A Bears Draft Defensive Big Board
Run the Card Up/Trade Up
1. DE/OLB Khalil Mack [Buffalo] 6’3″ 251lbs., 4.65 , 23 reps, 40″ vertical
Mack could be the best defensive player in this draft as his physical tools are off the charts. Add that to top level intangibles and work ethic and you have a potential star.
2. DE Jadeveon Clowney [South Carolina] 6’5″ 274lbs., 4.53 . 21 reps, 37″ vertical
I rank him lower because I do not like super talented guys whose motors run hot and cold, but Clowney has so much physical talent that you cannot simply pass on him. He could be the explosive pass rusher that the Bears have not had in a long time.
3. CB Justin Gilbert [Oklahoma St] 6′ 202lbs.. 4.37 , 20 reps, 35.5″ vertical
The size, movement skills, speed, and ability to create turnovers make Gilbert a perfect replacement for Tillman. I would run the pick up and run over anyone in front of me if he hit 14. He has the potential to be a center piece defensive player.
Staying at 14 with a Tough Decision
4. DT Aaron Donald [Pitt] 6’1″ 285lbs., 4.68 , 35 reps, 32″ vertical
The explosion, the disruption, and the production are undeniable and he would fit beautifully at the Bears 3 technique position. The only issue with him is that is probably the only position he could play and he would replace Melton not play with him. I am 100% in on drafting Donald if the plan is not to screw around and to play him at the 3 technique and ask him to penetrate.
5. CB Darqueze Dennard [Michigan St] 5’11” 199lbs., 4.52 , 15 reps
Dennard answered some of the speed concerns at the combine. Dennard is not the prettiest CB in the draft because he relies on physicality and aggressiveness, which is difficult to show in footwork drills. If the Bears want to blitz and press more he would be a great option.
6. S Calvin Pryor [Louisville] 5’11” 207lbs., 4.58 , 18 reps, 34.5″ vertical
The combine results were disappointing, mostly the fact that he is not really close to 6’2″. But Pryor is the most complete safety in this draft. He can cover and come up and tackle and he would give the Bears a true playmaker in the back end.
7. DT Timmy Jernigan [Florida St] 6’2″ 299lbs., 5.06 , 27 reps, 29.5″ vertical
Comparing Jernigan to Donald is unfair to both players as they are not the same player or the same position projection. Jernigan is a 4-3 NT that has heavy, and I mean heavy hands, and a lot of power which he showed tossing a good Auburn OL around in the National Championship game. Jernigan is the ideal NT or 1 technique for a 4-3 team.
8. S Ha-Ha Clinton-Dix [Alabama] 6’1″ 208lbs., 4.58 , 11 reps, 33″ vertical
A silky smooth moving FS he would be a welcome upgrade over Chris Conte. He is lower than Pryor on the list because I do not see the physicality that the Bears are missing. Clinton-Dix’s ability to cover the slot and in man to man situations would allow the Bears to be more versatile on defense.
9. DT Louis Nix [Notre Dame] 6’2″ 331lbs., 5.42 , 25.5″ vertical
Again not a great scheme fit, and the knee injury on such a big man concerns me a little. But you cannot teach someone to move like he does at the size he is. Tucker has success with Terrence Knighton in Jacksonville and they are similar types of players.
10. DE Kony Ealy [Missouri] 6’4″ 273lbs., 4.92 , 22 reps, 31″ vertical
Ealy is a base power end, and his combine numbers prove that, that can kick inside and provide a rush from the inside. He would improve the Bears against the run and give them a more versatile pass rush. I worry he is a little bit of the deluxe Corey Wootton.
Hoping to get in the 2nd or with a trade down
11. CB Jason Verrett [TCU] 5’9″ 189lbs., 4.38 , 23 39″ vertical
Undersized, but smooth and feisty I think he could be a nice option across from Tim Jennings if the Bears can live with lacking size.
12. LB C.J Mosely [Alabama] 6’2″ 234lbs., 4.65 , 35″ vertical
He is a better prospect than this, but I like the Bears youth at LB [Bostic, Greene, and McClellin] and I would like to see what they can do with more experience and with better talent in front of them. Mosely would be a great value around 14, but he does not play a premiere position and the Bears have greater needs.
