JC's Mock NFL Draft: Version 3.0

The NFL Draft is this weekend, and the Chicago Bears need help on both sides of the ball. JC will put together a mock draft each and every day this week, cross-referencing different draft strategies with some of the prospects the Midway Monsters have targeted this offseason. Here's Version 3.0 ...

Round 2: No. 49

With the 49th-overall pick in the second round, the Bears select Oklahoma offensive tackle Phil Loadholt. General manager Jerry Angelo said Tuesday that protecting new quarterback Jay Cutler with top-notch blocking is more important than surrounding him with potent weapons, so he targets another lineman with no elite receivers left on the board. Loadholt is a monster (6-8, 332) and could eventually make for a quality bookend opposite Chris Williams.

Round 3: No. 99

With the 99th-overall pick in the third round, the Bears select Florida wide receiver Louis Murphy. Many Gator wideouts have enjoyed precious little success in the NFL the last decade or so, but Murphy still has great size, tremendous speed, and runs dynamite routes. While he never put up huge numbers in Gainesville, remember he was surrounded with tons of talent and played in an offense that spread the ball around quite liberally.

Round 4: No. 119

With the 119th-overall pick in the fourth round, the Bears select Troy safety Sherrod Martin. A poor-man's version of one of last year's hottest prospects leading up to the draft, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Martin played free safety as a collegian but could make the switch to cornerback at the next level. But no matter where he ultimately lines up on Sunday, his athleticism and physical style of play should make him a welcome addition to any secondary.

Round 5: No. 140

With the 140th-overall pick in the fifth round, the Bears select LSU defensive tackle Ricky Jean-Francois. Angelo believes the personnel he has up front is good enough to win, especially with the addition of position coach Rod Marinelli, but he treats D-linemen on draft weekend like quarterbacks: he'll never say no if there is good value. While Jean-Francois wasn't particularly productive for the Tigers, he's an explosive penetrator and fits the mold of a Cover 2-type tackle.

Round 5: No. 154

With the 154th-overall pick in the fifth round, the Bears select Nevada wide receiver Marko Mitchell. Even with Murphy already in the mix, Chicago has plenty of room on the depth chart for two rookie pass catchers to make the 53-man roster. Angelo talked Tuesday about the need for having several different types of receivers to make an offense go, and Mitchell's enviable combination of size and strength might remind Cutler a little of Brandon Marshall.

Round 6: No. 190

With the 190th-overall pick in the sixth round, the Bears select TCU running back Aaron Brown. If Ron Turner is looking for a big-play threat to spell Matt Forte for a series here and there, Brown makes a lot of sense because of his explosive burst and turn-the-corner ability. And since he only started 17 games in college and was a rotation player more often than not, he doesn't have a lot of wear and tear and might have his best football in front of him.

Round 7: No. 246

With the 246th-overall pick in the seventh round, the Bears select Kansas linebacker Mike Rivera. Not only does Rivera have the height and bulk 4-3 teams look for in a potential strong-side 'backer, but his special-teams experience means he could come in right away and contribute as a first-year player. Although he's not nearly as athletic as some other prospects at his position, he's instinctive, a sure tackler, and has a non-stop motor.

Round 7: No. 251

With the 251st-overall pick in the seventh round, the Bears select Rutgers D-end Jamaal Westerman. The coaching staff still has confidence that Alex Brown, Adewale Ogunleye, and Mark Anderson can get the job done at defensive end, although both Ogunleye and Anderson are in the last year of their deals. Westerman is an intriguing prospect because of his speed and explosiveness, but he'll need at least a season to develop and can learn behind the veterans.

To read JC's detailed breakdown of the offensive tackles and guards and what Bears fans can expect in this weekend's NFL Draft, CLICK HERE.


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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.


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