On the inaugural Bears Nation Twitter Spaces hosted last Wednesday (and held every Wednesday going forward at 7 pm), I was asked who I think a perfect wide receiver prospect is for the Bears. This is an important consideration, and begs a bigger question: what is a “perfect” prospect? That question is the one that I think is going to be particularly relevant this year. The Bears are trying to set up a new scheme on both offense and defense. In a draft widely considered to have no scheme-less, all-around wonder talents (a “perfect” prospect a la Miles Garrett), the perfect prospect for a team is really a question more about perfect fit; and good fits can be found anywhere. Using The Draft Network’s Mock Draft Predictive Order, I looked for best fits for each of the Bears 10 biggest needs- and selected one that was an early round get and one that could have starter potential in the late rounds due to their potential in this system. Realistically, my Day 2 picks here would be Pickens and Muma.
Wide Receiver– Need an X receiver that can get off press, get downfield in a hurry, and make outside of frame catches- exactly what this offense is missing, and the kind of player Justin Fields excelled with at OSU. Size is both a missing aspect of this receiver room and a needed prerequisite to many of these traits. Ideally experienced with deep crossers, Justin’s signature shot throw.
Top 100 Fit: George Pickens, Georgia
Late Round Fit: Romeo Doubs, Nevada
Offensive Tackle– Need pass protection, and we need it badly. This problem really should have been solved in Free Agency and adding another rookie to a very young group is not wise. But as it stands the Bears need a Tackle who will keep Justin clean no matter what- an area both Borom and Jenkins have struggled. Any other downside should be ignored in pursuit of an experienced pass setter with clean footwork.
Top 100 Fit: Charles Cross, Miss State
Late Round Fit: Zach Tom, Wake Forest
Linebacker– Need a third backer for base (I do not want to be rolling out LeDarius Mack) and someone who can push Nicholas Morrow for Nickel snaps- potential to start in the nickel in the future. Needs a SAM build (large, strong, ~240) with cover skills.
Top 100 Fit: Chad Muma, Wyoming
Late Round Fit: Mike Rose, Iowa State
Interior O Line– Need versatile interior player who can take center or guard spot, playing Dakota Dozier off the field and superseding Lucas Patrick. Also needs to be a primary zone blocker with decent pass pro ability. The team needs a long term future here that nobody on the current roster is bringing.
Top 100 Fit: Zion Johnson, Boston College
Late Round Fit: Dohnovan West, Arizona State
Cornerback– The Tavon Young signing means no slot corner should be targeted here- the Bears need a tall, lengthy corner who can win in press and have solid instincts in shallow zone. Plus-tackler is also a good fit for Eberflus and needed for the Cover 2 Scheme. Occasional man ability wouldn’t hurt for blitz packages either but certainly shouldn’t be a necessity.
Top 100 Fit: Kaiir Elam, Florida
Late Round Fit: Zyon McCollum, Sam Houston State
Defensive Tackle– Tonga is a nose and Justin Jones is a run stopping 3-tech. Neither player gives much to be excited about. The Bears need pass rush juice here terribly, preferable with the size to stay on the field in all situations and the upside to start- think a DeForest Buckner type player.
Top 100 Fit: Perrion Winfrey, Oklahoma
Late Round Fit: Haskell Garrett, Ohio State
Edge Defender– With the solid pass rushing juice of the current group, the Bears should be looking for a bigger body who can fill run lanes in base. Al-Quadin Muhammed’s signing may be intended to do that, but mass is still needed here.
Top 100 Fit: Logan Hall, Houston
Late Round Fit: Isaiah Thomas, Oklahoma
Safety– The starter by training camp committee competition approach indicated to us by the re-signing of Deandre Houston Carson and the free agency signing of Dane Cruikshank is an interesting decision. That group desperately needs a new face to push this competition even further, and perhaps play for the future. The candidate should be a rangy athlete with split zone experience and hard-hitting ability.
Top 100 Fit: Lewis Cine, Georgia
Late Round Fit: JT Woods, Baylor
Tight End– Another position the Bears seem to be attacking by committee- and every committee needs a young guy to coach up. Ideal pick here has blocking ability that gets him on the field early with enough juice to fill in as a starter due to injury or the potential of a future without Kmet.
Top 100 Fit: Jeremy Ruckert
Late Round Fit: Chig Okonkwo
Running Back– Not a strong need but it was this or quarterback, and we certainly don’t need quarterbacks in the draft. Ideal candidate can sub in on third downs and provide shiftiness out the backfield with quality pass protection, the area where our current group is fairly deficient.
Top 100 Fit: James Cook
Late Round Fit: Jashaun Corbin