Bears Official Draft Prospect Visits

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports /
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Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports /

With less than a month left before the 2016 NFL Draft the Bears have been ramping up their prospect visits over the last few weeks. NFL teams can talk to as many draft prospects as they want during Pro Days, the Combine, any other college all-star formats, or workouts sponsored by the teams. The only limit put on NFL teams is that they can only bring a total of 30 players in for a private workout.

More from Chicago Bears Draft

I’ve broke down the Bears official visits and private workouts¹ (so far) below to give fans a better idea of who the Bears may be interested in for this year’s draft.  There is a brief scouting report of each player and my take on why the Bears may be interested in them. I will update this list weekly throughout the next month leading up to the draft.

If you know of any players that should be added to this list, hit me up in the comments or on Twitter (@MikeFlannery_)

Official Visits

*NFL teams have a maximum of 30 prospects they can bring in for an official visit. I’ll be updating this list as the Bears get closer to the 30 player maximum visit limit.

LB Myles Jack, UCLA – Possibly the best overall athlete in this year’s draft. Despite the fact that he hasn’t even ran any timed drills this draft season. We don’t know if he was timed at all during his visit with the Bears, but looked extremely fluid participating in LB drills at his Pro Day.

As long as Jack’s speed and athleticism on the field are close to what it was pre-injury, his tape at UCLA should be enough to get Jack drafted in the top 10. Jack is a rangy LB with the ability to cover like a defensive back, rush the passer when needed, and blow up plays in the backfield (15 TFLs) despite having limited experience on defense after starting his career as a running back.

As a freshmen running back, Jack averaged 7 yards per carry and scored 7 TDs on just 38 carries total. The move to linebacker let Jack loose on defense, allowing him to use his elite speed and athleticism to be a sideline-to-sideline run defender who could also lock down anyone he matched up against in coverage, including slot receivers. With the growing tendencies for teams to line up with three WRs, a linebacker like Jack who can cover literally anyone is a huge value.

On defense Jack’s best fit is probably as a weak-side 4-3 OLB like Lavonte David and Derrick Brooks before him, but his plus-plus speed and athleticism could also make Jack a weapon as an inside linebacker in a 3-4. The Bears are presumably set at the ILB position after the signings of Danny Trevathan and Jerrell Freeman, but that would allow the Bears to integrate Jack into the defense slowly and also move him all over the field as a dynamic rover who can cover, hit, and more importantly for the Bears… make impact plays.

As an added bonus the Bears could also use Jack’s running back experience as a short-yardage power back with enough burst to be dangerous anytime he touches the ball. Jack is an unusual player, he’s a freak of nature athletically and could make the Bears better on both sides of the ball . It’s doubtful that Jack falls to the 11th overall pick, but it makes sense for the Bears to do their due diligence just in case he does.

DE Robert Nkemdiche, Ole Miss – Former #1 recruit out of high school who has shown flashes throughout his college career, but has been hindered by both injuries and off-field issues. Nkemdiche still has a ton of talent and upside, but teams will have to look closely at his off-field problems and decision-making off the field.

Paul Abell-USA TODAY Sports
Paul Abell-USA TODAY Sports /

On the field he provides a tempting mix of size, power, and ridiculous athleticism for his size. Nkemdiche’s technique is disappointingly raw, he doesn’t have a go-to pass rush move and hasn’t finished enough plays in the backfield for a guy with his physical tools. If he can straighten out his off-field issues and ends up with a coaching staff who can develop his technique, Nkemdiche has Pro Bowl talent at either the 5-tech or inside at DT.

His off-field issues will most likely be a turn-off for John Fox, but the Bears did bring Nkemdiche in for a private workout so there may be interest anyway. He’s too risky for the Bears to roll the dice at pick 11, but if they trade back in the first round or if off-field concerns drop him out of the first round all together… Nkemdiche is an ideal 5-tech in Fangio’s scheme and he has more upside than any d-linemen in this draft.

Next: Ogbah, Treadwell, Coleman