Most expect it will be all about the defense for the Chicago Bears in May. Does this 2014 NFL mock draft confirm that notion?
Round 1 – Kony Ealy – DE – Missouri
The Bears simply can’t live with the hefty contract of Julius Peppers much longer, but they also can’t afford to simply dump him. Not yet anyway. Adding a talent at defensive end would greatly help that endeavor. Kony Ealy is a big but compact pass rusher from Missouri. He displays the strength to anchor against the run and explodes off the line with power and the hand technique necessary to beat blockers a variety of ways.
Round 2 – Kelcy Quarles – DT – South Carolina
Sometimes when a star player is getting all the attention, it’s easy to miss other high quality talents caught under the wave. Kelcy Quarles is that kind of guy. The defensive tackle is overlooked due to the Jadeveon Clowney craze, but he is by no means an afterthought. Quarles has a long frame, good strength and most importantly a quick first step off the snap. He’s tenacious as well, never lacking in effort.
Round 3 – Stanley Jean-Baptiste – CB – Nebraska
Will he go earlier? That’s up for debate but at present Stanley Jean-Baptiste is sitting in the third round range and the Bears would be fortunate to get him. Not only does he have the typical athleticism-speed combo required for cover corners, his 6’3″ frame is what currently enthralls scouts. Add in some ball hawk ability and he is a potential steal at this point on day two.
Round 4 – Terrance Brooks – FS – Florida State
It’s a name that doesn’t get much attention in the rich pasture of talent Florida State is unloading in this 2014 NFL mock draft, but Terrance Brooks is not a second-rate player. Though a touch undersized he regularly flashes the speed, athleticism, frame and strong instincts of a playmaking free safety. A former cornerback, he can cover one on one and is rarely out of position.
Round 5 – Tyler Larsen – C – Utah State
Robert Garza turns 35 and is a free agent in 2014. The Chicago Bears have waited long enough to seek out a replacement. They scoop up Tyler Larsen out of UtahState. Though somewhat stocky he exhibits all the qualities of a classic pivot man. He snaps well in traditional and shotgun, has the awareness to pickup blitzes, can get to the second level fast and displays the leg drive to open lanes when running the ball.
Round 6 (from TB) – Brent Urban – DT – Virginia
Chicago is no stranger to characters and Brent Urban certainly qualifies. One of those guys who simply drums to a different beat, the Virginia defensive tackle is nonetheless a player with tremendous physical upside. Most see him as a work-in-progress given his limited production but there is no question the kid has the capacity to control the line of scrimmage when everything is working.
Round 6 – Rajion Neal – RB – Tennessee
Michael Bush turns 30 and Matt Forte is 28. Given how much the running back position means to the Bears offense, it’s only natural they’ll want to add some youth to it. Rajion Neal is another of those understated but productive backs just like Forte. He’s not a home run threat but he runs well inside and outside the tackles, boasts good size and bulk and displays soft hands to make catches out of the backfield. On top of that he’s improved in pass protection.