There has been a slowing down in free agent signings, so there won’t be too many new names listed below. I do not factor in draft day trades. Chicago could very well trade any of their picks, especially the #14 pick in the first round.
Because of Chicago’s needs, a trade down in the early rounds could mean more quality players in the second, third, and fourth rounds when some quality players fall because of other teams’ needs.
1st Pick, 14th overall: Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, Safety: A cover safety who has the vision and instincts the Bears desperately need in the secondary. His running game skills are not ideal, but with six picks in the draft, getting the best player available at a position of need is a must.
Other players that the Bears will look at include safety Calvin Pryor, defensive tackles Aaron Donald and Timmy Jernigan, cornerbacks Justin Gilbert and Darqueze Dennard, linebacker C.J. Mosley, and tight end Eric Ebron.
2nd Pick, 51st overall: Keith McGill, Cornerback: His height (6’3”) makes him attractive to any team looking for size in the secondary. All fans have to do is look at the success of the Seattle Seahawks secondary and know having size helps. McGill’s physicality is not where most would want it, but could figure that out in the NFL. Bears have to get someone who can step in next season once Charles Tillman and Kelvin Hayden are gone.
3rd Pick, 82nd overall: Christian Jones, Linebacker: Bears have to add an inside linebacker. D.J. Williams has health concerns, and even if he is healthy, may not be around more than another season. Jones is athletic, can blitz, and has experience at all three linebacker positions. He was the inside linebacker on Florida State’s National Championship team, and that defense was great.
4th pick, 117th overall: Anthony Johnson, Defensive Tackle: Johnson is a bit of an underachiever, but in a system where he can learn and not be depended on as a starter immediately, he could be a value pick. His size is legit and can be molded into a good player. Chicago needs to add size in the middle for the future, and Johnson could earn a chance to be in the team’s rotation for some time.
5th pick, 156th overall: Storm Johnson, Running Back: Johnson could be the perfect complement for Matt Forte. Storm could be the thunder to Forte’s lightning and excels as a downfield, power runner. Johnson will have to work on ball security and be okay with not being the feature back. He only started one year for UCF in college.
6th pick, 183rd overall: Vinnie Sunseri, Safety: Clinton-Dix’s secondary mate is recovering from a torn ACL. 670 The Score’s Adam Hoge talked about him on their latest NFL Draft podcast, and likes his knowledge of the game. Sunseri lacks in a lot of areas, but could at worst be depth at safety if the team decides to draft a second safety. Sunseri would fill a role on special teams immediately.
7th pick, 191st overall: Tevin Reese, Wide Receiver: Baylor receivers have contributed on the NFL level in recent years. Many of them were considered projects or to fall short of where they are now. Reese needs to eat a sandwich or twelve, but could be another nice steal late in the draft. His speed is elite, and he could steal snaps from Marquess Wilson and Josh Morgan (if he’s still with the team) at the slot position.
Follow Jeff on Twitter @sckih_ffej for more sports hot takes. Jeff is also a production assistant at 120 Sports (@120Sports).Follow paulmbanks