Jan 2, 2014; New Orleans, LA, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide linebacker C.J. Mosley (32) runs toward Oklahoma Sooners ball carrier during the second half of the Sugar Bowl at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

My Chicago Bears Fanspeak Premium NFL Mock Draft


Die-hard football fans who are so looking forward to the NFL draft in May have been searching for ways to enjoy the process.  A rising popular vocation is using simulators.  One that has caught on awfully fast comes from Fanspeak.com.  Their simulator was recently upgraded to a premium version in which drafters can not only pick players but also conduct trades and fill out their own big boards.  Intrigued by these new additions, all of which cost just $5 on a one-time fee for complete usage, I decided to conduct an NFL mock draft using my favorite team, the Chicago Bears to see what I could pull off as a potential GM.

Chicago Bears

For the purposes of saving time I chose to use the Fanspeak big board.  It had players at relatively the same positions I did on my own board so it was better to use that as a key.

Round 1 – (Trade) – Kansas City sends #23 pick, 3rd, 4th and 5th rounders for 14th pick

Let me make this perfectly clear.  If I were the Bears my top priority is finding a way to trade down.  This draft is very deep at a lot of positions, especially on defense.  Chicago still has work to do on a unit that finished dead last in most categories.  One thing you’ll see about the Fanspeak Premium draft is that you receive trade offers from certain teams looking to possibly move up.  One such offer came from the Kansas City Chiefs who put up their 23rd pick along with 3rd , 4th and 5th round selections for the 14th.  Given the confidence I had in my board I accepted the deal and they moved up to grab USC receiver Marqise Lee.

Round 1 – (Trade) – San Francisco sends #30 pick, 4th and 7th rounders for 23rd pick

This time the trade was instigated by me.  My board still showed a bunch of quality defenders available that I was confident I could get later on, so I sent out feelers to the San Francisco 49ers about a deal.  We settled on exchanging their 30th pick along with a 4th and 7th rounder for the 23rd pick.  With that the 49ers selected speedy Oregon State receiver Brandin Cooks.

Round 1 (f/SF) – C.J. Mosley – ILB – Alabama

To be frank, I was stunned when I saw C.J. Mosley was still on the board.  Then again I also wasn’t.  He is easily the best inside linebacker in the 2014 class.  His athleticism, speed, intelligence and leadership are all top notch.  The problem is there are some concerns about his health considering how dinged up he was in college.  That would explain the steep drop in the first round.  Yet to get him with the 30th pick as a potential long-term replacement for Brian Urlacher is an absolute steal.

Round 2 – Timmy Jernigan – DT – Florida State

Based on what I’ve been hearing, the feelings on Florida State defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan are mixed.  Some really like him, others think he not a good enough pass rusher to go in the first round.  Not that I was complaining when he fell in my lap in the second.  I know the pass rush question is something to consider, but the Chicago Bears run defense was a shambles in 2013, and there isn’t a better player in this class at controlling the line of scrimmage and stopping the run than Jernigan.

Round 3 – Terrance Brooks – S – Florida State

Phil Emery has been feverishly adding defensive backs to the Bears roster since free agency started, including three safeties.  However, two of those safeties, M.D. Jennings and Daniel McCray are more about bolstering the special teams than creating competition for the starting jobs.  Free safety Chris Conte still needs somebody who can come in and legitimately push him.  While not imposing in terms of size, Terrance Brooks has the range, instincts and athleticism.  He played corner at one time which is why he’s good in coverage but he shows more physicality than people realize.  On top of all that, he does well on special teams.

Round 3 (f/KC) – Keith McGill – CB – Utah

Here is a clear fact.  Charles Tillman and Tim Jennings, their two projected starters at corner are in their 30s.  Kelvin Hayden, who is in competition for the nickel back job is also over 30.  In other words the Bears need young blood at corner.  In an age where big receivers are dominating, a trend of drafting bigger corners is growing in popularity.  Utah standout Keith McGill fits that mold at 6’3″, and his underrated athleticism allows him to play the ball without getting in trouble in press coverage.

