The NFL Draft begins tonight 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
In our third mock, we started off with a player that is currently soaring up draft boards.
In this our final mock, we explore a scenario that, while not as likely as the first three, would add some dynamic playmakers to the Bears' roster. Here's Bear Report's fourth round of projections for Chicago's seven 2012 draft selections.
WR Stephen Hill
WR Stephen Hill, Georgia Tech (6-4, 215)
Hill has the size NFL teams dream about. When you throw in his 4.36 40-yard dash at the combine – the fastest time amongst wideouts – you get a player with Randy Moss-like potential. He's raw and will take a few years to develop but he has a higher ceiling than any other receiver in this draft. At the very least, he'll serve as a competent deep threat and end zone target from the very start. Putting him on the field with Brandon Marshall and Earl Bennett would give Jay Cutler the receiving corps he needs to take Chicago's passing attack to the next level.
DE Bruce Irvin, West Virginia (6-3, 245)
Irvin is a pure speed rusher that some teams are considering in the late first round. Yet character concerns – which includes a recent arrest for destruction of property the night of his pro day – will likely keep him in the second round. If he falls to the Bears, they'll likely pull the trigger. He's got arguably the quickest first step in the incoming class and has the potential to be a big-time sack producer. He's undersized off the edge and will struggle against the run, but as a situational pass rusher, there are few better. The Bears have shown interest in Irvin this offseason, working him out privately.
CB Casey Hayward, Vanderbilt (5-11, 192)
On paper, Hayward doesn't stand out but the film shows a tough, experienced, durable and versatile player. He excels in press coverage and uses his hands well to re-route receivers at the line of scrimmage. He's a lanky, smooth defender that plays with a ton of confidence. Hayward is also a reliable tackler, something the Bears covet out of their corners. He'll be a sub-package player his rookie season but has the skill set to start in a year or two. Good value in the third.
LB Terrell Manning, North Carolina State (6-2, 237)
Manning is extremely athletic and very strong, despite his slight frame. He plays with intensity and has great short-area quickness. He is outstanding in coverage and does well reading the quarterback's eyes. He sheds blocks and closes well. He's an ideal fit for a 4-3 WILL and could be a phenomenal player if he adds weight. A potential bargain in the fourth.
OT Nate Potter
Otto Kitsinger III/Getty
OT Nate Potter, Boise State (6-6, 303)
Potter isn't as wide as some of his counterparts but he has outstanding quickness on the left side. He does well mirroring defenders and shows nice agility. He's reminiscent of Nate Solder, the Patriots' first-round pick last year. He's full of potential and could turn into a quality blindside protector. He's smart as well, earning Academic All-American honors in 2010.
TE/FB Evan Rodriguez, Temple (6-2, 239)
Rodriguez is a hybrid fullback/tight end that was a full-time H-back with the Owls. He has the blocking ability of a fullback with the receiving ability of a tight end. He could work as an H-back in Chicago's offense and be a multi-faceted contributor. A crafty pick on the third day.
DT DaJohn Harris, USC (6-3, 306)
Harris showed up at the combine but did not workout after doctors found a hole in his heart. The condition is known as patent foramen ovale. He was checked out again following the combine and has been given the OK by doctors to resume a career in professional football. Still, the issue is scaring off a lot of teams. Harris has third-round talent and was a powerful player for the Trojans last season. The former tight end switched to defensive tackle his sophomore year, and still has receiver-like footwork. If the Bears are willing to put his health issues aside, Harris could be a late-round steal.
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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.