Round 1 (14th overall)
DT Ra'Shede Hageman, Minnesota
Some consider Hageman a second-round draft pick with upside. Others consider him one of the top interior defenders in this year's class. Hageman has ideal size, power and explosiveness, and he can play multiple positions, so I'm willing to bet Chicago Bears GM Phil Emery – who last year in the first round selected Kyle Long, a former baseball player with just five games of Division I experience – is of the latter. If the past two drafts have told us anything, it's that Emery likes to swing for the fences in the first round on boom-or-bust players, which is an exact description of Hagemen.
A converted tight end, Hageman – who was a basketball star in high school – has just three years experience playing defensive tackle. His inexperience shows up on film – he had just 2.0 sacks his senior year – yet so do his immense physical talents. If he ever puts it together, he'll be a Pro Bowler in the NFL. That type of potential has Emery, who selected borderline first rounders the past two years, written all over it.
Round 2 (51st overall)
S Jimmie Ward, Northern Illinois
Ward was extremely productive for the Huskies his senior year – 95 tackles, seven interceptions – and was a finalist for the Jim Thorpe Award. Although a bit undersized, Ward has the speed, intelligence and toughness to be a starter at the professional level. He's a solid tackler and can line up in the box as a strong safety, yet he also has the range to play center field as a free safety. Emery typically gravitates toward players who have that type of positional versatility.
Ward ran a 4.47 40-yard dash at his pro day, twice, then informed everyone in attendance he was having foot surgery a few days later. So you can check off "toughness" on your scouting reports. He's one of the top all-around safeties in this year's class, one who would likely be a Top 20 pick if he were three inches taller. He's a value pick at a crucial position of need for the Bears, making him a no-brainer if he falls to the team in the second round.
Round 3 (82nd overall)
RB Terrance West, Towson
West is a thickly-built ball carrier who excels between the tackles. He rushed for 2,519 yards as senior and scored 41 touchdowns. His nose for the end zone and ability to carry the pile would help to cure Chicago's short-yardage woes. West isn't a solid pas catcher and struggles in pass protection, so he's limited, but he'll be able to easily carry the load if Matt Forte goes down with injury.
He's not the flashiest runner in this year's class, and he has a lot of wear on his tires, but West would be a very good No. 2 option for the Bears. He'd provide stability in the backfield with his 20-carry potential and could boost the club's ability near the goal line – and scoring points is what it's all about, right?
Round 4 (117th overall)
CB Walt Aikens, Liberty
Once considered a sixth- or seventh-round prospect, Aikens has flown up draft boards the past month due his combination of size and athleticism. He was a combine snub but he posted a 4.45 40-yard dash at his pro day, at which the Bears were in attendance, and reportedly looked very good in positional drills. Aikens also played basketball and track at Liberty.
He's a raw talent but Aikens has big upside. He played both safety and corner in college. He lacks ideal instincts and he's a work in progress, but he has great length and speed. Aikens has a very high ceiling and could rapidly develop into an NFL starter. The Bears were at his pro day, saw him up close at the Senior Bowl and worked him out privately. They are definitely interested and would be elated to grab Aikens in the fourth.
Round 5 (156th overall)
LB Max Bullough, Michigan State
Bullough is an experienced, durable and productive linebacker who was named a third-team All-American his senior year. He's not a quick, speedy linebacker but he's powerful (32 bench-press reps) and fills holes with authority. He's an intelligent on-field leader who was a two-year captain for the Spartans.
Bullough was suspended for his final college game, last year's Rose Bowl, for undisclosed reasons. He's not an explosive athlete and is best suited to play MIKE in a 4-3 system. The Bears have a potentially serious need at middle linebacker beyond this season and Bullough is a low-risk, high-reward player. At best, he'll develop into a hard-nose, downhill MIKE starter. At worst, he'll be a valuable member of Chicago's special teams. You can't go wrong with Bullough here.
Round 6 (183rd overall)
QB Brett Smith, Wyoming
Smith doesn't have ideal size or arm strength, which is why he's a late-round selection, yet there's no denying his collegiate production. He was a three-year starter for Wyoming who last year as a junior threw for 3,359 yards and 29 touchdowns.
He's an athletic, decisive quarterback who plays with a chip on his shoulder. As a developmental prospect, Smith has the on-field intelligence and moxie to fit in Marc Trestman's "pipeline."
Round 6 (191st overall)
TE Jake Murphy, Utah
Murphy has very solid hands and has shown potential as an in-line blocker. The former wide receiver tested well in quickness drills at the combine and has the potential to be a "move" tight end at the next level.
He served a two year LDS mission and will be a 25-year-old rookie, so age is a concern, although in the sixth round, there isn't that much risk. Murphy is athletic, can help on special teams and could have a role as a goal-line No.2 tight end. His father is MLB's 1982-1983 National League MVP Dale Murphy.
Jeremy Stoltz is Publisher of BearReport.com and a member of the Pro Football Writers of America. He is in his fourth season covering the Chicago Bears full time. Follow Bear Report on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Bear Report Web site or magazine, click here.