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Bears mock draft: Ryan Poles swaps down for more picks

We’re a day away from the NFL Draft, so this’s our last chance to play mock drafts before the picks start to come off the board in earnest. The Bears have several needs ー such as wide receiver, cornerback and inside offensive line ー and currently have six choices to meet those needs. Ryan Poles could stand and clap and fill more gaps, or trade down to create more working capital. Although it seems unlikely, we can not rule out the possibility that the Poles will bid for a serious effect player. In this mockery we shall see what could happen if the Bears remain with all their choices. I also tried to pick as many different players as possible from the three taunts, so if you want to get into more names before the draft begins in earnest, be sure to click on the links above for the other scenarios.

TRADE: BJØRNER RECEIVES NO. 44, 99 FROM BROWNS FOR NO. 38

After a big run on wide receivers, the Bears switch down, knowing they can still grab a striker in defense even if they move back. They get another Top-100 pick in the process.

NONE. 44: ROGER MCCREARY – CORNER BACK

Kaiir Elam and Kyler Gordon come out before the Bears pick, but they still get a new starting corner in McCreary. In Cover 2 defense, like Matt Eberflus’, cornerbacks are often asked to play press coverage, and this is where McCreary excels. He is physically close to the line and does a good job of staying tight with wide receivers. In scenarios where he plays a little out of line, he has also shown good speed to close the hole and can leave his feet to break passes. Appointed All-SEC First Team in 2021.

NONE. 48: QUAY WALKER – LINEBACKER

One of the best tacklers in the draft continues to slip and the Bears can’t resist. Walker boasts the speed required to play inside the linebacker in Matt Eberflus’ defense. He is comfortable in zone coverage, which is also a must. Towards the race, Walker can move sideways to avoid blockages and is often around the game even if he fails to tackle. He gives great depth inside, behind Roquan Smith and Nick Morrow, with the ability to evolve into a starter down the road.

NONE. 71: ALEC PIERCE – WIDE RECEIVER

Poles finds another starter in the third round. Pierce will slip into the “X” position right from the bat, giving Justin Fields the big goal he needs. Pierce is tall and comes in at 6’3 “, and he also set the highest vertical jump on the Combine at 40.5”. In addition, he has 4.41 speed. On the line, Pierce can hit the press coverage with his hands and sudden pauses. Put it all together and you have a serious deep threat.

TRADE: BJØRNER RECEIVES NO. 102, 224, 247 FROM DOLPHINS FOR NO. 99

With several exciting Olympic opportunities available, the Bears are reversing the choice they were given last Friday to add two seventh rounds.

NONE. 102: KELLEN DIESCH – OFFENSEN TAKLING

The bet of relegation pays off. Diesch there are still three picks later and give the Bears another chance at left tackle. The competition is underway to decide who should protect Fields’ blind side. If Diesch wins, the Bears could try to move Larry Borom or Teven Jenkins to the right guard to also strengthen the line further. According to the PFF, Diesch handed over only three sacks and eight pressure in total in 568 pass rushing snaps in college. Weighing in at 6’7 “, 301 pounds, he has the long, slender size that Poles also want in the O-linemen.

NONE. 148: JOSH JOBE – CORNER BACK

At NFL owners’ meetings, Matt Eberflus said he wanted “M&M” players, meaning guys who play “maliciously” and with an “engine.” Jobe definitely takes care of that. He is aggressive, hits hard and fights his way through the ending of the play. But the aggressive nature can get Jobe in trouble sometimes, as he was often marked for passing interference or holding penalties. Jobe is no Patrick Surtain, but he should join the long list of powerful defensive backs in the NFL.

NONE. 150: TYQUAN THORNTON – WIDE RECEIVER

The Bears get another wide receiver who could earn playing time on the outside. Thornton played four years at Baylor, including a fantastic senior season, catching 62 balls for 941 yards and 10 touchdowns. But he really blew people away by running a 4.28 40-yard line on the combine. Thornton can use that speed to blow a top of the defense, or score from the middle of the field if he finds space. When well covered, Thornton has also shown that he can catch controversial balls with good jumping ability and length. At just 181 pounds, however, the Bears are likely to want Thornton to become a rookie.

TRADE: BJØRNER RECEIVES NO. 189, 230 FROM COMMANDERS FOR NO. 186

Poles slips three spots back again to add a third pick in the seventh round after going into the draft with no one.

NONE. 189: ERIC JOHNSON – DEFENSIVE LINEMAN

Johnson possesses the size and explosiveness that Eberflus is looking for in a defensive tackle, and he also has experience playing three-technique. He can push the pocket from the inside to push the QB, even if he does not get the sack, and he may well get his hand up to hit passes down the line. Johnson also shows great motor skills and persecution and sometimes comes back into play to tackle the ball carrier from behind. Johnson will likely need extra adaptation to the NFL game as he comes from FCS. With Justin Jones under contract for two seasons, however, the Bears have time to let Johnson develop.

NONE. 224: DARON MIX – CORNER BACK

After three seasons at Sacramento State, Bland switched to Fresno State for 2021. He has several physical qualities that can help him succeed in the NFL, namely a 76 ¾ ”wing catcher and 4.46 speed. Last year, he limited opponents to a completion rate of 42% and 63.2 passer rating when targeted, according to the PFF.

NONE. 230: BRAD HAWKINS – SECURITY

Hawkins is an excellent tackler and plays physically with receivers in pass coverage. He has played deep, in the box, like a slot corner and also up on the line, so the Bears can move him around the court, if they want. With 42 games played in Michigan, Hawkins also has plenty of experience. But in all those games, Hawkins has never come up with an interception.

NONE. 247: WILLIAM DUNKLE – RIGHT GUARDS

Dunkle thrives on race blocking and often wins his first block, after which he crushes another defender on the second level. He also plays with the physical edge the Poles want. But in pass protection, Dunkle can be put on his heels, and sometimes he smells while picking up stunts.

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