A lot will change between now and the NFL draft (May 8th). The Bears will bring back some of their free agents, let some go, sign new ones, etc. Prospects will blow up the combine or their individual pro days and their projected draft slots could change dramatically in the next 3+ months. But as of today, Feb 1st, this would be my ideal draft for the Chicago Bears.
To determine which players would be available in each round I took the average draft slot for each player from the most respectable 7-round mock drafts I could find¹. Once I had the average draft slot, I used that to determine which players would be available when the Bears picked in each round. For example LB C.J. Mosley had an average draft spot of the 13th pick in round 1, so he wasn’t an option for the Bears at pick 14. For each pick I took the player I liked best that met a specific need for the Bears. What I consider needs and what Emery does are obviously going to differ, but this is how I hope things pan out.
For the purposes of this article, I am assuming that the Bears don’t make any trades, even though it was tempting to move them down to the end of the first round so they could add another pick or two and take Aaron Donald with their first pick. I didn’t do that, but I wouldn’t be upset if it happens in real life. Here goes:
1st Round (14): DT Timmy Jernigan, Florida St (6’2, 298) - Defensive tackles that are good against the run and can pressure the QB are rare, but Jernigan has the potential to be one of those guys. The problem with Jernigan is consistency. He disappears for long stretches which might be a conditioning or motor issue, but in his defense Jernigan played very well when it counted most. In the national championship game he had 8 tackles and a sack. 8 tackles for a DT is ridiculous. Jernigan has good size, power, and surprising quickness for a big man. He’s a potential Pro Bowl DT if he can play hard consistently. If the Bears bring back Melton, the combo of Jernigan and Melton could turn the position from a weakness into a strength right away.
Other options: (Aaron Donald, Darqueze Dennard, Kony Ealy)