13. DT Ra’shede Hageman [Minnesota] 6’6″ 310lbs., 5.02 , 32 reps, 35.5″ vertical
The Hageman train seems to be slowing as people are realizing just how raw he is and that he is not as athletic as people thought he was. Hageman to me is too big of a risk at 14. There is simply too much bad tape and rough edges to pass on a player that is more of a sure thing.
14. DE Dee Ford [Auburn] 6’2″ 252lbs., 4.65 , 23 reps, 40″ vertical
I like Ford more than this as his first step is ridiculous, but the health issues scare me and after drafting an injured guy in the 1st round in Chris Williams it does not interest me as much.
15. CB Kyle Fuller [Virginia Tech] 6′ 190lbs., 4.49 , 12 reps, 38.5″ vertical
Love the size and physicality and with the 4.4 speed he flashed at the combine I think long speed concerns can be put to rest.
16. S Deonne Bucannon [Washington St] 6’1″ 211lbs., 4.49 , 19 reps, 36.5″ vertical
Bucannon can do everything I want a SS to do. He is a feared hitter and a solid tackler in the run game, something the Bears have missed. He also forces turnovers in coverage and run support. He had 4 Ints last season and forced a number of fumbles.
17. DT Stephon Tuitt [Notre Dame] 6’5″ 304lbs., 31 reps
Not an ideal scheme fit but he is 6’5″ 304lbs with good length and intriguing physical tools. I think that Tuitt could be a Marcus Stroud type DT for the Bears and provide increased power and size on the interior.
Priority 2nd Round Picks
18. DE Trent Murphy [Stanford] 6’5″ 250lbs., 4.82 , 19 reps, 35.5″ vertical
I think that he is trying too hard to be an OLB, he looks small and thin at 250lbs. Bulk him up to 275lbs and let him bring his physicality and hustle to the LE spot and I think he would be a tremendous value in the 2nd round.
19. S Jimmie Ward [Northern Illinois] 5’11” 193lbs. 4.59 , 9 reps
The size worries me as he could get run down in the NFL, but he can cover like a CB and allow the Bears to do more in their coverage’s and blitz package.
20. CB/S LaMarcus Joyner [Florida St] 5’8″ 184lbs., 4.55 , 14 reps, 37.5″ vertical
Joyner is a better player than this ranking, but at 5’8″ he does not have the size that the Bears should be looking for and the Bears already have a 5’8″ player in the secondary. Adding another would be giving up a ton of size.
2nd Round Decision
21. DE Marcus Smith [Louisville] 6’3″ 251lbs., 4.68 , 23 reps, 35″ vertical
Raw and a little undersized, but he explodes off the ball and looks a lot more polished than a guy that spent 2 years at the position. The potential is there for him to be what Shea McClellin was supposed to be.
22. S Terrence Brooks [Florida St] 5’11” 198lbs., 4.42 , 10 reps, 38″ vertical
Brooks is an under rated FS with the range to cover the deep third and the size and physicality to blitz and factor against the run.
23. DE Scott Chricton [Oregon St] 6’3″ 273lbs., 4.84 , 24 reps, 31.5″ vertical
Love the effort and the hustle, but in the end he is a slightly undersized effort rusher with limited physical upside. He would be an upgrade for the Bears, but I do not see the elite potential.
24. DE Kareem Martin [UNC] 6’6″ 272lbs., 4.72 , 22 reps, 35.5″ vertical
The physical tools are off the charts and if a good DL coach can get him playing hard with good technique all the time he could be a 2nd round steal. He is starting to remind me of Carlos Dunlap who checked all the boxes physically, but fell to the 2nd round because of other issues.
25. DT Will Sutton [Arizona St] 6′ 303lbs. 5.36 , 24 reps, 28.5″ vertical
Sutton for me is a talented guy, but I honestly have no idea what Sutton will show up. In shape Sutton who can be a difference maker or out of shape Sutton who looks winded. At some point he provides an incredible value.
26. CB Bradley Roby [Ohio St] 5’11” 194lbs., 4.39 , 17 reps, 38.5″ vertical
Roby has a ton of physical ability and he can make plays, but I worry about his maturity and emotional intelligence. But he has starter potential and will not go in round 1 which means he will be a good value at pick 51.