The Chicago Bears are starting a new regime in 2018. With John ‘Foxball’ Fox out and Matt Nagy in as the new head coach, the Bears are set to make a big impact throughout the next few seasons. After a busy free agency, Ryan Pace boasts that the NFL Draft is the real way to build a team. It will be interesting to see how he and Nagy approach it this season. Here’s, what one can assume is, the short list of names Pace and Nagy are eyeing with the eighth pick.
Bradley Chubb, EDGE, North Carolina State
Unfortunately for the Bears and their fans, this is starting to look more and more like a pipe dream, but crazier things have happened in the draft. With a barren outside linebacker room, Chicago is hurting in the pass rush department. Nothing against Sam Acho, but he’s better as a rotational player instead of an every down guy. Chubb can be the perfect complement for Leonard Floyd and Akiem Hicks to get after opposing quarterbacks.
Quenton Nelson, G, Notre Dame
Nelson is the second best player in this draft. The things he’s able to do in the trenches is unbelievable. There appears to be no weaknesses in his game and can absolutely manhandle whoever comes at him. With the loss of Josh Sitton and Tom Compton, the Bears are hurting at guard. If they are able to snag Nelson at eight, he’s an immediate plug and play and improves the offensive line tremendously. With the trio of Nelson, Cody Whitehair and a healthy Kyle Long, the Bears will be set to take on the new and improved defensive lines in the NFC North.
Minkah Fitzpatrick, DB, Alabama
Yet another incredibly talented option for the Bears, Fitzpatrick’s versatility is what draws so much interest. He can play corner, safety, nickel, you name it, he can do it in the secondary. Very similar to how Tyrann Mathieu plays, the former Crimson Tide is a ballhawking game changer. The only problem is that there’s no room for him right now. With Adrian Amos and Eddie Jackson holding down the safety spots and Pace spending a truck load of money to keep corners Prince Amukamara, Kyle Fuller and Bryce Callahan, it’d be wasteful to take Fitzpatrick when there are other positions that need to be addressed.
Denzel Ward, CB, Ohio State
I could essentially copy and paste Fitzpatrick’s blurb here for Ward. The former Buckeye is going to be a solid corner in the NFL, but the timing isn’t right for Chicago. Is he better than Cre’von LeBlanc and Callahan? Maybe, but it’s a stupid to waste a top 10 pick on a No. 3 corner. When the Bears pick at eight, Ward’s name will be atop the list of “best players available,” but he’s not the best option for Chicago.
Tremaine Edmunds, LB, Virginia Tech
A freak of nature, Edmunds would be one of the riskier picks for Chicago. He’s got all the measurables, 6-foot-5, 253 pounds, 4.54 40-yard dash, the list goes on, but his age is concerning. The media has been obsessed with the fact that he’s only 19-years-old, but we’ve seen this story before. Remember Amobi Okoye? How’d that turn out? Granted, no two people are the same, but his age is more of a con than a pro. That being said, Edmunds would make more sense for Chicago than either Fitzpatrick or Ward.
Roquan Smith, LB, Georgia
It’s crazy that there isn’t more hype surrounding Smith. The 2017 Dick Butkus Award winner is a flat out baller. Watching his tape, it honestly seems like there are two of him of on the field sometimes. He didn’t participate much at the combine, only running his 40 (4.51), questions started to arise if he’s going to transition to the NFL, which is just mind-boggling. He’s one of the players that’s said to be too small. I’m not buying it. There isn’t a single part of the game that he can’t do and would fit perfectly with the undersized Danny Trevathan. He’s the epitome of a ‘Monster of the Midway’.
Pace always holds his cards close to his chest and it’s nearly impossible to predict what he’s going to do, but I can’t imagine that one of these names isn’t called at No. 8. However, don’t be shocked if the Bears trade out of the spot.
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