Round 4 – Bishop Sankey – RB – Washington

I honestly thought he would go higher but part of my NFL mock draft plan was to knock out every key defensive position for the Bears by the 4th round so I could have the leeway, if necessary to help out the offense.  Thankfully that came to pass and it seems like fate.  Although my original target, Charles Sims was taken a few spaces earlier, I did not weep at all when I saw Bishop Sankey still available.  The Washington prospect can do everything on the football field.  He’s very versatile, able to run inside and outside, can catch passes, has great vision and never backs down in pass protection.  An ideal fit for the Marc Trestman offense.

Round 4 – (f/KC) (Trade) – Titans send 5th and 7th rounders in ’14 and 6th in ’15 for 120th pick

Thanks to my earlier trades I ended up with three picks in the 4th round.  So when Tennessee offered 5th and 7th round picks in 2014 and a 6th in 2015 I felt there was no real harm in the deal since it got me some help for next year and I still had another 4th rounder to go regardless.  The Titans then used that pick to grab Wyoming quarterback Brett Smith.

Round 4 (f/SF) – Marcus Martin – C – USC

Based on what I’ve been hearing I believe this guy might go earlier but the fact that Marcus Martin was still available in the 4th round was a bonus for me.  Chicago did the right thing by bringing back Roberto Garza but he is also 35-years old.  The team needs somebody behind him to become the eventual replacement.  Martin is the most physically gifted of the centers in this draft and he quietly had a better 2013 season than people realize.

Round 5 (f/TEN) – Caraun Reid – DT – Princeton

Where Jernigan will provide the run stuffing ability, the Chicago Bears still need to add a young interior pass rusher to help fill the hole left by Henry Melton.  He may come from a smaller program at Princeton, but Caraun Reid plays like he belongs in the pros.  The length isn’t the most desired, but he has a great first step and a variety of moves that allow him to penetrate gaps and get after the quarterback.  His Senior Bowl performance (two sacks  on back-to-back plays) really showed what he can do.

Round 5 – Kareem Martin – DE – North Carolina

Another player experts are split on.  Kareem Martin boasts obvious upside.  He has the size, strength and speed to fit right in at defensive end.  His big drawback is inconsistency.  The kid just can’t string enough good performances together.  He has plenty of physical talent that have drawn comparisons to Justin Tuck.  It’s merely a question of work ethic and dedication.  At present he is a great option as a situational pass rusher.

Round 5 (f/KC) – Aaron Murray – QB – Georgia

Another part of my plan really got started the moment Chicago hired Marc Trestman.  That is to add a young quarterback to the roster for him to groom.  Jay Cutler isn’t going anywhere, but history has shown he struggles to stay healthy during a season, so it’s a good idea to have a solid backup plan in place.  If not for an ACL injury late in the season Aaron Murray would be a Day 2 pick for sure.  He holds almost every SEC passing record, has a great arm, makes good decisions, is accurate and has better mobility than advertised.  The injury and the fact he’s 6’1″ would be the reasons he falls to the 5th round.  However, as a long-term project he might have the most promise of any mid round prospect.  At the very least he would make a solid replacement for Josh McCown.

Round 6 (f/TB) – T.J. Jones – WR – Notre Dame

This new era is about offense for the Bears and that means keeping a loaded deck of wide receivers.  Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery are the staples on the outside but a competition is brewing for the third slot.  Earl Bennett was recently released and Eric Weems could be next.  At present 2013 7th round pick Marquess Wilson and free agent addition Domenik Hixon are favorites for the job.  Perhaps Emery would like to add some more spice to the melee with T.J. Jones.  So overlooked coming out of a run-first offense at Notre Dame, he is one of the most polished receivers in his class.  He won’t blow people away with speed or size but he runs crisp routes and has excellent hands, both big requirements in a West Coast offense.

Round 6 – Aaron Colvin – CB – Oklahoma

Another player undone by a badly timed knee injury.  Aaron Colvin had a lot going for him into this off-season thanks to his physical play and upside as a cover corner.  His problems are the knee injury, of course but also inconsistent technique that got him in trouble against savvy receivers.  There is no question about his potential.  He has the mindset and the aggressive attitude.  He merely lacks the polish, provided his knee is healthy.

