2012 NFL Mock Draft: 7-Round Chicago Bears Predictions
It seems like only one week ago that I presented my latest mock draft because...well...it was just one week ago. But this early in the prognosis, teams are changing their projections all the time, so I have to adjust the Bears' picks accordingly.
With needs all over the place, there is no shortage of ways in which the Bears can go with this draft. And without a GM named yet, it's difficult to know which way they'll go.
They need to upgrade along the offensive line, at the wide receiver position and in the secondary, and they could use a pass-rusher to bookend with Julius Peppers.
Add in some linebacker depth, and it's fairly easy to see that this is an important draft for a team that needs youth for the future but wants to win now.
After all, the clock is ticking on the veteran core of the defense, with Brian Urlacher, Lance Briggs, Charles Tillman and Peppers all on the other side of 30.
So let's take a look at this week's mock, and compare it to my last Bears mock draft.
1st Round: Peter Konz, C, Wisconsin
As bad as the team needs a pass rusher to bookend with Peppers, help on the offensive line takes precedence for me now, as I consider an opportunity to draft a player that will help in two ways.
Drafting Peter Konz will not only give the Bears a center for a long time and a young Wisconsin combination of Konz and Gabe Carimi; it will also allow the Bears to move Roberto Garza back to the guard position.
Melvin Ingram is still a solid choice here, but I am hearing that he may be drafted before the Bears' pick at No. 19, as the Seahawks are said to be interested in him at No. 12.
Garza played decently at center, especially given that he hadn't played the position before, but he turns 33 in March.
Plus, with all of the injuries they have experienced along the line, they could use Garza back at guard.
Some analysts, such as draft guru Mel Kiper Jr., don't have Konz going in the first round. But for the Bears to hope he slips to the second round would be dangerous thinking.
It's not that he isn't the top center in the draft; it's just that teams don't usually take centers with their first pick, although it happened last year.
Meanwhile, Konz, a junior, has played against elite players like Jerel Worthy and Jared Crick very well. The Badgers had a terrific run game, and Konz is an excellent run blocker. He seals holes well, gets to the second level and puts defenders on the ground regularly.
Konz has also done a great job in pass protection for quarterback Russell Wilson.
I'm leaning toward Konz now.
Previous pick: Melvin Ingram, DE, South Carolina
2nd Round: Nick Toon, WR, Wisconsin
I still like Toon with the 50th pick in the draft. I wonder if the Bears have ever taken players from the same school with their first two picks? I'm sure one of my smart readers will know.
While I'd still like the Bears to go out and sign a free-agent WR like Vincent Jackson, taking Toon would help this team at a position many agree has the most immediate need for an upgrade.
Meanwhile, Toon has good lineage, as his father, Al Toon, played with the Jets from 1985-1992. His size is decent, at just over 6'1", with good bulk and top-end speed.
Toon is not afraid to work the middle of the field, blocks well, and is a savvy and physical route-runner. Toon lacks breakaway speed, but uses a stiff arm to pick up yards after the catch.
He has good hands and sideline awareness, making for a good value pick in the second round.
Previous pick: Nick Toon
3rd Round (from Carolina): Coryell Judie, CB, Texas A&M
I'm going back to Coryell Judie with the Bears' first pick in the third round. Actually, if the Bears don't draft Konz in the first round, I also like another Badger here—Kevin Zeitler, a guard from Wisconsin.
How about that? If they go with Zeitler, that would be three consecutive Badgers drafted by Chicago. But since I am taking Konz, we can move Garza back to guard and take a corner with pick No. 74.
While Trumaine Johnson (Montana) would also be good here, I prefer Judie because he has the skills of a second-rounder, at least in my opinion.
Judie has average height for a corner (though he would tower over Tim Jennings), but plays bigger than his listed height and is said to be a good kid off the field.
On the field, he is a very confident player with good route recognition and anticipation skills as well as the mental toughness to rebound from mistakes.
Judie is a playmaker with great ball skills and a dangerous runner after an interception.
Previous pick: Coryell Judie
3rd Round: Orson Charles, TE, Georgia
Here's where I switch up once again as I go back to adding even more help on the offensive side of the football with Orson Charles, a tight end out of Georgia.
I would like Charles to be be 6'5" or so, but with the 80th pick, you can't have everything. As it is, Charles stands a bit over 6'3", but has good speed for a guy his size.
Charles is fast enough to get behind most linebackers working against man coverage and makes the first defender miss while showing above average top-end speed.
He is not afraid to work the middle, but needs improvement at blocking. It's a good thing Mike Martz is gone.
Following picks on the offensive line, at wideout and tight end with three of the first four picks, you can bet a defensive player is coming next.
Previous pick: Kevin Zeitler, G, Wisconsin
4th Round: Keenan Robinson, OLB, Texas
I like Robinson and am sticking with him. The main question is if he will still be on the board when the Bears draft at No. 111. The Eagles, in particular, scare me as a team drafting with the 99th pick that could use linebackers.
The SAM and WILL positions on the Bears could use an infusion of youth, and Keenan Robinson's best attribute is his range vs. the run.
He is a gifted athlete who moves well for his size. Robinson changes direction easily and moves well from side to side, showing an above-average closing burst when in pursuit.
Robinson is disciplined and reacts to the ball well. He sniffs out screens and recognizes draws well. He could use more strength, but has the kind of frame that could add bulk.
If Robinson is off the board, I might go with Kheeston Randall, a DE/DT from Texas, or Nigel Bradham, a LB from Florida State.
Previous pick: Keenan Robinson
5th Round: Matt Reynolds, OT, BYU
With this pick, we go back to the offensive line and take OT Matt Reynolds. Reader KTB suggested this, and the more I looked at it, the more I liked it.
While he showed the ability to protect the edge, Reynolds is a better fit at right tackle. I know that's where Carimi plays, but he can back up Carimi and offer some insurance in case he turns out to be injury prone.
Or, the Bears could move him elsewhere. He grades out only about average, but for a prospect this late in the draft, that's what you'd expect.
Previous pick: Blake Gideon, FS, Texas
6th Round: Blake Gideon, FS, Texas
Alright, you may say I'm cheating a bit here, since in my last mock I took Gideon is the fifth round, but my research shows that he could be still there this late and if he is, the Bears should jump all over this guy.
Blake Gideon recorded 64 tackles with four passes defended, one sack and one interception this season. He has been around the ball for Texas and was one of the few who battled well vs. Baylor.
He has good size for just (at best) average speed. But he is a smart player who does a nice job of timing leaps and shows good hand-eye coordination to bring in interceptions.
His lack of athleticism could drop him to the fifth or sixth round, but he would be a great value pick this late in the draft.
Previous pick: Rhett Ellison, TE, USC
7th Round: Tyrone Crawford, DE, Boise State
This late in the draft, you just hope you can draft a player with two arms and two legs. So, with the 203rd pick in this year's NFL draft, the Chicago Bears select Tyrone Crawford from Boise State.
Crawford is 6'4", 285 lbs and led the team with 13.5 TFLs and 6.5 sacks in 2011. His best game was in Week 7 against Colorado State, when he recorded five tackles and two sacks that totaled 14 yards in losses. He also recovered a fumble.
Previous pick: Nathan Stupar, OLB, Penn State
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