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Chicago Bears Draft Choice - Aaron Donald vs Ha Ha Clinton-Dix

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Apr 25, 2013; New York, NY, USA; General view of Radio City Music Hall during the 2013 NFL Draft. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL Draft isn’t necessarily about making difficult decisions on the spot with the clock running.  Instead, these scenarios are played out well in advance.   With the Draft just over a week away, I thought we’d have a little fun and put ourselves in Phil Emery’s shoes.   I’ll propose some possible Chicago Bears draft scenarios that Emery could face and we’ll see what decision you’d make as you play GM.

In the first Draft Choice, Ha Ha Clinton-Dix narrowly beat out Calvin Pryor in the battle between top safeties.  The next decision is between DT Aaron Donald and FS Ha Ha Clinton-Dix.  Let’s look at the case for and against:

Dec 26, 2013; Detroit, MI, USA; Pittsburgh Panthers defensive lineman Aaron Donald (97) during the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl against the Bowling Green Falcons at Ford Field. Pittsburgh Panthers defeated Bowling Green Falcons 30-27. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Aaron Donald, DT, Pittsburgh (6’1″, 285 lbs.)

Donald has been shooting up draft boards with a great season and strong showings during the Senior Bowl practice and the Combine.  He’s not the biggest defensive tackle, but he’s a disruptive force as a pass rusher up the middle.  If Lovie Smith were still here, this would be a no-brainer.  As it is, Phil Emery doesn’t sound convinced that Donald will make it all the way down to #14, but in case he does, we should be prepared.

The case to draft…

The Bears signed a bunch of defensive linemen this offseason, but when you consider that Jeremiah Ratliff had a major leg injury a couple of years ago and Nate Collins is coming off a torn ACL, you don’t know that you have a reliable 3-technique on your roster.  Stephen Paea has had foot injuries of his own to further complicate matters.

The Bears learned last season that you can’t have enough depth on the defensive interior.  They ranked so far into last place against the run that they might be demoted to the CFL.  An up-front presence will help keep them from getting running all over.

The case not to draft…

The Bears invested a lot in the defensive line, but haven’t done much of any significance at the safety position.  The dropoff at the safety position is believed to be a lot steeper after the first 2-3 prospects whereas you might be able to get a pretty solid DT in the second or third round.  If you pass on Donald, you might see someone like Jernigan or Ra’Shede Hageman slip into the 2nd round.  I remember a couple of years ago when people pegged the Bears to take Stephen Paea in the first round, but it turned out they were able to snag him in the second round.

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Tags: Aaron Donald Chicago Bears Ha Ha Clinton-dix

  • Gioscianna

    Grab Gilbert and have him play saftey till Tillman leaves. 2nd round go with Tuitt. 3rd round go Will Sutton. 4th Yawin Smallwood. 5th Isaiah Crowell. 6th Colt Lyerla and with our second 6th draft the BPA at any position on defense.

  • BigJonLilJon

    If Donald is still there… it becomes easy. Draft him fast. DT is still a position of need in order to stop the run. The line will also help cover the secondary and there will be a few good safeties in round 2. If Donald isn’t there… I still say Gilbert over Ha HA

    • metalhead65

      right just like all the other good safeties the bears have drafted in the third round and later over the years right? would not be upset if they drafted gilbert but they have to for once grab the top guy available for the secondary. donald is small for a tackle how will he handle the bigger and stronger offensive lineman he will be be facing in the NFL?

      • BigJonLilJon

        Donald faced that in college and performed.. low center of gravity and his speed gets him a good push. And I think Buchanon will be available in 2nd round as a safety

  • Gioscianna

    I would prefer to go 1. Calvin Pryor SS. 2. Pierre Desir CB. 3. Anthony Johnson DT. 4. Yawin Smallwood MLB. 5. Aaron Lynch DE. 6. Xavier Grimble TE. 6. Jeff Matthews QB.

  • Lewis Hanson

    I say they surprise everyone again and go with C. J. Mosley… ; )

  • Kirk Devries

    If Donald is there, trade down with Dallas and get the 16th pick. Then trade the 16th pick and move down again. Pick up two more second round picks to go along where you have moved down and have a total of 4 second round picks or 3 seconds and a late first, other picks will be added in the deals, such as extra 4th or 3rd rounder depending. PIck Bucannon with one of the seconds and you still have three more seconds or 4 more seconds, again depending. . Briggs and Tillman were second rounders. Find the gems and we win.

  • Mike Flannery

    No-brainer if Donald is there. Best DT in draft and perfect fit for Bears scheme.

  • David A Maupin

    Donald bar none over Dix. However it looked like a viable pick a couple weeks ago I don’t see Donald lasting past 12 to GMen the latest and possibly Lovie’s first pick as the Buccs head coach.

  • Michael Praser

    I don’t think that Donald is a perfect fit for the Bears scheme. They need some big boys in the middle. We need to eat up the running back.