No mock draft is ever spot on. Mel Kiper, Todd McShay, Mike Mayock, and others make a lot of their money on the draft, but it never quite works out. Mel Kiper was not a fan of Russell Wilson coming out of Wisconsin last year, and Mike Mayock loves Manti Te’o this year, which goes against everyone else’s opinion. Pete Prisco once called Peria Jerry the next Warren Sapp yet ripped the selection of Clay Matthews by the Packers. With that being said, I tried to throw together a mock draft for the Bears. In this draft, I attempted to combine things said by Phil Emery and Marc Trestman, along with reports of who the organization has met with. I also incorporated their needs and players where other mock drafts have them slotted. This draft might be the biggest for the franchise in years. They are getting older at many positions, and they are also getting to the point where there is no depth, yet alone youth. Remember- making a mock draft for a team with five picks is no fun. Making one with trades on the other hand is fun.
The Bears trade pick #20 and a 6th round pick in 2014 to Atlanta for pick #30 (1), #60 (2), and #163 (5).
1. Zach Ertz, TE, Stanford
—According to Jeff Dickerson of ESPN Radio 1000, the Bears are very interested in Zach Ertz, and why wouldn’t they be? They added Martellus Bennett, yes, but reports out of minicamp were that Evan Rodriguez is still lining up at FB. Ertz would give the Bears two capable pass catching TE’s. He’s very smooth and smart and runs good routes. His hands are very good as well. The only thing that’s keeping him from being the best TE in this class, according to most, is his straight-line speed. However, when everything that is thrown your way is caught, it makes up for it.
2. Larry Warford, G, Kentucky
—Kentucky hasn’t had an offensive lineman drafted in 19 years. That will change this year with Larry Warford. If there’s one thing to learn here: Kentucky is in the SEC and Warford gave up ZERO sacks last season. He made the All-SEC second team three times as a Wildcat, and that can be attributed to his quick feet, knee bend, and arm length. The Bears have been lining up Matt Slauson along with James Brown as the two starting guards, but if Phil Emery is serious about upgrading the offensive line, he can’t stop with just the acquisitions of Jermon Bushrod and Slauson.
2. Darius Slay, CB, Mississippi State
—Emery has made it known that this is a great class for cornerbacks, and he can add one here in Darius Slay. Slay is tough and has long arms. He can tackle pretty well, too. If he was on the bulkier and blazingly fast side, he would easily be a 1st round pick. Learning from Tim Jennings and Charles Tillman would benefit any player.
4. Brian Schwenke, C, California
—To me, Brian Schwenke is the best center in this class. Prior to the year, the argument was made for USC’s Khaled Holmes, but along with just about every Trojan in 2012, he had a rough year. Schwenke played guard as a junior but switched to center for his senior year, where he shined, making All-PAC 12 first team voted on by coaches. He is quick and smart and will never lose the leverage battle. Power is not his strength, hence the switch to center. A lot of Bears fans like Roberto Garza, and while he might be a great person, he’s in the last year of his contract and he’s not very good anymore. Once again, the offensive line upgrading can’t just stop with Bushrod, Slauson, and now Warford. It has to be totally revamped.
5. Matt Scott, QB, Arizona
—Using a late round pick on a quarterback is a smart thing to do. Matt Scott has drawn comparisons to Colin Kaepernick. While that might not necessarily be a great thing since nobody has seen more than one year of Kaepernick, I will take my chances with a guy who can sit back and develop.
5. Devonte Holloman, OLB, South Carolina
—Devonte Holloman has been compared by some draftniks to Chad Greenway, who has proved to be a very good NFL starter in Minnesota. While Holloman might never be as good, the Bears need depth and youth at linebacker regardless. He used to be safety, so he is good in coverage. He has long arms and is built well, and making tackles is a sure thing for him. It’s also a bonus that he has good hands from his defensive back days, so interceptions aren’t foreign to him.
6. Ace Sanders, WR, South Carolina
—There is still rumors that the new coaching staff talking up Devin Hester is nothing more than them attempting to raise his trade value. If this is the case, Ace Sanders could be his replacement. He is a smaller guy, so he might not be able to contribute much as a receiver right away. Then again, it would not shock me if he was used in the slot because he is so fast. If he doesn’t play much there, he is a dangerous punt returner who can help out there.
–Brian Ociepka (follow me at @bjociepka1)