1st Round (11th): OLB Shaq Lawson, Clemson
Lawson was a man among boys for the Tigers last season, piling up 12.5 sacks and 25.5 tackles for loss. He worked from both a 2-point and 3-point stance and has the size (6-3, 269) to line up at either outside linebacker in base sets or defensive end in sub formations. Lawson crashes hard against the run and has the pass-rush ability to collapse the pocket. He's one of the best all-around edge defenders in this class, one who plays with a mean streak. Lawson's game compares favorably to that of Pernell McPhee. He could have an immediate 3-down impact for the Bears, which would put the final touches on Chicago's restructured front seven.
2nd Round (41st): CB Artie Burns, Miami
Burns has NFL-level size (6-0, 190) and length. He excels in press coverage, an area in which Bears corners struggled last season. Technically, Burns is a major work in progress. It will take him a year at least before his fundamentals reach the same level as his talent, but when they do, Burns has Pro Bowl potential. A playmaking defender with active hands and physicality when the ball is in the air, Burns has a very high ceiling and could develop into the lockdown No. 1 corner Chicago's offense currently lacks.
3rd Round (72nd): S Darian Thompson, Boise State
A four-year starter at Boise State, Thompson has desired collegiate experience and production. He had 19 career interceptions, with at least three picks in each of his four years. Thompson has experience roaming deep centerfield and playing near the line of scrimmage. He plays an attacking style of football and is physical in run support. He's a risk taker and must work on his ability to read, recognize and react, thus reducing the big plays allowed, but Thompson has the potential to be a quality all-around safety in the NFL.
4th Round (106th): TE Jerell Adams, South Carolina
Adams is a pass-catching tight end with an ideal wingspan - his arms are 34 3/8 inches - which makes him a threat on jump balls, particularly in the end zone. He's quick enough to line up off the edge and runs good routes. He's not a great in-line blocker but for a player who compares favorably to Ladarius Green, Adams would have value in two-tight-end sets on passing downs.
4th Round (127th): CB Jonathan Jones, Auburn
With Jones, the Bears would fill a serious need at nickelback. Jones is only 5-9 but he has legitimate NFL quickness and unbelievable speed - he ran a 4.33 40-yard dash. He lacks height but he has power, which he proved by posting 19 reps on the bench press in Indianapolis. That's impressive for a small corner. Physically and athletically, Jones is NFL-caliber, but he is going to struggle against tall NFL receivers. As a slot corner, he could be a Day 1 starter for the Bears, and he'll also provide value on special teams.
5th Round (150th): WR Cody Core, Ole Miss
The Bears don't have a need for a wide receiver this year but it's a different story next season and beyond, when Alshon Jeffery, Eddie Royal and Marquess Wilson could be playing elsewhere. Core played second fiddle to Laquon Treadwell at Ole Miss but he has a very good combination of size (6-3, 205) and speed (4.47). He doesn't have great hands and must run better routes, so he's a project as a receiver, yet the physical tools are there. Core also contributed on special teams early in his collegiate career.
6th Round (185th): OG Denver Kirkland, Arkansas
Kirkland is a massive human being (6-4, 335) who converted from guard to left tackle last season. He has surprisingly light feet for a player of his size and the girth to overpower defenders at the point of attack. He's a bit top heavy and doesn't have the balance to play on the edge in the pros but Kirkland has some upside as an NFL guard. If he ever learns to convert his size into consistent power, he'll be a steal this late in the draft.
6th Round (206th): ILB Nick Kwiatkoski, West Virginia
Kwiatkoski led the Mountaineers in tackles the past three seasons. The All-Big 12 inside linebacker isn't the biggest or fastest defender but he plays with great intelligence and instincts. A former safety, Kwiatkoski could have value as a rotational linebacker on passing downs. At the very least, he'll have an immediate impact on special teams.
7th Round (230th): DE Ron Thompson, Syracuse
Thompson led the Orange in sacks (7.0) as a junior last season after moving from defensive tackle to defensive end. He also tied for the ACC lead with 4 forced fumbles. He's undersized (6-3, 253) to play on an NFL defensive line but he could develop into a rotational OLB in Chicago's 3-4 defense. He'll also contribute right away on special teams.null