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NFL Chicago Bears

2014 NFL Draft: Chicago Bears’ Early Seven-Round Mock

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Chicago Bears' Seven-Round Mock

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Even though the Chicago Bears are still serious contenders for a spot in the playoff picture, it’s never too early to start looking towards the offseason and the upcoming 2014 NFL Draft. There are numerous areas they must improve in, and there won’t be a better opportunity to get better than the draft.

Of those areas needing improvement, one of the biggest concerns is at quarterback. Jay Cutler is set to be a free agent this offseason, and might not be re-signed. Josh McCown has stepped in and filled the void admirably, but is far from a long-term option. Even if the Bears re-sign or franchise tag Cutler, they still need to put a plan in place for the future.

Despite their need at quarterback, the Bears still have other questions in need of answers. The entire defensive line has been banged up throughout the 2013 season, which could leave several glaring holes to fill this offseason. Cornerback has also been a concern, especially with injuries and age affecting the talent at the position. Even the free safety spot could use an upgrade before the 2014 campaign gets under way.

Either way, the Bears need to make the most of their draft picks in May. The 2014 NFL Draft will offer Chicago an opportunity to upgrade their roster while addressing the problems that have cropped up during the season.

With that in mind, here’s a look at what the Bears could choose to do with their seven current draft picks when the 2014 NFL Draft finally rolls around.

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1st Round: Tajh Boyd, QB, Clemson

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More than likely, the Bears will move on from Cutler this offseason. Assuming that’s the case, they’ll immediately be on the lookout for a new quarterback, especially since McCown isn’t a long-term answer. That’s why they take Boyd in the first round. The Clemson product has a promising track record throughout his collegiate career, using his big arm, athleticism and pocket mobility to make plays. As long as he finishes strong this season, Boyd will be a great target for the Bears.

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2nd Round: Aaron Donald, DT, Pitt

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Throughout the 2013 season, the Bears defensive line has been riddled with injuries. They lost two players to ACL tears, and might not bring Henry Melton back this offseason after slapping him with the franchise tag earlier this year. Adding a talent like Donald would be a huge boost for Chicago. The Pitt product is a big, physical defensive tackle with unbelievable explosiveness. If the Bears want to add some serious pass rush to the interior of their defensive line, they should consider drafting Donald.

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3rd Round: Dion Bailey, FS, USC

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With Chris Conte currently starting at free safety, the Bears could use a significant upgrade at the position. The draft will be a perfect opportunity to do so, especially with an intriguing 2014 class. With a player like Bailey, the Bears would be getting an athletic, instinctive safety who does a great job of defending the run. He spent a big part of his career at USC at linebacker and is raw as a safety, but has significant experience in coverage and should develop into a quality starter in the NFL.

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4th Round: Scott Crichton, DE, Oregon State

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The defensive line rebuild continues here as the Bears look to solidify their front four moving forward. Melton’s injury was a big loss this season, and Julius Peppers isn’t getting any younger. That’s why drafting a pass rusher like Crichton makes plenty of sense. He is explosive around the edge, but also has the physicality and strength to make plays against the run. While he hasn’t quite lived up to the hype, Crichton has the potential to be a productive pass rusher for the Bears.

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5th Round: Bennett Jackson, CB, Notre Dame

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The Bears definitely have some concerns at cornerback heading towards the offseason. Charles Tillman is nearing the end of his career as injuries continue to take a toll. Apart from Tim Jennings, their lack of depth at the position has been apparent this season. To help in the depth department, the Bears should add Jackson to the mix. He’s an impressive cover man who does a great job of playing the ball in the air and putting himself in good position. There’s still plenty he needs to learn, but the raw tools are there.

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6th Round (via TB): Ricardo Allen, CB, Purdue

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The Bears could use even more help at cornerback, which is why they go with Allen here. A bit of a sleeper, the Purdue product has had an up-and-down collegiate career. In some games, he shows up big while disappearing in others. He’s a bit undersized, but shows great coverage skills and excels in man coverage. If he can adjust to the physicality of the NFL, there’s definitely the potential for Allen to develop into a quality nickel cornerback for the Bears.

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6th Round: Trey Millard, FB, Oklahoma

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While the Bears do currently have Tony Fiammetta on their roster, grabbing a dynamic fullback could add a whole new dimension to their offense. When healthy, Millard is a sensational talent from the fullback spot. Not only can he lead block, but he’s a reliable receiver out of the backfield and a big play threat when he’s taking handoffs. Unfortunately, an ACL tear ended his senior season which has dropped him from a Day 2 prospect to a late-round prospect. The talent is clearly there, though.