By Clyde A. Speller @ClydeASpeller on April 22, 2014
With the 2014 NFL Draft less than a month away, the Chicago Bears have been constantly scrambling, making visits with potential pro prospects and rearranging their draft board day by day. It’s evident that the organization will use the majority of their seven picks on defense, with a couple of them hopefully having an immediate impact on the team. Here’s my late-April mock draft for the Bears.
From my point of view, safety is still the Bears’ biggest need. Alabama safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix will more than likely be off the board by the time Chicago picks at No. 14. Assuming that Calvin Pryor is still on the board, the Bears should grab the former Louisville Cardinal.
I would love for Chicago to select Minnesota’s Ra’Shede Hageman at this spot, but I have a feeling he’ll be a late first-round selection. Fortunately, there will be plenty more defensive tackles available for the Bears, and it is a this point that they’ll put a stamp on Arizona State’s Will Sutton, who’s drawn some comparisons to two-time All-Pro defensive tackle Geno Atkins.
Cornerback Charles Tillman will be entering his 12th season in the NFL, and there is no guarantee that the two-time Pro Bowler will be coming back in 2015. Pierre Desir, whom the Bears have already visited with, is a big cornerback from a small school that could be the heir apparent to Tillman’s spot in the starting lineup.
Losing quarterback Josh McCown was arguably the Bears’ biggest loss of the offseason. Though Jay Cutler is still the man under center, he’ll be 31 years old at the start of the regular season. Now’s the time to start grooming a quarterback for the future. A.J. McCarron, the only quarterback to win back-to-back BCS championships, should be the best one available in Round 4.
Max Bullough is a sure tackler who could greatly help a Bears defense that struggled in stopping the run. In addition, Bullough, a two-time First-team All-Big Ten selection, could give Chicago some much-needed depth in their corps of linebackers.
Currently, the Bears only have two running backs on the roster. There’s a good chance that Chicago will get more help in the backfield via free agency. However, De’Anthony Thomas is a back who will fit well in Marc Trestman’s offense and could be a huge spark-plug on special teams.
At this point in the draft, any position could be addressed. My guess is that the Bears will focus on beefing up at linebacker again. Yawin Smallwood is a lengthy, athletic linebacker who’s physical enough to play inside or outside. Smallwood’s skill set could help the special teams unit as well.
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