Round 7 (f/TEN) – Brandon Linder – G – Miami

Matt Slauson and Kyle Long formed an outstanding guard tandem for Chicago in 2013 and appear to have those jobs nailed down for the foreseeable future.  That doesn’t mean they are immune to possible injury.  The Bears do need to consider adding some depth at guard.  Brandon Linder looks the part at 6’6″, 315 lbs.  He is a massive stalwart in the middle and helped Miami average 446 yards of offense in 2013.  Athletically speaking he’s not great but he makes up for it with intelligence, leadership and tenacity.  Upside is there to go beyond backup status.

Round 7 (f/SF) – Connor Shaw – QB – South Carolina

The seventh round might as well be called the “screw it” round.  It’s the round where teams feel the most confident taking a gamble on players with intriguing upside or who have certain admirable traits despite limited ability.  South Carolina quarterback Connor Shaw is the epitome of that.  At 6’0″ he has neither the size nor arm strength preferred from a pro quarterback but his outstanding scouting combine and winning ways with the Gamecocks showed a competitor who used intelligence, toughness and accuracy to make up for his deficiencies.  The Chicago Bears could stash him away for later as a possible backup plan to backup plan Aaron Murray.

Conclusion:

Did I get the full value of the trades I made?  That is for you to debate.  What I do know is I feel very strongly about my picks.  I managed to add a middle linebacker, anchor defensive tackle and rangy safety in the first three rounds alone followed by a tall, lengthy corner and then key backups for Matt Forte, Roberto Garza and Jay Cutler.  I filled every conceivable need on the roster with upside players who showed enough during their college season or in the pre-draft process to warrant a selection in my NFL mock draft.  If anything else, Fanspeak certainly makes it exciting.  To see my full selection list, follow the link below or visit their website.

Fanspeak

Dick's Sporting Goods presents "Hell Week":

Tags: Aaron Murray Bishop Sankey C.j. Mosley Chicago Bears Fanspeak Keith Mcgill Marcus Martin NFL Mock Draft Timmy Jernigan

  • Charles Spencer King

    lol…….

    • Erik Lambert

      Glad to make you chuckle, Charles. Care to let me in on the joke?

      • Charles Spencer King

        Sure..:-) Well, I concur these are fun, but you have to admit…. pie in the sky. Here, we readily admit your expertise, yet without seeing who you “passed” on, this exercise becomes even more nebulous. My personal opinion is while first round speculation is of value (moreso with the accompanying rational you frequently share), second round is worth about half of that, third round speculation is worth next to nothing and 4 -7 are, well ,comical. Add trades and the speculation (personally) leads me to chuckles. ….:-)
        I guess (since you asked) I feel your talents are being wasted here, and while it is “only” 5.00, many like me are anti paying for any diversions. The first time you touted this “service” I explained I had done mine at Walt’s for free, the old fashioned way, draft trade chart open, calculator in another window, and yeah it was a pain and I GET that this is easier.. alot easier. But growing up in the city named for her windy politicians, we often had a phrase that applies here ” I ain’t paying”. Put yourself in our shoes, for example you have the center going in round 4, wee have no way of knowing if Swanson or the Oregon center were also there, so (personally) this advanced speculation without the benefit of seeing who you passed on has , limited value to me. Duude, I like your stuff and I respect your knowledge, but this one ( in my opinion is not only “out there”, but worth a LOL.

        • Erik Lambert

          Click the link, Charles. You’ll know exactly who I passed on. It shows the entire board and every pick by every team. I knew exactly what I was doing, and besides I wrote this article at the request of the website. Never said you HAD to pay for anything. Merely mentioned if you wanted the extra trade service it was $5. The reason I provided the link was for the precise reason you commented in the first place, to show people who I passed on and who was taken right before I picked. This article isn’t about discussing the serviceability of the simulator. Obviously the trades I made would be more difficult in reality but it does offer interesting insights such as locating which players might drop down the board, which teams might be willing to move up etc. This is about what I would do if I were in charge of the Bears in a live setting: I would trade down, look for the leftovers at the bottom of first round and then use the extra picks in a deep draft to fortify my roster. That’s it.

