I have been thinking about the NFL Draft that is coming in a few weeks and what the Chicago Bears should be looking to do with the 19th pick? I was one of the people who thought offensive lineman, but the more I have been thinking about, I think the Bears need to go defensive end with the 19th pick of the first round. The reasons are defensive end is maybe the most important position in the Tampa 2 system. Also if the DLine is putting pressure on the QB it automatically makes the cornerbacks and safties better.
Let’s take a look at the players in the order I think they should be drafted if available.
1. Quinton Coples, North Carolina- Coples has great size at 6’5″ 281 pounds to go along with great speed off the edge. He has a full repertoire of pass-rushing moves and the power to bull rush offensive tackles. To pair this UNC defensive end with another in Julius Peppers would make this defense very scary. I don’t expect Coples to be available when the Bears draft at 19.
2. Nick Perry, USC- Perry is starting to move up draft boards as he may be the best 3-4 rush linebacker and the 2nd best 4-3 defensive end in the draft. Expect the Bears to take a long look at Perry to put opposite Peppers. Perry is 6’3″ 275 pounds with great strength and good enough speed to be a very good pass rusher in the NFL. I expect him to be available unless a team just falls in love with him.
3. Whitney Mercilus, Illinois- Mercilus is a favorite of a lot of people because he played at the University of Illinois. He checked in at 6’4″ 265 pounds, which in my opinion is a little light to be a 3 down end in the NFL. He has all the skills to be a great pash rusher, especially if he is opposite Peppers, but he doesn’t do that well against the run and would have to be in a rotation to start out as where I think Coples and Perry could be 3 down defensive ends. I would look for Mercilus to go around the 19th pick and could even go #18 to the San Diego Chargers.
4. Courtney Upshaw, Alabama- Upshaw is more of a 3-4 rush linebacker, that could play defensive end in a 4-3 system. He is good against the run with his excellent strength and can get to the QB with the pass rush. I expect him to be more of a late 1st rounder to the New England Patriots or Baltimore Ravens. But would be a player to target if the Bears want to trade back and pick up a couple of extra draft picks.
My pick for the Chicago Bears with who I think will be available is Nick Perry out of USC. I just think that Coples will be gone already and I like the entirety of Perry’s game over Mercilus’ pass rush ability.