Jerome Miron/USA TODAY Sports

Chicago Bears Seven-Round Mock Draft: v4.0

Our fourth Chicago Bears mock draft is headlined by a sleeper first-round pass rusher, a big-armed quarterback and more.

Round 1: DE Derek Barnett, Tennessee

Historically, only three positions are worthy of a top-three pick in every NFL draft: pass rusher, offensive tackle and quarterback. Let's assume that's true. 

Let's also assume that no quarterback in this year's class is a top-three talent. In that scenario, the players most likely to come off the board with the first and second overall picks are Texas A&M DE Myles Garrett and Stanford DE Solomon Thomas. 

Following these strict guidelines, the Bears should pass on every secondary player, no matter how good they are, while Alabama DL Jonathan Allen is falling down draft boards due to health concerns.

So for the Chicago Bears, that would leave only one legitimate option with the third overall pick: DE Derek Barnett. 

Barnett is widely considered the third best pass rusher in this class and since there are no quarterbacks or offensive tackles worthy of a top-three pick, it has to be him, right? 

Fair enough, so what would the Bears be getting in Barnett? He started all three of his seasons with the Volunteers, racking up double-digit sacks each year. In 2016, he tallied 13.0 sacks, 19.0 tackles for loss and 2 forced fumbles, which earned him first-team All-SEC honors.

Barnett is an intelligent pass rusher with great hands and outstanding awareness. He is one of the best rushers in this class at timing his jump off the snap, and has the natural flexibility to dip and turn the corner. He's not an explosive, quick-twitch athlete but he makes up for it with a relentless play style. 

For the Bears, Barnett could line up at 3-4 OLB and 4-3 DE, where he could be an every-down asset. 

Round 2: QB Deshone Kizer, Notre Dame

Many believe Kizer will be selected in the first round, yet there's a good chance he'll fall. Kizer led the Irish to a 4-8 record last year and was benched on a couple of occasions. I can't remember the last time an NFL team invested a first-round pick in a QB who was benched multiple times the previous season. 

If Kizer does fall, the Bears would be wise to scoop him up. He's big, athletic and he has a very big arm. Physically, he has all the tools of a starting NFL quarterback. 

Most believe Kizer will need good coaching and a strong locker room to succeed in the NFL. The Bears aren't elite in either category but there is enough of both up at Halas Hall to help Kizer develop into a competent player at the next level. 

Round 3: CB Ahkello Witherspoon, Colorado

Witherspoon is a 6-3 cornerback who ran a 4.45 and led the nation with 20 pass breakups last year. He also had a 41.5 vertical jump at the combine, while showing off his outstanding footwork, which allows him to shadow opposing receivers. 

Witherspoon didn't play football until his senior year of high school, so he's yet to reach his ceiling. As a coverage corner with size, length and speed, he's a first-round prospect. 

Yet there's one major issue with Witherspoon: he doesn't like to hit. That's going to be a turn off for a lot of NFL teams but in the third round, his potential as a cover corner might be too good to pass up. He's going to infuriate Bears fans with his aversion to contact but he could develop into one of the top lock-down corners in this draft. 

Round 4: TE Bucky Hodges, West Virginia

Hodges is 6-6, 257 and he ran a 4.57 40-yard dash at the combine. He's also extremely athletic, so in terms of physical traits and potential, Hodges checks all the boxes. He was a consistent three-year starter who had 40 or more catches in each season at West Virginia, with 20 career TDs. 

The concerns with Hodges are his sketchy hands and his below-par blocking. If he can become more consistent in both areas, Hodges would make a steal in the fourth round, one who could add a dangerous pass-catching element to Chicago's offense. 

Round 4: S Xavier Woods, Louisiana Tech

Woods was named first-team All-Conference USA the past three years straight, during which he combined for 14 interceptions and five forced fumbles. His ball production is outstanding and he also brings a physical presence to the box. 

Woods has great instincts but he lacks ideal athleticism and struggles at times in man coverage. He was a team leader at Louisiana Tech, so he'd make great value in the fourth round, particularly at a position of serious need for the Bears. 

Round 5: FB Sam Rogers, Virginia Tech

Rogers is a 5-11 ball of power, who plays with an extreme level of intensity. He also developed into a reliable playmaker for the Hokies (67-284, two TDs rushing; 24-301, four TDs receiving in 2016). Rogers has good hands and can be a weapon on third downs. He's also a physical lead blocker and he's solid in pass protection. 

The Bears need a legitimate fullback, so Rogers would be an ideal fifth-round selection. 

Round 7: LB Riley Bullough, Michigan State

A physical inside player who was a team captain for the Spartans. Bullough has upside as a special teams player. 


Bear Report Top Stories