly is a bit of a gamble, but has enough talent to realistically develop into a franchise quarterback.
He’d benefit from working with a veteran like Brian Hoyer who is expected back next season. Hoyer as already shown that he can put his ego aside and help mentor a young quarterback.