If you haven’t noticed, mock drafts are starting to come out and the “guessed” picks, for the Chicago Bears, are all over the place. Some have them picking a quarterback while others have them selecting a safety. It’s still early but who could the Bears be targeting at number three?
The Bears have an opportunity in the draft this year picking at number three in the first round. It’s been a long time since the Bears have had a pick this high in a draft. The last time they picked this high was in 1972 when they selected offensive tackle Lionel Antoine from Southern Illinois. He played with the Bears from 1972 to 1979 and had an unspectacular career that was hampered due to injuries.
Hopefully the Bears first round pick this year will work out better than Antoine did.
General Manager Ryan Pace has made two first round picks since coming to Chicago. He drafted wide receiver Kevin White in his first draft and then took outside linebacker Leonard Floyd in the second. White hasn’t panned out too well due to injuries and have some analysts questioning the pick. Floyd, if he can stay healthy, could be an excellent draft pick and a future Pro Bowler.
Having the third selection in the draft is going to be a huge opportunity for Pace to show that he can shine. He has the choice of just about any player in the draft and can make a high-impact selection. It just must be the right one. He could also trade out of the top of the first round and go to the middle of it collecting additional draft picks along the way. That would be a wise move as well.
If they decide to stay at number three, they will have a chance to take just about any player in the 2017 NFL Draft. But who should they take? That is a huge point of contention among fans and it will only grow more contentious as the draft draws nearer.
The mock drafts have the Bears taking a wide range of players by name but have been sticking to about three positions. Most mocks have the Bears selecting either a quarterback, safety or a defensive lineman. It’s easy to see why as those are three of the most needed positions on the team.
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I will eventually dig into this a little more in future articles but for now, I would like to throw out my early choices for the Bears pick at number three. I have narrowed it down to three possibilities, for now, and given some reasoning for why the Bears should take the player. Let’s take a quick glance at the three best players for the Bears at number three. We will determine who is the best later.
Deshaun Watson-QB-Clemson- Watson was an efficient and effective quarterback at Clemson during his career there. He decided to leave school a year early and cast his lot in the 2017 NFL Draft. That may have been a wise idea. The Bears need a quarterback but do they want or need to take one so early? And is Watson the kind of guy that can help them win? Can he help them win right away? Does he need to?
Right now, he’s the best of the quarterback class but would or should the Bears roll the dice and take him?
Watson is dynamic, smart and can win games but how well will he do in the NFL? That’s the question surrounding any college quarterback in the draft and the risks in taking one are high. Especially in the first round. The Bears are not a team that takes a lot of risks and anyone who has been following them for a long time will realize that. They may play it safe and wait until a later round to take a quarterback instead of “gambling” and grabbing someone like Watson at number three.
Jonathan Allen-DE-Alabama- The choice of Allen to the Bears is a very popular one. Even famed NFL Draft prognosticator Mel Kiper, Jr. has him going to the Bears in the first round. Picking Allen would be a good choice for any team in the top five of the draft and he might just be the most sought after player in the first round. His stock is sure to rise. It could even rise all the way to the top.
With Cleveland and San Francisco ahead of the Bears, the chances Allen will be there at number three decreases. Both teams are in the market for a but if they don’t’, Allen may be the best player available right now. (Take Myles Garrett into consideration as well). He might be gone before the Bears have a chance to get him. If they did grab him, he would make their defense formidable with Akiem Hicks and a healthy Eddie Goldman playing alongside him.
Taking him would be a huge step forward for the Bears.
Jabrill Peppers-S-Michigan– Depending on who you talk to, the best safety in the 2017 NFL Draft is Jabrill Peppers. But Ohio State’s Malik Hooker is easily a close second. Peppers is the consummate athlete and he can make all the plays. He would be a huge upgrade over anyone the Bears have now and just might be the guy that they need to select at number three. He could help end their years-long “drought of talent” at the safety spot.
There aren’t too many opportunities to find a great safety in the first round of the NFL draft. This is true for most any year and this year may be an exception. When you think of great first round safeties, Sean Taylor comes to mind. They just don’t get drafted that early that often.
If Peppers proves to be the real deal, he would be hard to pass up. If he is there and worthy of number three, the Bears cannot afford to let him get by. His help on defense would be huge.
You can be assured that things will change a lot before May. If you have thoughts on who the Bears should select in the first round, please share your thoughts in the comments below.