In a way too early 2018 NFL mock draft, the Bears are looking at Arden Key in the first round. Is this a realistic possibility for the Bears?
I know, I know, it is way too early to speculate. However, our friends at NFLmocks.com released their first 2018 NFL mock draft recently, so of course, we have to dissect it. The first thing to note is the Bears are picking in the top five. Many Bears fans probably think this is a far stretch considering the position the team is in and the types of moves they made in the 2017 draft. However, the position in which the Bears select may be a bit surprising. The mock has the Bears taking Arden Key, outside linebacker from LSU.
There are two ways to look at this. The first is that aside from Leonard Floyd
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the team has Willie Young signed through 2018 and Pernell McPhee through 2019. That is not a weakness of the team and next year a shutdown cornerback or offensive tackle might be a better bet.
Then there is the thought that Key may be the hands down best player available. While this is way too early, the 2016 tape of Key was a player whose floor was number five overall. He could very easily have a Junior season that pushes his status into Myles Garrett territory.
However, the dynamic surrounding quarterbacks appear to be different next year. There seem to be multiple top signal callers in play for the number one overall pick. An influx of quarterbacks could push the number one player on the Bears board to pick five. The Bears would then be taking their top overall player, having four legitimate pass rushing options, and being comfortable life without McPhee and Young, or with an injured McPhee or Young.
There is a lot of time to go, and the debate between need and best player available will continue to reign on into next offseason. However, if Key can put in a similar 2017 as he did his year before, the Bears should be ecstatic to add such a game changing caliber player.