2011 NFL Mock Draft: Predicting All 7 Rounds for the Chicago Bears

Thad Novak@@ThadNovakCorrespondent IMarch 1, 2011

2011 NFL Mock Draft: Predicting All 7 Rounds for the Chicago Bears

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    Heading into the 2011 NFL draft, the Chicago Bears know where they stand. After coming just one win short of reaching the Super Bowl, the right draft choices could be just what they need to put them over the top and back in the championship game.

    Herein, some predictions for who those choices might be, from Round 1 all the way through Round 7.

    Well, actually Round 6, as the Bears don't have a seventh-round pick, having used it in the supplemental draft.

Round 1, Pick 29: Derek Sherrod, OT, Mississippi State

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    The Bears allowed more sacks than any team in football last year, so the offensive line will be a priority in this draft. Tackle is a particular concern, as neither Frank Omiyale nor J’Marcus Webb looks like a long-term solution, and the depth chart currently shows nobody behind them.

    Derek Sherrod will likely be the best tackle available by the time the Bears pick at No. 29 overall. He has impressive size (6’5”, 312 lbs.) and athleticism and has starting experience at both tackle slots in college.

    Wherever the Bears opt to plug him in, he should be ready to challenge for a starting spot as soon as he arrives in camp.

Round 2, Pick 30 (Overall Pick 62): Marcus Cannon, OG, TCU

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    Continuing the theme of salvaging the O-line, Marcus Cannon will give the Bears much-needed depth with the potential to play his way into a starting job. A tackle in college, Cannon’s enormous frame (6’5”, 358 lbs.) has led some scouts to project him as a guard at the NFL level.

    His combine performance has gotten terrific reviews, and whichever position he plays as a pro, the Bears could use his help.

Round 3, Pick 29 (Overall Pick 93): Quan Sturdivant, LB, North Carolina

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    With the release of Hunter Hillenmeyer following a concussion-shortened season, an already thin linebacking corps gets even thinner. The Bears can add some much-needed depth, and groom a starter-in-waiting, by taking the hard-hitting Quan Sturdivant.

    Sturdivant missed five games with a hamstring injury last season, which has hurt his stock some, but in the eight games he did play he accumulated 61 tackles and three sacks.

    He’ll be able to back up all three linebacker positions, and if Pisa Tinoisamoa leaves in free agency, Sturdivant has the talent to challenge Nick Roach for the starting job.

Round 4, Pick 30 (Overall Pick 126): Greg Romeus, DE, Pitt

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    After the terrific 2010 seasons turned in by Israel Idonije and Julius Peppers, DE isn’t exactly a need position. On the other hand, the Bears are thin across the defensive line (Corey Wootton is the only backup at either DE spot).

    Most importantly, if Romeus falls this far, his upside is too good to pass up.

    Prior to 2010, Romeus was projected as a first- or second-rounder, but back and knee injuries cost him almost his entire senior season. Obviously, the Bears will need to assure themselves that he’s recovered fully, but his potential is enormous.

    In three seasons at Pitt, Romeus totaled 19.5 sacks and 38.5 tackles for loss.

Round 5, Pick 29 (Overall Pick 157): Justin Boren, OG, Ohio State

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    Another body for offensive line coach Mike Tice to shuffle into the mix, Justin Boren brings solid run-blocking ability from a program that knows a few things about turning out offensive linemen (two programs, actually, as Boren transferred to OSU from Michigan).

    Boren cut 10 pounds from his playing weight to weigh in at 309 at the combine. If the added mobility helps his pass protection, it should boost his draft stock.

Round 6, Pick 30 (Overall Pick 190): Cedric Thornton, DT, Southern Arkansas

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    Given the Bears’ drafting success with Abilene Christian products Danieal Manning and Johnny Knox, they shouldn’t be averse to taking a chance on another lower-division standout. Cedric Thornton’s numbers against Division II competition aren’t as meaningful as his size (6’3”, 299) and agility.

    He’s a player who will bring effort and play with something to prove, and that alone might make him more valuable than the average sixth-rounder. With Tommie Harris gone, it can’t hurt to have another DT on the roster.