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Chicago Bears Big Board: Final Pre-Draft Update

Ross ReadContributor IIIMarch 25, 2015

Chicago Bears Big Board: Final Pre-Draft Update

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    The NFL draft is finally here. After months of poking and prodding players, the Chicago Bears will be able to see if their hard work in the war room payed off. 

    When it comes to drafting in the first round, you need to have a long big board to be ready for anything that happens. Trades in front of you or players slipping are perfect examples. 

    After the first round, you need to know the kind of player who fits into your system and draft based on that. 

    The first slide will show you the Bears' big board for round one, while the remaining slides go by position and rank players based on how they fit into the Bears' schemes. 

Overall Big Board

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    1. North Carolina Guard Jonathan Cooper

    An impact player who would improve the offense drastically and help the running game. 

    2. West Virginia Wide Receiver Tavon Austin

    Speed and flexibility are lacking in the passing game for the Bears. Think of all Austin can do in Marc Trestman's timing offense. 

    3. Washington Cornerback Desmond Trufant

    Charles Tillman and Tim Jennings are not getting any younger or cheaper. Trufant is a starter in the NFL. 

    4. Alabama Guard Chance Warmack

    A fallback option to Cooper, Warmack would be an instant starter on the Bears' line. 

    5. Georgia Linebacker Alec Ogletree

    Question the character but not the talent. Ogletree is as dynamic as it gets from the linebacker spot. 

    6. Notre Dame Tight End Tyler Eifert

    Martellus Bennett brings an added dimension, but throw Eifert in too, and that's a true matchup nightmare for teams. 

    7. Tennessee  Wide Receiver Cordarrelle Patterson

    A bigger option in the slot, Patterson has the size and strength to be another option up the middle. 

    9. Kansas State Linebacker Arthur Brown 

    A smaller but stout linebacker who is always in the right spot and as sure a tackler as there is. 

    10. Notre Dame Linebacker Manti Te'o

    Solid tackler with good leadership qualities and intangibles. 

Quarterbacks

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    Should the Bears choose to go after a quarterback this year, they won't be looking for more than a backup. Yes, Matt Blanchard is still on the roster, but Marc Trestman might want to develop a guy he brings in. 

    This all means the team would look late in the draft to find this guy. Anybody rated higher than eight or nine in this year's quarterback options isn't really a target because he will be gone by the time the Bears might look to draft a quarterback. 

    Here are the top five guys they would look at: 

           Player              School          Height     Weight

    1. Landry Jones  Oklahoma       6'4''         225

    2. Sean Renfree    Duke             6'3''         219

    3. Zac Dysert       Miami (OH)      6'3''         231

    4. Jordan Rodgers   Vanderbilt  6'1''         212

    5. Jeff Tuel       Washington St   6'3''        218

Running Backs

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    The Bears are still paying Matt Forte and Michael Bush quite a bit of money. Both are very capable players with some injury issues, but both should bounce back this season. 

    A change-of-pace back could be an option for the Bears, but there's no reason to grab a guy like that in an earlier round.

    Here are five change-of-pace backs available later on: 

    Player                 School               Height    Weight

    1. Knile Davis   Arkansas              6'0''        227

    2. Kenjon Barner Oregon             5'9''        196

    3. Dennis Johnson  Rutgers         5'7''         196

    4. Kerwynn Williams  Utah State 5'8''         195

    5. Ray Graham     Pittsburgh         5'9''         199


Wide Receivers

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    Brandon Marshall had a huge first season in Chicago last year, but there really wasn't a viable second option. Alshon Jeffery battled injuries and rookie woes, and Earl Bennett was hit or miss. 

    The Bears could use another receiver, especially out of the slot. They also lack speed at the position, meaning they might address the need for the second year in a row. 

