With the NFL draft a little less than a month away, I thought it was about time I posted my position rankings. The Bears have far fewer holes than they did at the beginning of the off-season, so it’s feasible that they could really draft any position. You can see what positions I think they will target in my latest mock draft, but Emery has been very unpredictable in his short time running the Bears so your guess is probably as good as mine. Throughout the next month I will list my rankings at each position with some analysis of the players and occasional commentary on whether they would be a good fit for the Bears. If you think my rankings are way off or if I forgot anybody, let me know about it in the comments.
1.) Khalil Mack, Buffalo (6’3, 245): Mack didn’t face much competition at Buffalo but he dominated (28.5 sacks, 75 TFLs) during his career there and backed it up at the combine with top 5 marks in 4 of the 6 drills he participated in and then looked even better at his pro day. Mack has an outside shot to go #1 overall and won’t fall outside of the top 10. Mack can play any LB position, but would be best used as an edge rusher and is the closest thing to Lawrence Taylor to come around in a long time. Draft Projection: 1st round
2.) Anthony Barr, UCLA (6’4, 248): Barr only played OLB for 2 seasons so he is a little raw, but so quick and explosive off the edge that he will rack up some sacks on athleticism alone. With some experience, Barr could be an elite pass rushing OLB. Draft Projection: 1st round
3.) Ryan Shazier, Ohio St (6’2, 230): Possibly the best athlete in the draft (4.3 40-time, 42″ vert) and could make an impact in any scheme. Shazier is light for an OLB, but is lightning quick, has great range, and is a big hitter. Draft Projection: 1st-2nd round
4.) Kyle Van Noy, BYU (6’3, 243): Van Noy can do it all at the OLB position. He’s more of a finesse guy than some teams like, but you can’t argue with the results (24 sacks, 54 TFLs over last 3 seasons). Van Noy is unique in that he excels in both coverage and rushing the passer. Draft Projection: 1st-2nd round