2018 marks a new and hopeful start for the Chicago Bears. A team greatly impacted by injuries, depth and poor coaching in 2017, a new year and a new head coach could bring better results. That task starts with general manager Ryan Pace and the 2018 NFL Draft. Can the team add to a strong foundation of youthful talent?
Using the FanSpeak On The Clock Mock Draft Simulator, here is one realistic scenario that would make sense for the Bears.
Round 1, pick 8: Tremaine Edmunds, LB, Virginia Tech
The Bears’ LB situation isn’t anywhere near as dire as their WR position, but whom do you really trust at WR here in the top 10? For the sake of landing good value for selections, Edmunds makes much more sense for Chicago. Why? Because Edmunds can fill a number of roles.
He can rush the passer (in stretches, not full time!). He can cover in off-man. He can diagnose between the tackles. As good as Jerrell Freeman has been in recent years, he played one game last year at the age of 31 and is entering the final year of his three-year contract with the Bears. There’s room at the table for Edmunds.
Round 2, pick 39: Jaire Alexander, CB, Louisville
Chicago runs into a similar dilemma as it did at No. 8 in this scenario. All of the WRs warranting consideration at 39 (Ridley, Moore, Sutton, etc.) are gone. The team could do much, much worse than add Alexander to the mix.
I have been told by a source close to his camp to expect him to check in just under 6-0 and over 195 pounds, which makes him a terrific size for the boundary, considering his quickness and physical approach. Chicago’s secondary needs more on the outside; Alexander is a great fit.
Round 4, pick 107: Michael Gallup, WR, Colorado State
Finally, a WR worth the suggested pick. Gallup has a lot of fans in the draft community, but I do believe that late Day 2/early Day 3 is a fair projection for him as a prospect. Gallup runs crisp routes despite not being the most twitchy athlete.
More importantly, he does understand how to create separation. That’s a missing element from what Chicago has now.
Round 4, pick 117: Daesean Hamilton, WR, Penn State
Consider me a huge fan of the double-dip method. With Hamilton, the Bears add yet another terrific route runner. Sure, he may drop a few balls, but that’s nothing QB Mitch Trubisky isn’t already accustomed to after a tough rookie season.
Hamilton was a riser at the 2018 Senior Bowl and put his route running on display. A WR hungry team like Chicago would have been put on notice with the performance, and here it’s good value to see him on the board.
Round 5, pick 147: Brandon Parker, OT, North Carolina A&T
There’s one word to describe Parker as a player: tools. Parker has massive upside but is not likely to be phased into playing early in his NFL career.
That’s not a bad thing for the Bears, who have Charles Leno Jr. at the LT spot and can count on him playing respectably. There’s a need for more competition at RT, something that Parker may be a solution to down the stretch.
Round 6, pick 184: Foley Fatukasi, DL, Connecticut
If unfamiliar with Fatukasi, this is a disruptive player up front. Slightly undersized and coming from a low-profile school, Fatukasi hasn’t generated a lot of buzz. But he’s a quality piece up front for an NFL team that asks its defensive line to create havoc up front.
When seeing IDL Akiem Hicks dominate up front (8.5 sacks this year), getting him some players to keep in the rotation and allow him to stay fresh is a great idea.
Round 7, pick 224: Joe Ostman, EDGE, Central Michigan
The late rounds represent a great time to take a shot on high-production players. Obviously there is a baseline level of football IQ with these players; getting them a chance to overcome pedestrian athletic profiles will occasionally bear some fruit.
Could Ostman be next in line? He has 21 sacks and 33 tackles for loss (TFL) in the last two years. Chicago’s barren pass rush group featured just one player with more than 4.5 sacks on the year (Hicks).