Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
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.) Greg Robinson, Auburn (6’5, 332): He showed off his ridiculous athleticism at the combine, running a 4.92 at 332 pounds and having a top 3 broad jump. Robinson is already an absolute mauler in the run game and could be a dominant RT on day 1. He plays with a mean streak that ultimately is what gave him the edge over T Jake Matthews in my rankings. With a little coaching, Robinson will eventually move over to LT once his pass protection technique improves and has all-pro potential there as well. Draft Projection: 1st round
2.) Jake Matthews, Texas A&M (6’5, 305): Possibly the surest thing in this year’s draft, you can’t go wrong with a lineman from the Matthews family. Jake Matthews is the most polished tackle prospect in the draft and can step in and start on day 1 at either right or left tackle. There are no obvious holes in Matthews’ game, he showed good run and pass blocking skill in college. If there is any weakness, it is his lack of elite explosiveness. Draft Projection: 1st round
3.) Taylor Lewan, Michigan (6’8, 302): Lewan isn’t quite as athletic or explosive as Robinson and isn’t as technically polished as Matthews which is why he is third on this list. He is still a top 10 talent in my opinion. Lewan could step in and start at right tackle for sure, possibly left as well and has all-pro potential at either. He’s got a mean streak that sometimes borders on out of control, but in my opinion that is a positive trait for offensive linemen. Draft Projection: 1st round
4.) Zach Martin, Notre Dame (6’4, 304): Martin had a great Senior Bowl, but might be a little small for left tackle. He is an inch shorter than the unwritten minimum tackle height of 6’5, but Martin was a stud tackle in college and was the best tackle at the Senior Bowl. I think he will overcome the height prejudice and become a solid tackle in the NFL. If he doesn’t make it at tackle, he’s a potential all-pro at guard. Draft Projection: 1st round
5.) Cyrus Kouandjio, Alabama (6’7, 322): A lot has been made of his disappointing combine and failed medicals due to an arthritic knee, but when you watch his game tape he was a borderline dominant left tackle against top competition in the SEC. None other than Dr. James Andrews has said his medicals are fine and his knee is normal for a man of his size. Kouandjio is very mobile with a good kick slide and despite some inconsistent play last year, has the tools to be a dominant tackle down the road. Draft Projection: 1st-2nd round