Who are Ryan Pace’s Magical Eight?
Ryan Pace is targeting eight prospects in the 2018 NFL Draft. We predict who they are.
Ryan Pace addressed the media today just a couple of days before the NFL Draft where the Bears hold the 8th overall pick. Pace didn’t provide too much information, and plenty of the information he did provide could be very much a smokescreen to throw people off the scent of whatever the Bears might do with that pick.
There was one piece of information that was interesting.
If Ryan Pace is floating out any truth, it’s that he likes eight players. Sure he’s telling the press that means he’s guaranteed to get a guy he loves, but if he is telling the truth, who are his eight guys? We make predictions.
Bradley Chubb and Saquon Barkley
There are two names that almost certainly won’t be available when the Bears select at eight and those names are Chubb and Barkley, but that doesn’t mean Ryan Pace is going to ignore them. If there are talented players, Pace will scout them and be ready for all possible draft scenarios. If one of them begins to slide and Pace loves one of them, he will be ready to pounce.
This one makes too much sense. The Bears need a guard. They have his former offensive line coach on the staff. Some consider him the best prospect in the draft. It’s a lock that Nelson is part of the eight.
Tremaine Edmunds and Marcus Davenport
When you look at the type of players that Ryan Pace likes to select in the first round, he likes guys that are great athletes that have really high ceilings. Davenport and Edmunds fit that mold perfectly. Davenport is a project edge rusher out of UTSA and Edmunds is an ILB who’s a great athlete but needs to truly learn how to play football. Some even think Edmunds could move out to the edge and become a pass rusher, which, of course, is a need the Bears have.
Being that both these two fit the Pace Profile, there’s a good chance that both of these two are also part of Ryan Pace’s Magical Eight.
Minkah Fitzpatrick and Derwin James
As the Bears continue to build up their defense, their secondary is on the verge of becoming elite. If they add another playmaker like Fitzpatrick or James, they could really become a special unit. Both Fitzpatrick and James are versatile defenders that could line up all over the field. James could be used in the hybrid role. Fitzpatrick could become a dominant interior pass defender. Both these guys are high on everyone’s draft boards and there isn’t a lot of downside with either prospect. Again, it’s more probable than not that Minkah and Derwin are part of the eight.
That gives us seven. A list of seven prospects that are almost certainly on Pace’s target list. Who could be the eighth? It could be Mike McGlinchey who some have linked to the Bears. It could be Harold Landry if the Bears want an edge rusher. It could be Denzel Ward, considered the top true CB in the draft. But it’s most likely this man.
Smith may not fit the mold as a Pace prospect. He is a bit undersized and doesn’t have the strength that Pace would traditionally target for an ILB, but Smith has so many positives going for him. He has tremendous football instincts. He is lightning quick. He knows how to work his way into the backfield and makes tackles for a loss. He’s a football player that coaches love. He’s the type of guy that the Bears can plan on having him run the defense for the next decade. He may not be the perfect guy for the “Pace Profile,” but sometimes when you see a special football player and he’s available, you don’t over think it.