There is a lot to accomplish for the Chicago Bears when the 2014 NFL draft rolls around. Here is an updated outlook for how their board could fall next May.
Round 1 – Kony Ealy – DE – Missouri
Defensive tackle may have caused the Bears more problems in 2013, but it will be defensive end that could do the same in 2014. With Corey Wootton a free agent and Julius Peppers in danger of being cut, the position is dangerously thin for Chicago. Kony Ealy has the size, strength and athleticism for their system plus excellent pedigree as a pass rusher off the edge.
Round 2 – Deone Bucannon – SS – Washington State
It’s been years since the Bears have invested a high pick in a safety and expectedly the position has suffered through tough times. Major Wright is a free agent and Chris Conte finished on a horribly low note last season. Deone Bucannon brings old school toughness with him from WashingtonState. His size and physicality will be most welcome to that secondary, along with an underrated ability to force turnovers.
Round 3 – Keith McGill – CB – Utah
Phil Emery doesn’t mind dipping into trends, especially when it involves the skill position players. Keith McGill is a perfect example as a 6’3″ cornerback. With bigger receivers inhabiting the league, getting the lengthy athlete out of Utah could really help the Bears not only in pass coverage but against any of the ever growing list of bigger wide outs they’ll face.
Round 4 – Christian Jones – ILB – Florida State
One Emeryism that Chicago Bears fans have come to know is he loves athletes, regardless of offense or defense. So getting an inside linebacker like Christian Jones would fit his profile. Jones is fast, agile and versatile for his size with the ability to take on blocks and tackle. He’s still inconsistent due to lagging diagnostic skills but once caught up he could be a steal.
Round 5 – Justin Ellis – DT – Louisiana Tech
From the very beginning of the off-season head coach Marc Trestman hinted that the Bears want to get bigger up front on the defensive line, bigger and more physical. Justin Ellis is not a pass rusher, but the Louisiana Tech defensive tackle is massive at 334 lbs and would make an ideal run plugger in the middle, something Chicago struggled with the entire 2013 season.
Round 6 (from TB) – Storm Johnson – RB – UCF
With the defense covered from head to toe with picks, the Chicago Bears may feel a compulsion to round out the depth of the offense in the sixth round. If Storm Johnson is still on the board at that time they can hesitate. While not a superior player in any aspect, he showed he could do everything well at UCF from running hard to blocking to receiving.
Round 6 – Brett Smith – QB – Wyoming
There is no denying that Brett Smith has been all over the map. The Wyoming quarterback was once projected as a second round pick and now has fallen into the middle to late round. Nobody is sure about him but there is no doubting he is a good athlete with good size at 6’2″. He works hard, boasts a solid arm and the ability to read defenses and find the open receiver. An intriguing project for Marc Trestman.