The Chicago Bears have 11 total picks in the 2008 NFL Draft: one in each of the seven rounds, an extra third-rounder after last year's trade with San Diego, and three compensatory choices in Round 7. In this version of JC's mock draft, the Midway Monsters get their quarterback of the future on Day 1.
Round 1: No. 14
WR Devin Thomas – Michigan State
Since it looks like there will be a run on offensive tackles at the top of the draft, GM Jerry Angelo decides to take one of the elite skill-position players instead of settling for a second-tier blocker. Thomas is a very hot name heading into the weekend, especially since Malcolm Kelly
of Oklahoma struggled at his Pro Day in Norman and is no longer the No. 1 receiver on every team's board. The Bears don't have a true primary target on the depth chart right now, but Thomas could develop into one sooner than later.
Round 2: No. 44
QB Joe Flacco – Delaware
The Midway Monsters have taken a closer look at four signal-callers leading up to the draft, and it's believed that Flacco is at the top of their list. Generously built at over 6-6 and 237 pounds, Flacco moves pretty well in the pocket for a man his size and has an absolute cannon for a right arm. He'll fit in nicely with offensive coordinator Ron Turner's down-the-field passing game, although he'll spend at least a year holding a clipboard behind Rex Grossman
and Kyle Orton
as the No. 3 option.
Round 3: No. 70
OT Carl Nicks – Nebraska
The Bears were terrible in the trenches this past season and need to rebuild a bruised and battered offensive line, but they might miss out on the likes of Ryan Clady
, Chris Williams
, and Jeff Otah
in the first round. If that turns out to be the case, then Nicks would be a solid choice near the top of Round 3. He'll likely start his career on the right side replacing the departed Fred Miller
, but he could eventually be moved to left tackle and take over for veteran John Tait
in a year or so.
Round 3: No. 90
G Mike McGlynn – Pittsburgh
13-year veteran Ruben Brown
will not be back even though he expressed interest in returning to Chicago, which means there is a hole at left guard. 2007's fourth-round pick, Josh Beekman
, failed to impress as a rookie, and `06 sixth-rounder Tyler Reed
hasn't gotten off the practice squad in two seasons as a pro. McGlynn isn't the best athlete available at the guard position, but he's technically sound and has proven to be durable with 31 consecutive starts for the Panthers.
Round 4: No. 110
DT DeMario Pressley – North Carolina State
made the Pro Bowl for the third straight season even though he was hurt for most of last year, plus he also didn't have very much help at nose tackle. Both Dusty Dvoracek
and Anthony Adams
finished the campaign on injured reserve, and Darwin Walker
proved to be a bust coming over in a training-camp trade with the Bills. Pressley offers a better-than-average combination of size and speed, and he hails from a long line of solid Wolfpack defensive linemen.
Round 5: No. 147
RB Cory Boyd – South Carolina
A lot of experts believe this may be the best draft in history for running backs, so there should still be plenty of talent available deep into the second day. Cedric Benson
failed as the primary ball-carrier in 2007, as the Chicago ground game was dead last in the league at just 3.1 yards per carry. Boyd may still be on the board because he's had some injury concerns in addition to a few off-the-field issues, but there's no question he knows what to do with a football in his hands and could be an immediate spark offensively.
Round 6: No. 175
TE Darrell Strong – Pittsburgh
and Greg Olsen
form perhaps the best tight end duo on the NFC, but the departure of third-stringer John Gilmore
means there is an opening on the roster at the position. While Gilmore didn't offer much as a receiver, he excelled as a blocker in short-yardage and goal-line situations. Strong is one of the biggest tight ends in the draft at 6-4 and 268 pounds, although he might need to be properly motivated since he has a reputation for being somewhat of an underachiever.
Round 7: No. 222
S Dominique Barber – Minnesota
Head coach Lovie Smith needs sound play at both safety spots if his Cover-2 scheme is going to work properly, but this is not a good class of safeties. Nevertheless, the Bears would be wise to find one they like because Mike Brown
can't be counted on because of injury, Adam Archuleta
was terrible a season ago, and Kevin Payne
only played three games as a rookie before breaking his arm. Barber shows good instincts in coverage, plus he can be a factor on special teams from Day 1.
Round 7: No. 243
OT Shannon Boatman – Florida State
The offensive line is way overdue for a top-to-bottom youth movement, so taking another tackle with the first of three compensatory selections is a good idea. John St. Clair
is currently penciled in as the starter at right tackle, although this offense would be in much better shape if he was moved back to the primary reserve on both the left and right side. Boatman possesses good size at 6-5 1/4 and 315 pounds, and he has enough room on his frame to get bigger.
Round 7: No. 247
LB Durell Mapp – North Carolina
Linebacker isn't a high priority for this team on draft weekend since Lance Briggs
unexpectedly re-signed in free agency, but there is always a need for players on the second unit and for special teams. Mapp is a little undersized and will slide an extra round or two as a result, but the Cover 2 is built for speedy tacklers who can fly from sideline to sideline. Coverage ace Brendon Ayanbadejo
is now a Raven, meaning at least one spot on the depth chart will have to be replaced.
Round 7: No. 248
OG Kerry Brown – Appalachian State
If the Bears are going to spend their first compensatory pick on another tackle, then it only makes sense to use their last freebie on another guard. Even if third-rounder McGlynn can step in and start right away, Terrence Metcalf
proved last year that he isn't cut out to suit up on Sundays and may have played himself out of a roster spot. Brown is an intriguing small-school prospect because of his toughness and high football IQ, and he could develop into a quality addition provided he gets a little bigger.
John Crist is the Publisher of Bear Report and a member of the Professional Football Writers of America. To read him every day, visit BearReport.com and become a Chicago Bears insider.