As the 2018 NFL Draft draws closer, there is a common theme with the majority of mock drafts published and the Chicago Bears draft position at number eight. No major mock drafts have North Carolina State’s defensive end Bradley Chubb falling to the Bears. In a draft that could possibly see five quarterbacks drafted within first 10 selections, the chance of the best defensive player falling to Chicago should be seen as more improbable than impossible.
There are six teams drafting before the Bears, with only two not having a glaring need to draft a quarterback. the majority of mock drafts have the Cleveland Browns, New York Giants, Jets, and Denver Broncos possibly using their picks to draft a quarterback. There are teams such as the Arizona Cardinals, Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins who could possibly trade up to get a shot at drafting a quarterback.
There are three selections before the Bears select at eight that are critical for the team having any chance of landing Chubb.The Browns hold the first and fourth picks in the draft and are expected to select a quarterback first overall. Their fourth pick carries speculation as they could either choose to draft the best running back prospect in Saquon Barkley or use their pick to draft Chubb to pair him with last year’s first overall pick, defensive end Myles Garrett, giving them a nightmarishly good defensive end combo.
There is also an outside chance they trade the pick and acquire a boatload of picks for this year’s and next year’s draft.
The Denver Broncos are slated to draft fifth and could possibly use the pick on Chubb to pair him with All-Pro Von Miller and give Denver’s defense the best pass rush in the league. The Broncos have much higher needs at other positions than at defensive end. Their biggest need on defense is in the secondary, and this year’s draft is extremely deep in high-quality secondary talent.
On offense, the team signed quarterback Case Keenum, but Keenum may not be a long term fit and team president John Elway has been known for drafting quarterbacks and could get caught up drafting one at number five.
Drafting sixth and posing the biggest threat to the Bears chances of getting Chubb is the Indianapolis Colts. The Colts would surprise almost everyone if they took a quarterback and like the Bears, they have the luxury of taking the best player on the board. They are also in need of a pass rushing talent as they have not had one since Robert Mathis and Dwight Freeney.
What could help the Bears though is the Colts need to protect quarterback Andrew Luck who is returning from shoulder surgery. They could look to draft the best offensive line talent in guard Quentin Nelson of Notre Dame. The Colts also could have the advantage of capitalizing on a possible run on quarterbacks, as they have already traded down once acquiring more picks and could do the same on draft night acquiring even more in return.
That leaves the Bears one selection off from being able to draft with the Tampa Buccaneers drafting before them.
Of the six teams before the Bears, the Buccaneers are the one team that could justify passing on Chubb as they already have a solid defensive line featuring Gerald McCoy and Vinny Curry. Safety Derwin James of Florida State could be the perfect fit for their secondary that is in need of a playmaker. Offensively, If Nelson is available, they could draft him as they need to protect and try to get the most out of fourth-year quarterback Jameis Winston.
If Chubb were to fall to the Bears, it would bolster an already formable defense and give them one of the best pass rushing defenses in the league. The moves made by general manager Ryan Pace in free agency point to the team targeting the pass rush position as they barely addressed only signing Aaron Lynch. Having the chance to draft the best pass rusher in the draft is still unlikely, but one of the beautiful aspects of the draft is that anything unexpected can happen.