Chicago Bears Mock Draft (Rounds 4-7)

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Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports
Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports /
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Joshua Lindsey-USA TODAY Sports
Joshua Lindsey-USA TODAY Sports /

Round 5

TE Tyler Higbee, Western Kentucky (6’6 | 249 | 4.77)

The Bears took a significant loss to their offense when they decided to trade Martellus Bennett. It left them with just Zach Miller as the only proven tight end on the team and he’s been healthy for just one of the last five seasons. The Bears have some interesting back-ups at the position in Rob Housler and Khari Lee, but they are serious question marks and the Bears need to add depth at TE.

Higbee is a former wide receiver who filled out to around 250 pounds but retained most of his speed, plus hands, and sharp route running ability. He only dropped two passes over the last two seasons, can catch the ball over the middle while taking a hit, and has surprising power and elusiveness in the open field after the catch. Higbee could be the best receiving tight end in this year’s draft.

He’s not a well-rounded tight end or he wouldn’t be available on day three. Higbee switched to tight end during his junior season, so has very little experience at the position compared to his draft competition. Despite gaining 20+ pounds over the last two seasons, Higbee still lacks ideal size and more importantly power for the position. He’s going to struggle blocking good defensive ends at the next level and is inexperienced with the nuances of the position.

Tight end is a relatively new position for Higbee and he does lack ideal bulk, but he was a willing and surprisingly effective effective blocker last season. His upside as a receiving tight end is as high as any prospect in this draft and Higbee would be worth taking a round earlier if the Bears had doubts about his availability in round five. It’s a weak tight end class overall and Higbee is one of the few players at the position whose tape stood out to me (Harvard’s Ben Braunecker was another).

Next: Round 6

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