The NFL Draft begins this Thursday, April 26 at 7 p.m. The Chicago Bears have the following seven picks in the upcoming draft:
Round 1 - 19th pick within the round / 19 overall
Round 2 -18 / 50 overall
Round 3 - 17 / 79 overall
Round 4 - 16 / 111 overall
Round 5 - 15 / 150 overall
Round 6 - 14 / 484 overall
Round 7 - 13 / 220 overall
Here are Bear Report's projections for Chicago's seven 2012 draft selections.
DT Michael Brockers
Crystal LoGiudice/US Presswire
DT Michael Brockers, LSU (6-5, 322)
Brockers may go earlier than 19th overall but for our purposes, we'll assume he falls to Chicago. His presence inside would not only fill the gap left by the departure of Amobi Okoye but would also boost the run defense. Brockers is a massive human being that has very good quickness. He could line up as the 3-technique in Chicago and immediately produce in a rotation with Henry Melton. He would eat up blockers inside and has the potential for 5-10 sacks per season. Additionally, his 35-inch arms will help him bat down a lot of passes.
DE Vinny Curry, Marshall (6-3, 266)
Curry has a fine-tuned pass-rush arsenal that helped him earn 11.0 sacks his senior season. For his performance, he was named Conference USA Defensive Player of the Year. Curry is highly athletic and has a relentless motor. He's tough to stop on passing downs. He's strong and can set the edge against the run. His all-around game gives him great value as a second-round pick and fills a position of need for the Bears.
G/T Brandon Brooks, Miami (Ohio) (6-5, 346)
Brooks wasn't invited to the combine but he put on a show at his pro day, where he ran just under five seconds in the 40-yard dash and posted 36 bench-press reps. He would have ranked second in both drills amongst offensive linemen at the combine. His exceptional blend of size, speed and strength has him rising up draft boards. He played both tackle and guard in college, which offers Chicago positional flexibility along the offensive line, where upgrades are needed. In the third round, Brooks would be a steal.
TE Michael Egnew, Missouri (6-5, 252)
Egnew is another in a long line of recent collegiate tight ends with the skill set of a wide receiver. He's best used as a vertical route runner, where he can use his size and good hands. He's able to make the tough grabs away from his body and shows good body control when the ball is in the air. As a run blocker, he's a liability but he has 50-catch potential in Chicago's offense, where most of the attention will be paid to Brandon Marshall out wide. Egnew could take advantage of the open space down the seams. This pick would also take some pressure off Kellen Davis, who could continue to focus on improving his blocking.
WR Tommy Streeter
Robert Mayer/US Presswire
WR Tommy Streeter, Miami (6-5, 219)
Streeter has the physical tools to be a starter at the next level. He has ideal size and speed (4.40 40-yard dash at the combine). He's a deep threat that can also create separation coming out of his breaks on short and intermediate routes. Technically though, Streeter needs a lot of work. Route running and coverage recognition are two areas of serious concern. He may also struggle against press coverage in the NFL. Still, his skill set and potential make him a great value in the fifth for the Bears, who need a legitimate deep threat now that Johnny Knox is on the shelf.
CB Josh Norman, Coastal Carolina (6-0, 197)
Norman is a shutdown corner who has the size and speed to play press coverage in the NFL. He's a lanky, fluid ball hawk who is very good at high-pointing the ball. He also demonstrates solid awareness in zone coverage, reading and breaking quickly on passes. Norman was a standout at the East-West Shrine game, showing very well against the top prospects in this year's draft. Earlier in the draft process, Norman was considered a mid-round pick but he's fallen recently due to questions about his lack of competition in college, as well as his thin frame and poor tackling. He could slip to Chicago in the sixth, where the Bears would be happy to grab him.
LB Darius Fleming, Notre Dame (6-2, 245)
Fleming is a very athletic player that ran a 4.54 40-yard dash at his combine. That combination of size and speed gives him value as a special teams player right away, something the Bears covet out of their late-round selections. Chicago worked him out individually and were on hand for his pro day. Historically, the Bears like to use linebacker prospects as core special teams players. Fleming fits that bill.
Follow me on Twitter: @BearReport
Jeremy Stoltz is Publisher of Bear Report magazine and BearReport.com and a member of the Pro Football Writers of America. To read him every day, visit BearReport.com and become a Chicago Bears insider.