Latest NFL Mock Drafts with Bears selections
Most mock drafts have Bears drafting Williams (Troy Wayrynen - USA Today Sports)

Latest NFL Mock Drafts with Bears selections

by - Correspondent -

It is officially mock draft season and in everyone’s first round of mock drafts ahead of the NFL Combine starting on February 29, many analysts around the country are projecting the Bears will draft 2022 Heisman quarterback Caleb Williams out of USC with the No. 1 overall pick and wide receiver Rome Odunze out of Washington with the No. 9 pick.

One such analyst is Daniel Jeremiah, who provided insight about the Bears trading the No. 1 overall pick to the Carolina Panthers last year ahead of the 2023 NFL Draft. He pointed out that he does not like to do mock trades in his first mock draft. Thus, assuming the Bears maintain the No. 1 overall pick in this draft, he argued that Williams would make the most sense.

In a little bit of a surprise, he is also one of the analysts picking Odunze to fall to No. 9 in the draft for Chicago to be able to get him at that spot. Mock drafts from other analysts prior to Jeremiah had Odunze getting drafted before the No. 9 spot. However, Jeremiah has Malik Nabers out of LSU going in the top five, something that was not seen in previous mock drafts. He also has Michigan quarterback J.J. McCarthy getting drafted at No. 8 and two offensive linemen going in the first seven, leaving Odunze available at No. 9 for Chicago.

“To me, it will be a home run draft for the Bears if they pick Williams at No. 1 and then land Odunze here,” Jeremiah said in his mock draft. “This would transform their offense.”

Eric Froton, from NBC Sports, has the same eight players getting drafted ahead of Odunze in his mock draft where Chicago takes Williams at No. 1 and Odunze at No. 9. The same can be said of Ryan Fowler from Draft Network, Seth Trachtman of Yardbarker, Chris Trapasso of CBS Sport, among others. Overall, this seems to be the common consensus, but this is most likely assuming no trades occur.

For the analysts that like to have mock trades in their mock drafts, a few analysts have included Chicago in one such trade - but not the one you would think.

Instead of trading the No. 1 overall pick, these mock drafts have Chicago trading with the Denver Broncos down from No. 9 to No. 12. Some of these still have the Bears getting Odunze at No. 12; the Bears still draft Williams at No. 1 in these scenarios.

Josh Edwards from CBS Sports is one such analyst who projected the Bears trading down to No. 12 and getting Odunze. His scenario has tight end Brock Bowers going in the top 10 while three quarterbacks, two wide receivers, two offensive linemen and an edge are selected before the No. 9 pick, allowing the Broncos to trade up for their quarterback of the future - McCarthy. That follows with another offensive lineman and edge getting drafted before Chicago is able to nab Odunze at No. 12.

This seems like more of an unlikely scenario. While the Combine always provides more clarity on this kind of thing, it does not seem likely that Odunze will fall past the top 10. Further, Chicago trading out of the No. 9 to No. 12 without having some compensation from trading quarterback Justin Fields, such as the No. 8 overall pick from the Atlanta Falcons, would not make a lot of sense unless Denver gave some hefty compensation for such a trade. Still, this does not seem very likely.

Another projected trade with the Broncos, this time from The Athletic’s Adam Jahns, has Chicago getting edge rusher Jared Verse from Florida State at No. 12. He believes the Bears will not pass on drafting a quarterback this time around, going for the No. 1 quarterback available in the draft in Williams. Drafting Verse at No. 12 would provide an elite edge to play alongside Montez Sweat.

“The idea of pairing a proven, highly paid defensive end in Sweat with a young, promising rookie is very appealing. In Verse, the Bears get a pass rusher who fits the long, fast and physical profile that coach Matt Eberflus wants for his defensive players,” Jahns said in his mock draft. “But Verse also plays with the relentless effort and energy that fits the Bears’ no-loafing identity. His rise from the University of Albany to Florida State will resonate with the Bears, too.”

Some mock drafts, though, are just wacky. While all of the previous mock drafts discussed have logical reasoning, Nate Tice from Yahoo! Sports does not seem to understand the needs of the Bears. First, he has the Bears using the No. 1 overall pick on Drake Maye from North Carolina as opposed to Williams. This would probably be the shock of the draft if this actually occurred, particularly since other mock drafts such as Daniel Jeremiah, have Jaydan Daniels from LSU going before Maye in the draft. So, using the No. 1 overall pick on Maye would not make sense. If that is truly who Chicago wants, they could trade down to No. 2 or No. 3 and get him as well as a lot of draft capital.

Where Tice’s mock draft makes less sense is with the No. 9 overall pick; he has Chicago drafting Bowers. While he has all three elite receivers - Marvin Harrison Jr, Nabers and Odunze - going before the No. 9 pick along with two offensive linemen, there are multiple elite offensive linemen remaining including Taliese Fuaga from Oregon State and JC Lathan from Alabama. Fuaga is frequently a top 10 pick in other mock drafts, such as Jeremiah’s, with Latham also getting drafted in the first half of the first round. It would not make sense for Chicago to pass on that level of talent at offensive line, especially for a tight end. Besides, they would not draft Bowers when they already have a solid No. 1 tight end in Cole Kmet; the Bears have much more pressing needs.

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