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Chicago Bears 2016 NFL Mock Draft
- Updated: December 30, 2015
The Chicago Bears have had an up and down season in 2015, but they have already surpassed many people’s expectations for wins. USA Today predicted the Chicago Bears to win 3 games, and with one game to play, they sport a 6-9 record. By no means is that a pretty record, or one of which the Bears should be proud, but it shows they have the opportunity to grow and develop with a lot of key pieces on the roster right now.
Being eliminated from the playoffs, it is time for the Chicago Bears to look forward to the offseason. My prediction for the rest of the season is that the Bears will be at a record of 6-10 to end the season, losing their final game to the Lions. With this 6-10 record, I currently project the Bears to have the 11th pick in the 2016 NFL draft, giving them a number of options to go after each round. Let’s look at round-by-round predictions and analysis for the Chicago Bears 2016 NFL Draft.
Round One: Pick 11
The Pick: Jaylon Smith, OLB, Notre Dame, Junior
Measurements: 6’3, 240 pounds.
The Chicago Bears have a lot of needs for the 2016 NFL Draft, but many fans and experts alike are going to be quick to insert the best available quarterback here. The problem is this: neither Connor Cook, nor Jared Goff, nor any other possible available quarterback is a home run option to replace Jay Cutler and make the Bears much better in the future. Maybe the Bears will consider a quarterback in this draft, but Ryan Pace tends to go best player available. I’m projecting that to be Jaylon Smith. Some experts are pegging Smith to go earlier, but I think he falls. If I’m wrong, look for DeForest Buckner or Myles Jack. Smith is a linebacker who can thrive in a 3-4 at OLB. He has the athleticism and explosiveness to rush the passer and drop back in coverage. The Bears desperately need pass rushing, and overall improvement to their linebackers. Smith gives them both of those things right away.
Round Two: Pick 43
The Pick: William Jackson III, CB, Houston, Senior.
Measurements: 6’1, 195 pounds
Defense continues to be the theme in 2016 with the drafting of William Jackson III from Houston. Jackson had an incredible 14 pass breakups this year to go along with 3 interceptions, 2 of which were returned for touchdowns. Jackson’s ability to find the ball and make a play on it would be a welcome addition to the Bears’ secondary where Kyle Fuller continues his inconsistent play. If Fuller can pull it together, pairing him with Jackson for the future would create a solid pairing in the defensive backfield.
Round Three: Pick 75
The Pick: Joe Haeg, OT, North Dakota State, Senior.
Measurements: 6’5, 300 pounds
Maybe this isn’t the biggest name, and maybe you wanted to see a more high-profile tackle like Stanford’s Kyle Murphy or Brandon Shell out of South Carolina, but Joe Haeg is a guy who can do great things for the Chicago Bears. The Bears should be moving Kyle Long to Left Tackle next year because Jermon Bushrod has been absolutely atrocious (something I called from the start) and the Bears have no depth at offensive tackle. Long can also hold his own at that position, so it sets up the Bears in the ideal position of grooming a right tackle instead of a left tackle. Haeg has great athleticism and the quickness to move his feet and maintain position, as well as the speed to get to the second level and hit his blocks. The one thing that concerns me about Haeg is his limited strength in the lower body. He is susceptible to getting beaten by the bull rush, and he could very well be overpowered by stronger NFL defensive linemen and outside linebackers. Right now, though, he is better than the other options in Chicago.
Round Four: Pick 107
The Pick: Blake Martinez, ILB, Stanford, Senior.
Measurements: 6’2, 245 pounds
To his credit, Shea McClellin has had his best year as a pro in 2015. However, Shea’s best is pretty average, and he’s not a guy in the Bears’ long-term future. Blake Martinez might not be a solution, but he can provide depth and special teams work, and he has a chance of providing the Bears with a future starter. Martinez, the first-team Pac-10 selection, is always around the ball, and watching him on tape it is easy to see he flies there. Martinez’s nose for the ball led to 129 tackles and 4 pass deflections in coverage. As an ILB, Martinez can give the Bears better run support and pass coverage than McClellin at this point, and if he can’t win a starting job in 2016, he is an immediate help on special teams with high upside for the future.
Round Five: Pick 139
The Pick: Matt Ioannidis, DE/DT, Temple, Senior.
Measurements: 6’3, 292 pounds
Ioannidis is big and athletic enough to provide depth at the 5-technique position, where the Bears will desperately need depth. Outside of Jarvis Jenkins, the Bears have had very little production from their defensive ends. People had high hopes for Ego Ferguson, but just as I labeled him when he was drafted in the second round a couple of years ago, he is proving to be a bust. Matt Ioannidis is not someone who is going to come in and make a huge difference, but he has the ability to provide some situational pass rush, and he has decent ability against the run. The Bears need young depth on the line, and Ioannidis–while not a sexy pick–can give that to Chicago.
Round Six: Pick 171
The Pick: Bralon Addison, WR, Oregon, RS Junior.
Measurements: 5’10, 190 pounds
If Addison was a few inches taller, and hadn’t torn his ACL in 2014, we would be looking at a 1st or 2nd round draft pick. Addison is on his own level when it comes to speed and quickness, which makes him a value in the slot. Eddie Royal has been an injured mess for the Bears this year, so if Addison is available here, Chicago would be smart to grab him. Addison has solid hands and has shown toughness as an athlete, with the lack of speed in the Bears’ receiving corps, he could find a home very quickly.
Round Seven: Pick 203
The Pick: Trae Elston, SS, Ole Miss, Senior.
Measurements: 5’11, 195 pounds
The Chicago Bears have some young safeties who have shown some promise, but no one in the Bears’ defensive backfield hit as hard as Trae Elston. Elston is not the best in coverage, but he will fly up and blow up screens and runs consistently. His athleticism, toughness, and hard-hitting tendencies will give him a place on special teams right away, something the Bears need help with. Chicago has no one right now consistently running down on kickoffs and punts looking to hit hard, but Elston would change that right away.
Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Let me know in the comments or hit me up on Twitter!