The scouting combine is complete and with it the draft boards begin to shift. Based on these new findings, who should the Chicago Bears aim for in the 2014 NFL draft?
#5 – Kony Ealy – DE – Missouri
He didn’t have a terrible combine but Kony Ealy didn’t do enough to put himself in the top 15 conversation, at least not without help from how the board falls. The Missouri defensive end is probably the second best 4-3 pass rusher in the 2014 class but his physical attributes aren’t strong enough to warrant such a high pick. He is, however, an ideal trade down scenario.
#4 – Aaron Donald – DT – Pitt
Meanwhile nobody has posted a more impressive pre-draft process than Aaron Donald. The Pitt defensive tackle is an animal on the inside, clearly showcasing his pass rush potential by running a 4.65 40-yard dash at 285 lbs. He’s explosive, violent and plays with natural leverage that gives guards fits.
#3 – Ha Ha Clinton-Dix – FS – Alabama
Safety has given the Chicago Bears defense problems for years, even when they were really good. They haven’t taken one in the first round since the 1990s and unfortunately it has showed. Ha Ha Clinton-Dix could become an answer to those prayers. He tall and lengthy with great range and the instincts of a natural ball hawk who can read the quarterback and then track the football. Throw in some overlooked leadership qualities and he’s somebody who can really settle things down in that secondary.
#2 – Timmy Jernigan – DT – Florida State
He’s been a constant target in mock drafts by the Bears for weeks and why not? Timmy Jernigan is legit. The Florida State defensive tackle is stout in the middle, showcasing leverage and strength that makes it very hard to run against him. That in turn belies how quick and explosive he can be in a short area, making him more than just a nuisance on pass rush downs. He is truly a three-down defensive tackles and someone Chicago can build around.
#1 – Justin Gilbert – CB – Oklahoma State
More than just talented prospects, GMs and coaches will be looking for “clean” players in the 2014 NFL draft. Clean players are those who have little or no holes in their game. Based on his combine performance and game tape, there is very little to hate about Justin Gilbert. The cornerback has size, length, speed (4.37/40) and looked very smooth and under control during drills. His tape shows a capable cover man who has the instincts of a ball hawk. He’s everything the Bears coaches could want in a cornerback.