Whispers continue to fly about the Chicago Bears having real interest in moving back during the NFL draft. Who are some teams they could call?
New York Jets
The further free agency goes the more it seems like the New York Jets will walk into the NFL draft with two or three clear positions of need on their list. They will have extra picks at their disposal thanks to trades and compensatory awards. Topping the list is probably wide receiver. Despite their adding Eric Decker from Denver nobody thinks that is enough to correct the lack of offensive punch the team suffered through last season. Moving up to get Mike Evans out of Texas A&M would definitely interest them. They also are looking for a weapon at tight end and Eric Ebron should be available where the Bears pick. Last but not least is the growing concern at the corner position. A failed attempt to sign Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie or others on the market have left the Jets thin at the position. With Justin Gilbert and Darqueze Dennard expected to hover in that early teens area, they may feel tempted to pounce for one of them.
Likely trade yield: 3rd round pick
Green Bay Packers
This one seems a little more farfetched since the Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears are two of the biggest rivals in pro football but crazy things can happen. Chicago needs picks to reload their defense while the Packers roster is reaching that stage where they have to start taking heavier swings to get back to the Super Bowl. Moving up aggressively in the NFL draft is a typical such strategy. Their primary reason would be to take one of the top safeties on the board in Ha Ha Clinton-Dix of Alabama or Calvin Pryor of Louisville. Green Bay hasn’t had a serious presence at safety since Nick Collins was forced to step away from the game after a neck injury. They also might be in play for Ebron at tight end or an outside linebacker to team with Julius Peppers and Clay Matthews.
Likely trade yield: 2nd round pick or 3rd, 4th and 5th
There are so many ways for the Cleveland Browns to go in the first round since they hold the 4th and 26th picks respectively. Clear needs for them rest on offense at quarterback, offensive line and wide receiver. There is a real chance that they might pass on a quarterback early and instead elect to wait until later in the first round to get one. However, there is a possibility of a run on quarterback outside the top ten which would put them in danger of missing out on a player they want and forcing them to move up from 26th. They could also do the same to grab a top receiver like Evans or a versatile blocker up front like a Zack Martine out of Notre Dame. It all depends on how the board looks at the time.
Like trade yield: Two 3rd round picks
San Francisco 49ers
The most popular team referenced by Chicago Bears fans in a trade deal for the NFL draft is the San Francisco 49ers. They hold a bevy of picks at their disposal include two 2nd and two 3rd rounders. Given the state of their roster they can afford to move up to grab a difference-maker if they so choose. After watching the NFC championship and looking at their free agency actions, it’s clear the team has two key needs to fill at wide receiver and cornerback. Mike Evans would also be in play for them since his 6’5″ frame would help immensely in that division, as would the speedy ability of Brandin Cooks out of Oregon State. They also would have serious interest in Justin Gilbert and Darqueze Dennard, both of whom play the type of press coverage that would thrive in the 49ers 3-4 system.
Likely trade yield: Late 2nd, late 3rd and 4th round picks