It’s that time of the year again. A lot of people across the country aren’t fans of the draft, and I can see their reasoning. Many say that it’s a total crapshoot and 80 percent of the players won’t ever make any sort of impact in the NFL. They’re right. But, it’s those guys that do that make the NFL the best league in the world. It’s the 5th, 6th, 7th round picks that turn into superstars that make the draft great. It’s the thought that comes into your mind that with any of your favorite team’s selections, they could have just drafted a player who will catch the game winning touchdown of a Super Bowl or a player who will one day be inducted into the Hall of Fame.
As I said last year, mock drafts are no fun without trades. Anyone can look at a team and say “they need a quarterback and a linebacker, so let’s make that their first two picks.” So, here it is. Let’s hope that whatever direction Phil Emery goes in, he can find some impactful players to help the Bears once again hoist the Lombardi Trophy.
Bears trade #14 (1) to the Arizona Cardinals for #20 (1), #84 (3), and 196 (6).
1. Kyle Fuller, CB, Virginia Tech
—The only thing keeping Kyle Fuller from being the consensus #1 overall cornerback in this draft is his durability. He has missed some time in college with some minor, lingering injury problems. However, Fuller has everything a team wants in a CB. According to Brad Biggs of the Chicago Sun-Times, the Bears have had Fuller into Halas Hall at least twice. Fuller tackles, plays with attitude, can play in any scheme, has the bloodlines, and has a lot of college experience. Phil Emery mentioned that he’s looking for guys who can contribute now and can potentially one day move to safety. Fuller probably won’t contribute this upcoming season unless Charles Tillman or Tim Jennings get hurt. Fuller also has that length to one day play safety if needed. At this juncture, this is just too good of value to pass up.
2. Deone Bucannon, SS, Washington State
—Deone Bucannon is another physical specimen, and he is a really nasty player, just ask Auburn RB Corey Grant. Bucannon will probably draw his fair share of penalties, but it would be nice to finally have a safety roaming the Bears’ secondary who isn’t afraid to take a piece of someone. Calvin Johnson, Greg Jennings and Jordy Nelson probably wouldn’t be so excited about catching a slant route on the strong side of the field anymore. Bucannon plays much bigger than 6’1, 211 and ran a sub-4.50 forty in Indianapolis. Last year, Bucannon notched 5 interceptions and 3 forced fumbles, so he’s more than just a big-hitter.
3. Caraun Reid, DT, Princeton
—If Caraun Reid played at somewhere other than an Ivy League school, he might be a first round pick. Reid was consistently double, sometimes triple, teamed all season long for the Tigers and still amassed 9 tackles-for-loss and 5.5 sacks in games against fellow Ivy League schools. Don’t worry, because he transferred that dominance to the Senior Bowl, where he made almost any lineman in his way look foolish. He is a natural 3-tech and would be productive from day one. Apparently, Phil Emery is a fan, too.
3. Jordan Tripp, LB, Montana
—Emery mentioned in his press conference a few days ago that only one linebacker currently on the Bears’ roster is guaranteed a starting spot. That is trouble for D.J. Williams, Jon Bostic, Shea McClellin and Khaseem Greene. Jordan Tripp reminds me a lot of Kiki Alonso, a guy who wasn’t highly regarded going into the draft but was very productive in college. Alonso ended up having a terrific rookie season for the Bills. Tripp dominated the Big Sky Conference, and at 6’3 and just under 240 pounds, he can most likely develop into a starting MLB if needed. His best spot now, however, is probably OLB.
4. DeAndre Coleman, NT, California
—DeAndre Coleman is a good, old-fashioned run-stuffing nose tackle. He’s not going to blow through the line and sack the quarterback, but his ability to maintain leverage against guards and centers against the run is going to attract some teams. Coleman dominated the Senior Bowl against two highly-regarded centers in Gabe Ikard and Travis Swanson. He is durable too, as he didn’t miss a game in his career due to injury.
5. Marqueston Huff, FS, Wyoming
—Marqueston Huff played FS during his senior year, but like Kyle Fuller, he has that ability to play almost any position in the secondary; Huff played cornerback during his first three years at Wyoming. Huff had good ball skills as a Cowboy, but his hands are extremely small. He doesn’t really love to tackle, either. Luckily, he has quick feet and the straight-line speed to eventually compete to play safety in the NFL.
6. Tajh Boyd, QB, Clemson
—There was a time when Tajh Boyd was considered a first round quarterback. Boyd’s senior year was up-and-down, and because of that, he has fallen down most scouts’ boards. His biggest issue, and maybe his only issue, is his accuracy, but nobody is drafting him to start week 1 of the 2014 season. With a few years, Boyd could develop that part of his game and be a solid quarterback. If anyone can do that, it’s Marc Trestman.
6. Isaiah Crowell, RB, Alabama State
—Once upon a time back in 2011, Isaiah Crowell would have been appearing on 2014 mock drafts as a top 10-15 pick. Crowell went on to get arrested on three weapons charges and was kicked off of the Georgia Bulldogs team. Crowell dominated small-school competition just as he did SEC competition; in 2013, Crowell accumulated 1,121 rushing yards and 15 touchdowns on just 170 carries . Emery has shown that he’s not scared to take a chance on guys with character concerns (see: Kyle Long, Evan Rodriguez), and in round six, Crowell is a low risk-high reward value. The Bears also need a back-up to Matt Forte, unless they’re sold on Michael Ford.
6. Colt Lyerla, TE, Oregon
—Another guy with character issues, Colt Lyerla might be the most athletic tight end in this draft. At 6’5 and 245 pounds, he is more of a half-back, as he had 25 catches and 13 carries in 2012. However, he’s probably not all there mentally as his arrests have been idiotic, including a cocaine arrest in which he plead guilty to. There’s no denying his talent though, and the Bears could use another TE behind Martellus Bennett in case of an injury.
–Brian Ociepka (@bjociepka1 on twitter)