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Data Entry: 2018 Mock Draft

| April 24th, 2018

At long last, draft week is upon us. In just two short days, months of endless speculation will finally be rendered obsolete with an action-packed three days of actual picks taking place.

Before we head to the time honored post-draft tradition of arguing why guys you’ve never heard of are going to be great NFL players simply because your team drafted them (and your team obviously had the best draft of any team), allow me to add my personal contribution to the time honored pre-draft tradition of pointlessly trying to guess what’s going to happen before it happens. Please feel free to mock me next week once we know how hilariously wrong this was.

My main goal here is not to be accurate, per se, but to generate discussion about what types of options are likely going to be considered by the Bears at various points in the draft. The logic behind each pick is going to be explained based on Ryan Pace’s trends at various points in the draft (you can review day 1, day 2, and day 3 here) and what players who fit those trends are likely to be good fits for Chicago’s current offense or defense based on current roster needs. Let’s use this more as a starting point for some intelligent last-minute draft discussion than simply honing in on these seven names.

Also, I’m not projecting any trades, even though I think it’s likely at least one involving the Bears will happen.


Round 1, Pick 8

Tremaine Edmunds, ILB

I think this pick is Quenton Nelson if he’s still there, but I don’t think he will be. Tremaine Edmunds it is. Edmunds is the round one option who¬†best checks both boxes for Pace in round 1: he’s an exceptional athlete with tremendous upside at a position where a high-profile veteran was recently sent packing (two other names to keep an eye out for in that regard are Derwin James and Marcus Davenport).

Edmunds steps in as an inside linebacker with the potential to develop into a star under Vic Fangio.

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Data Entry: Looking at WR fits in the Draft

| March 20th, 2018

 

Before the Combine, I looked at WRs who found success in coach Matt Nagy’s offense in Kansas City and identified physical traits that they all shared. When examining their Combine performance, I found three drills they all typically excelled at:

  • 40 yard dash: 4.51 seconds or better
  • Vertical jump: 35.5 inches or higher
  • Broad jump: 10 feet or longer

Now that major free agency dominoes have fallen and attention is starting to turn more towards the draft, let’s look at all the WRs from the Combine and see how they fared in these three drills. This will help identify what wide receivers might be good fits for the Bears in the draft this year.


Hit All Three

Out of the forty-four WRs at the Combine, there were 7 who hit all three physical thresholds. They are shown in the table below.

A few thoughts on this group:

  • For my money, DJ Moore is the best WR in the draft for this offense, and I’ve thought that since before the Combine. He’d be a great pick for the Bears in round 2 if he’s still on the board, but it’s also unlikely they look at a WR that high given their investment in the position in free agency.
  • It’s important to remember that simply hitting these three thresholds does not make a good WR. It just means that physically they would be a good fit in this offense, and probably warrant looking into to see how good of a WR they actually are. I am not saying these are the 7 best WRs in the draft.
  • Many of these players are actually projected to go on day 3, including Antonio Calloway, Richie James, Tre’Quan Smith, and Jester Weah. All are very good fits for this offense and are names to keep in mind for the Bears in the later rounds. Michael Gallup has a chance to still be there in round 4 as well.
  • Antonio Calloway is an interesting case. He’s had a laundry list of off-field problems but is immensely talented. If he wasn’t such a problem, he’d likely be drafted in the first two rounds. Could the Bears look for a late-round flyer there?
  • Richie James also jumps out to me as a guy who fits really well. He’s a small school prospect projected to go in the late rounds, and is a small, shifty WR who profiles well into this offense.

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