April 11, 2019- Chicago Bears Mock Draft 2.0
After the latest shuffle in the 2019 prospect rankings and Ryan Pace's consistent strategy on drafting Best Player Available, here is the latest Chicago Bears mock draft:
Pick 87 Connor McGovern, Guard Penn State
Although it seems the Bears are pretty set at the position, it's hard to pass on a day one starter in the third round. Listed at 6'5", 308 lbs, and having a lower body that looks like the base of a Redwood tree, he isn't the type you can bull rush. He's worked out of a zone blocking scheme and has excelled as a run blocker. While he needs to work on his pass blocking, he's an exceptional athlete for his size and clears out running lanes the size of a small truck. He has played all three interior line positions, but assuming the Bears already have 3 players that can play center, he would be able to play his natural position. Kyle Long's contract and health are something that will have to be looked at after the 2019 season and this could be a smooth, cost effective transition if the team decided to move on. As stated before, he could be a day one starter. It's not likely he'll earn the job right away, so Hiestand can work with him on his pass blocking technique extensively and he'll possibly develop into a Pro-Bowl player. Guards are never a flashy pick, but with a quarterback like Mitch, the Bears could use all the athletic guards they can get their hands on.
Pick 126 Isaiah Buggs, DL Alabama
This a bit of a stretch, and it's possible Pace can move up a few spots for him, but Buggs is projected to go around 105th overall. If Buggs falls, it's a no-brainer, being 5 technique and a perfect fit for the bears defensive front. At 6'3" 306 lbs, he is always the first one off the ball and is quick to get into the neutral zone. He has been knocked for having shorter arms, but there was a similar critique to Tommie Harris in 2004. No, Buggs isn't the same level prospect, but he has been playing with his "small arms" his entire life. He didn't run well at the combine but his tape shows how quick his first three steps are which gave him the ability to record 9.5 sacks last season. Conditioning and arm length are his major knocks, and both can be improved upon. You cannot make your arms grow, but if he is able to pick up a fraction of the technique and hand-work Akiem Hicks has developed with Jay Rodgers, he will become a difference maker.
At pick 162, the Chicago Bears will announce a trade, sending their pick to the New York Giants in exchange for pick 180 and a fifth round selection in 2020.
Pick 180 Trayveon Williams, RB Texas A&M
The Chicago Bears have met with Williams more than any other player to date. Although teams put up smoke screens and bring people in for workouts to create the illusion they might be interested in a player, that typically happens at the top of the draft. When looking at fifth rounders, and the fact that the Bears need at running back, this seems to make too much sense. Chicago has met with Williams at the Combine, Senior Bowl, and brought him in for a private workout and interview. Listed at 5'9" 200 lbs, he is a compact running back that possesses both speed and power. Looking at his 2018 stats, he went for 1,760 yards and 18 touchdowns, averaging 6.5 yards per carry. He's not the fastest back in the draft, but he had enough speed to break a 93 yard touchdown against NC State. He also hauled in 27 catches for 278 yards and a touchdown, at a 10.3 yard average. Impressive stats aside, he is seen as a high character man. This has been the most important factor in the Chicago Bears rebuild. Every coach says good things about former players, but he is raved about by coaches, teammates, and the community. His coaches said that as the season went on, he became stronger. This isn't a physical thing; everyone gets banged up throughout a season, but heart goes a long way. Typically Pace moves up in the draft when he identifies a player he likes, but it's possible the Bears can have their cake and eat it too with this pick. If everything falls the way it's suspected to, they can get the player they want and acquire more draft capitol. Then again, it only takes one team's interest to screw up a master plan.
Pick 222 James Williams, RB Washington State It might sound crazy to draft two running backs with such little capitol, but in 2018 Pace showed that he was willing to completely overhaul the WR position, signing multiple free agents and also drafting Anthony Miller, and Javon Wims. The Bears carried 4 running backs last year, and with Cunningham and Howard gone, no one knows who Mike Davis is replacing. Taquan Mizzel was underwhelming and Williams could be a major improvement. In 2016 Williams had 48 receptions, in 2017 he had 71 receptions, and in 2018 he had 83 receptions. Although he is knocked for his frame and deemed as a 3rd down change of pace back, he was able to run the ball effectively when the box wasn't loaded. I'm not saying he will be an every down back, but his ability to catch the ball out of the backfield is impressive to say the least. Williams is a good fit in Nagy's offense and, if drafted, can add to the running back room.
Pick 238 Ugo Amadi, S Oregon
With your last pick, why not take a flyer on Amadi? He was brought in for a private interview. At 5'9' 199 lbs he was never the biggest, fastest, or most athletic player on the field. He has a laundry list of bad marks, ranging from struggling to play the ball at it's high point to letting players get a good initial jump on their deep routes. With that being said, he was a permanent team captain, high character guy, and was in charge of making calls on the back end of the defense. Players and coaches can cover up lack of athletic ability if the player is in the right position and has great instincts. He can be used as a safety, but will most likely transition to nickel corner. He has shown toughness, playing through injury. He's the type of player that is seen as someone to attack in a defense, so he was tested regularly, made a fair share of plays, and showed consistent improvement throughout his college career. He is a work in progress, like most 7th rounders, but it never hurts to take a natural born leader this late in the draft.