    Here are five guys that would fit for the Bears: 

    Player                           School                  Height     Weight

    1. Tavon Austin   West Virginia                 5'9''        174

    2. Cordarrelle Patterson Tennessee          6'2''       216

    3. Robert Woods         USC                        6'1''       201

    4. Quinton Patton     Louisiana Tech         6'0''      204

    5. Justin Hunter       Tennessee                 6'4''      196

Tight Ends

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    The Bears made a big splash on the first day of free agency by signing Martellus Bennett. He provides a need in the receiving and blocking game, but could they add another tight end? 

    There's a chance the Bears go the route of drafting the best player available. But if they do draft a tight end, he would most likely be a complementary guy who can block well. 

    Here are five options for the Bears at tight end: 

    Player                     School                  Height      Weight

    1. Tyler Eifert         Notre Dame         6'6''          250

    2. Zach Ertz           Stanford                6'5''          249

    3. Gavin Escobar San Diego State  6'6''         254

    4. Travis Kelce     Cincinnati              6'5''         255

    5. Zach Sudfeld    Nevada                  6'7''         253 

Offensive Line

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    In a perfect world, one of the top two guards would fall to the Bears. Of course, this is the NFL draft, and nothing goes according to plan. 

    By adding Jermon Bushrod, the Bears addressed their need for a tackle, but they could use a couple of interior linemen, including a new center. 

    These are five options the Bears would strongly consider if on the board: 

    Player                                School                   Height   Weight

    1. Jonathan Cooper  North Carolina          6'2''      311

    2. Chance Warmack   Alabama                    6'2''      317

    3. Kyle Long                 Oregon                      6'6''      313

    4. Khaled Holmes       USC                            6'3''      302

    5. Braxston Cave       Notre Dame                 6'3''      303

Defensive Line

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    The Bears are pretty set on the defensive line. The have two Pro Bowl players and solid depth. Should they choose to add more depth, it would be in the later rounds. 

    These are five players the Bears could look at late in the draft: 

    Player                      School           Height     Weight 

    1. Akeem Spence Illinois            6'1''        307

    2. Jordan Hill        Penn State    6'1''        303

    3. Quinton Dial    Alabama         6'6''        318

    4. David King      Oklahoma      6'4''         275

    5. Jon Kruger     Utah                6'6''         269

Linebackers

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    The Bears picked up a couple of veteran linebackers, but after losing Brian Urlacher and Nick Roach, they are still in dire need at the position. 

    There is little question the Bears will draft at least one linebacker, but where do they do it? 

    Here are some first-round options and late-round options for the Bears: 

    Player                           School                      Height    Weight

    1. Alec Ogletree       Georgia                      6'3''        242

    2. Arthur Brown      Kansas State            6'1''         241

    3. Manti Te'o            Notre Dame               6'1''         241

    4. Nico Johnson    Alabama                     6'2'           248

    5. Kevin Reddick   North Carolina          6'2''          243

Cornerbacks

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    Cornerback is an interesting position for the Bears. It is not an urgent need but could be in a season or two. 

    The Bears are going to have to make a decision on Charles Tillman and Tim Jennings and could want some insurance in a younger guy. 

    Here are five guys the Bears would jump at if they were still on the board:

    Player                           School                       Height      Weight

    1. D.J. Hayden           Houston                   5'11''         191

    2. B.W. Webb           William & Mary         5'10''         184

    3. Brandon McGee Miami                          5'11''         193

    4. Josh Johnson    Purdue                       5'10''         199

    5. Khalid Wooten   Nevada                       5'11''         210

Safeties

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    Safety is not a need for the Bears. Last season, Chris Conte and Major Wright both played well and stayed healthy. Coming back is last year's third-round pick Brandon Hardin, who was placed on IR in the preseason. 

    If the Bears chose to draft a safety, it would be because one of these five guys was too good at the spot to pass up: 

    Player                        School              Height        Weight

    1. Zeke Motta         Notre Dame       6'2''           213

    2. Josh Evans        Florida               6'1''           207

    3. Robert Lester    Alabama             6'1''          220

    4. Cody Davis       Texas Tech         6'2''         204

    5. Keelan Johnson Arizona State  6'0''         209

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