B/R Community Mock Draft: Chicago Bears' Fifth-Round Pick Is...
The B/R Community Mock Draft enters Round Five.
In the B/R Community Mock Draft, 32 different B/R Featured Columnists each play the role of mock GM for their favorite team and do a live, real-time full seven-round draft to try to improve their respective teams. I'm the mock GM for the Chicago Bears.
If you're just joining us, you can catch up with where we've been with these links:
So far, I like our draft picks. We've strongly bolstered our front seven on defense, adding a high-motor pass-rushing monster and a top-quality linebacker. And we've turned our previously sterile passing offense into one of the NFL's elite.
And now it's time for me to make our fifth-round pick.
Quality is dropping fast among the remaining available draftees.
Or are they?
The Game Plan
At this point, my war room partner and fellow Featured Columnist Bob Warja is willing to take an offensive lineman. However, we have our second disagreement.
I wanted to look at offensive tackles. But Bob suggested guard Will Blackwell.
I think guard is a low priority for the Bears. And while Bob recommended Blackwell with the possibility of projecting him to center, I think fifth round was too high for him.
Bob also suggested defensive tackle Jaye Howard.
Some projected Howard to be a fourth or fifth round pick so I agreed Howard is a good option.
But I strongly wanted to take an offensive tackle. And I locked in on Donald Stephenson from Oklahoma.
By far, the best available offensive tackle (and arguably the best player available, period) Stephenson was ranked as high as a projected second-round pick by NFL analyst Gil Brandt. So here was the first time in this Community Mock Draft that I had to hope that a player would fall to me, unlike prior rounds where I was flexible with multiple good options.
While I was willing to come to a consensus with Bob with our third and fourth-round picks, I was prepared to make a unilateral decision to take Stephenson if he was available for us in this fifth round. Bob said he was fine with Stephenson, though I'm not sure if Stephenson would have been Bob's first choice here in the fifth round.
In the event Stephenson was taken before our turn to pick in the fifth round, I needed to have some backup plans. Besides Jaye Howard, I would also strongly consider cornerbacks Ryan Steed and Asa Jackson.
Admittedly, I didn't have as many backup plans as in other rounds, so hopefully it will all work out.
Now it's just a waiting game as we see if those other Featured Columnists/mock GMs would bypass Stephenson.
The Fifth Round Begins
The Bears pick 15th in the fifth round, so I had to nervously wait for 14 teams to make their picks.
And here's what happened:
138. IND—C David Molk
139. DEN—WR T.Y. Hilton
140. MIN—OT Andrew Datko
Stephenson is far better than Datko, in my opinion.
141. CLE—LB Terrell Manning
142. TB—RB Ronnie Hillman
143. WAS—G Tony Bergstrom
When taking Bergstrom, Redskins Featured Columnist/mock GM Dan Hope commented that Bergstrom was the best offensive lineman available. I'm glad he felt that way!
144. JAX—WR Jeff Fuller
145. CAR—WR Chris Owusu
146. BUF—LB Emmanuel Acho
147. MIA—CB Ryan Steed
Another nice pick by Dolphins Featured Columnist/mock GM Alex Miglio.
148. PHI—WR Devon Wylie
149. STL—CB Asa Jackson
There goes both of my targeted cornerbacks for this round. Just two more teams before our turn.
150. OAK—LB Kyle Wilber
151. SD—CB Omar Bolden
To me, Bolden is a dubious pick. He hasn't played since 2010 due to injury, and at his Pro Day, he looked tight in drills. But that's fine with me because before the Bolden selection is even finished being put up on the draft board, I make our team's announcement.
With the 152nd pick in the Bleacher Report Community Mock Draft, the Bears select...
...OT Donald Stephenson
The police should be knocking on my door any minute now because this pick was a steal in the middle of the fifth round.
Not considered a draftable player entering the season due to injuries and Oklahoma's perennial depth of offensive line talent, Stephenson had a solid season protecting quarterback Landry Jones' blind side as the Sooners finished the year in the Top 20.
Stephenson not only was invited to the Combine but also stood out among the offensive linemen there.
He ran the fastest 40 time (4.94) and jumped the furthest (9-foot-6 broad) and highest (35 1/2 inches) of all offensive linemen. Combined with his long arms (34 7/8 inches) Stephenson proved to be the most athletic offensive lineman at Lucas Oil Stadium.
In drills at the Combine, Stephenson continued to impress. SI's Tony Pauline described him as "quick and fluid, displaying top footwork in pass protection and good movement skills all morning."
The 6' 6", 312 lb. Stephenson followed up that sparkling Combine with a Pro Day that "shined".
While he needs to work on some mechanics and get stronger, those are both aspects that Stephenson can easily improve under offensive coordinator Mike Tice's guidance.
There's no question that Stephenson will be more effective than incumbent J'Marcus Webb, who not only led the league in most sacks allowed but also led the league in most false starts. Unlike Webb, Stephenson is reliable at not giving up sacks and can be downright nasty when finishing off plays.
The real Bears have interviewed Stephenson so there is a possibility he could be a real Bears pick. Though I'm not sure what round the team projects him to go, for me to somehow get Stephenson in this Community Mock Draft after adding two top offensive playmakers and two top defensive playmakers is almost an ideal draft.
Here's how the rest of the fifth round played out.
The Rest of the Fifth Round
153. ARI—WR Dwight Jones
154. DAL—S Phillip Thomas
155. PHI—RB Cyrus Gray
156. NYJ—DE Taylor Thompson
157. TEN—G Senio Kelemete
158. CIN—DE Brandon Lindsey
159. ATL—OT Tom Compton
160. DET—DE Tyrone Crawford
Bob Warja and I discussed Crawford for our sixth-round pick. So much for that.
161. ARI—DE Jack Crawford
162. CLE—WR Ryan Broyles
163. GB—C Quenton Saulsberry
164. NO—DT DaJohn Harris
165. ATL—WR Greg Childs
166. BAL—OT Matt Ryan
167. SF—WR A.J. Jenkins
168. CIN—S Winston Guy
I was also considering Guy for our sixth-round pick.
169. NYG—S Eddie Pleasant
170. OAK—TE James Hanna
171. BAL—LB Miles Burris
172. IND—LB Tyler Nielsen
And that is the end of the fifth round.
So to recap, so far I've picked:
DE Whitney Mercilus
WR Rueben Randle
LB Keenan Robinson
WR Juron Criner
OT Donald Stephenson
The biggest need remaining is cornerback. We have two rounds left. Are there any worth taking at this point? Are any safeties worth taking at this point? Defensive tackles? Or should we simply go Best Player Available?
That will be covered in an upcoming article.