          • Charles Spencer King

            Kewl I stand corrected… see I have no problem admitting when I’m wrong ! That changes 180 my opinion and I humbly retract my chuckle and LOL…..hahaha

          • Erik Lambert

            No problem. Just clarifying the situation!

          • Charles Spencer King

            Just so you know…..(or to clarify) I clicked on the link and it is not available, it takes me to a page that asks for a login, or get started…..and you my friend or your hard work is naught to be seen…..( now, I am entitled to my LOL…..:-)

          • Erik Lambert

            Not so fast, Charles. Try it now.

          • Charles Spencer King

            Now my friend, it is your turn to apologize…:-) Why? because you have modified the link . In fact I copied and pasted the entire page from the original link you shared and laughingly I received this message:
            ” Charles Spencer King • 12 minutes ago Hold on, this is waiting to be approved by NFL Mocks.”
            I
            Personally, I’m glad you changed the link so it is now as you said it would be, but it is unfair to discount my comments ( and what became constructive criticism) under the guise the link you modified was there all the time…..:-) I mean when your own website won’t accept a copy and paste you must see the humor in this ! Like I said, I have no problem stating I am wrong when I am, but, as it was, I was not wrong……:-) I love healthy debate and transparency, Yourself?

          • Erik Lambert

            I don’t feel I was wrong either, Charles. The link I originally provided had all the picks listed and every time I clicked on it there was no requirement to login, so it was impossible for me to know it would be required by others. As for the approval by NFL Mocks thing, I have no control over that. It’s a weird thing Fansided has going with their commenting section. Therefor my argument stands. I made my picks and provided an avenue to reach them. It was the fault of awkward servers that the reference information wasn’t available at the outset for you.

          • Charles Spencer King

            This will be my final comment here on this thread.
            1) You are a pro sports writer and your medium is the Internet (at least one is) Therefore you have a responsibility to make sure your presentation is as it should be. I am NOT a geek nor am I a football writer ( I do have several golf articles and a book published). Yet I know what a cookie is. I also know that member sites often redirect to suck me in to signing up and/ or paying. So you should have also known that and checked, rather than blame it on that site.
            2) It sure as heck was not MY fault your link redirected to us all, while your cookie sent you to the information you promised us.
            3) Personally, I see many experts in various fields (not just sports) having a difficult time saying they are wrong, when in fact they are wrong. I find in writing I prefer to be and view myself as a perpetual student of the genre (whatever that is). It does not cost, no one is correct 100%, thus it gives us a cushion and it can check a big ego that desires to insist it is always right.
            4) Remember that you asked me to explain my “LOL” publicly and I did honestly and logically, before you changed the link.
            5) After (the fact) you changed the link, , now I personally, would acknowledge a supporter of mine with a simple Thanks, who caused me to catch an error I was directly or indirectly responsible for, but hey, that’s me.
            6) No one likes to be wrong publicly, and that includes me, few are willing to be lectured on ethics or frankly anything publicly, and that includes me. Like I said I like transparency, however I am disappointed this conversation has hijacked the post. Therefore, should you like to delete the whole thing, you have my permission. I am not seeking public approval of my commentaries (here). I know the double edged sword of interacting with my readers as you do. Frankly, as I said, I like debate, and to chuckle, yet many tend to take my comments as combative, they are not meant to demean or belittle.. I am sorry we do not agree, but the wheel keeps on turning. Peace.

          • Erik Lambert

            I understand you’re trying to make a point, Charles. I don’t need a lecture though. Feel free to have your opinion, you’re more than entitled to it. You want my thanks for spotting the link malfunction? You have it. I am not always right. Not by a long shot, but that doesn’t mean that I won’t stand by what I wrote because in the end I believe it to be honest. Whether you feel the same is not something I can control. I’m failing to register what the big deal is? I wrote a mock draft based on a simulator with the hope of debating about a team I love. Instead you chose to laugh. That’s perfectly within your right. I’m not offended or anything. Have a nice day.