Mike Groll/Associated Press
The Bears figure to go defense in the first round. They have holes along the defensive line and in the secondary. Expect Phil Emery to look for an impact player. If a guy he loves falls, he will draft him over a more pressing need.
1. OLB Anthony Barr, UCLA
Barr is the most dynamic edge-rusher in the draft. He figures to go in the top five, but if by some chance he falls to 10, look for the Bears to trade up and get him. He's the kind of impact player this defense needs.
2. OLB Khalil Mack, Buffalo
Not far behind in the edge-rushing category is Mack. He dominated the MAC with 75 tackles for loss and 16 forced fumbles in his career. He will likely not get out of the top 10 but will be on the Bears' radar if he does.
3. CB Justin Gilbert, Oklahoma St.
Gilbert is the best shutdown corner in the draft. The Bears should be interested in him given the unsettled situation with Charles Tillman. Gilbert is a big-time playmaker with return skills to match. He's in the mode of Patrick Peterson.
4. DT Timmy Jernigan, Florida St.
The Bears were dead last in stopping the run last season. It makes all the sense in the world to plug in a run-stuffing tackle like Jernigan. He will likely be on the board when the Bears draft. The Bears will have to decide between him and the next player on the list.
5. DT Louis Nix III, Notre Dame
Injuries might scare the Bears and other teams away from Nix, but he was still a highly productive player. It will be interesting to see if the knee injury from which he's recovering takes away from his agility and athletic ability.