Oct 26, 2013; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Golden Gophers defensive back Brock Vereen (21) tackles Nebraska Cornhuskers wide receiver Jordan Westerkamp (1) for a lose in the second half at TCF Bank Stadium. The Gophers won 34-23. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Updated Chicago Bears 7-Round NFL Mock Draft

The rumors and whispers continue to tweak the plans for the Chicago Bears in May.  Here is their latest NFL mock draft.

Round 1 – Justin Gilbert – CB – Oklahoma State

Phil Emery is a sucker for athletes, especially ones who can do more than one thing well.  Justin Gilbert was an outstanding cornerback in 2013 but that overshadowed how good he was at returning kicks too.  He might not start right away if he joined the Bears defense but he’d have a chance to learn from Pro Bowlers Charles Tillman and Tim Jennings while also taking over kick return duties from the departed Devin Hester.

Round 2 – Stephon Tuitt – DT – Notre Dame

The exact landing spot for Stephon Tuitt is all over the map.  Some see him as a surefire first rounder while others think he will slip well into the second.  One thing is clear.  The Bears will take him if he’s there at #51.  The Notre Dame product is a physical specimen at 6’5″ with 34-inch arms, a 302-lbs frame and the speed to play inside or outside.  His pass rush ability and size combination would make him a perfect three-technique tackle in the Bears system, a position they need to fill with Henry Melton gone.

Round 3 – Brock Vereen – FS – Minnesota

Keeping to the athlete idea, Chicago probably took notice of Minnesota free safety Brock Vereen, who tested very well at the scouting combine.  His intelligence came through quite often for the Gophers and he possesses the speed and range desired from those at his position.  He’s got good height but he’s somewhat slender and struggles to tackle at times.  Still, his upside and intangibles more than make up for that.

Round 4 – Russell Bodine – C – North Carolina

Free agent maneuvering has put the Chicago Bears roster in a position to where they can afford addressing issues on offense in the mid to later rounds if they desire.  Center is among the positions requiring the most attention.  Roberto Garza is 35-years old and sitting on a one-year deal.  Grabbing Russell Bodine in the 4th would be a perfect chance to groom his eventual successor.  Though stiff and a bit lacking in agility, the North Carolina product is nasty and shows the ability to pull and seal in the run game and anchor in pass protection.

Round 5 – Max Bullough – MLB – Michigan State

It’s so easy to forget that linebacker remains a work in progress for the Bears, especially in the middle.  Max Bullough isn’t quite the athlete Emery would hone in on, but he’s not a statue either.  The Michigan State captain was the heart and soul of the best defense in college football.  He’s vocal on the field, extremely intelligent and shows the strength and toughness to tackle and take on blocks.  What he lacks in range he makes up for in anticipation.

Round 6 (f/TB) – Jeff Mathews – QB – Cornell

When Marc Trestman was asked about what he expected from a backup quarterback, the first two keys he looked for are efficiency and locker room presence, followed closely by good decision-making.  Coming out of a smaller program at Cornell the buzz on Jeff Mathews has gone through a roller coaster.  There is no question he boasts great size (6’4″) and plenty of arm talent.  At the same time he’s not very mobile.  What makes him a Trestman type of guy is his demeanor.  Mathews is highly intelligent and vocal with teammates.  Scouts have referred to him as another coach on the field, which is exactly what the Bears will want at the backup spot.  Somebody who will be ready to play right away.

Round 6 – Marion Grice – RB – Arizona State

Matt Forte is still a Pro Bowl stud but he’s also turning 28-years old.  Dangerous territory for a running back.  The depth behind him thinned considerably when the team parted ways with Michael Bush.  They need to load up the depth chart with young legs.  Marion Grice slipped down boards due to an injury last season but his viability in the pros remains promising.  He does his best work running on the perimeter where his vision and cutback ability become major assets.  He has good speed and soft hands to receive out of the backfield.  With some coaching to improve his pass protection and route running he can become that relief player for Forte the Chicago Bears need.

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Tags: Brock Vereen Chicago Bears Jeff Mathews Justin Gilbert Marion Grice Max Bullough NFL Mock Draft Russell Bodine Stephon Tuitt

  • Eddie Currie

    I’d be pretty happy with this!

    • Erik Lambert

      Glad to hear it, Eddie.

  • Jeffrey Ebo

    One of the best mock drafts I have seen so far…. I love every pick except the last one. Only because I don’t know who he is.

    • Erik Lambert

      Just know that before a late-season injury Marion Grice was in the 2nd-3rd round range. So getting him in the 6th would be most beneficial. As I said though, he needs to bulk up in order to handle more carries at the pro level.

  • Dakota

    I think this is my favorite mock you’ve done so far and perhaps my favorite overall. Good job man

    • Erik Lambert

      Thank you, Dakota. The more I’ve been able to evaluate class the more Emery type picks I’ve been able to uncover. I extrapolated all of that with the Bears needs and this is what came out.

      • Dakota

        Yeah I’ve noticed that. If they were able to land Tuitt in the 2nd round, that would be an absolute steal. He’d be another guy that fit into the multi-dimensional lineman like they have with Houston and Izzy. He’d be a good replacement for Izzy when his contract expires as well. You’ve gotten me to fall in love with Gilbert too haha. The only pick I’m iffy about is Bullough. I like Christian Jones out of FSU. He’s a bit more athletic and about the same size as Bullough (6’3″ 240 vs. 6’4″ 249). But I wouldn’t be upset with Max at all.

        • Erik Lambert

          I understand about Bullough but I have a thing where if I feel the intelligence, leadership and strength is there I’m willing to ease off the athleticism needs. Everywhere I’ve read about Bullough is he’s a true middle linebacker with the leadership intangibles and ability to get everybody in the right place. The way I see it, as long as the rest of your defense is fast and athletic, you can afford to sacrifice at one position as long as he brings something else to the table, which definitely would. I understand the love affair with Christian Jones given his athletic potential but a lot of scout agree he doesn’t have the vocal presence of an inside backer. Many see him as a much better outside guy where his speed and agility will really come to the forefront, similar to what the Bears are doing with Bostic.

          Tuitt would be such a great addition to the line. I really think he’s being overlooked and believe he’ll have a better career than Louis Nix. I just don’t know if he’ll be there at #51. It just seems like too steep a drop but I can’t deny the possibility is there.

          Gilbert is already a terrific athlete. The only thing left is turning him into a better football player, which is much easier when a kid can do what he can. He doesn’t have to start right away and can be a great contributor on special teams his first year.

  • Jason

    I like these picks a lot with the only exception being I would rather take Dennard with the first. I think Dennard would match up nicely with the larger physical receivers in the the NFL North and he reminds me a lot of Tillman minus his nack for punching out fumbles.

    • Erik Lambert

      I’ve thought about that myself. Dennard is a better defender at this point than Gilbert is. I just believe Gilbert is more of an Emery guy. His athleticism and versatility will draw Emery to him. However, if he’s off the board and Dennard is there, you take him. The kid already has the skill and work ethic of a professional. He’ll be a great locker room addition.

  • FJ doreza

    Not bad, I love Gilbert but not as a first pick, and knowing the Bears drafting a DT will have more impact on the team as having a great pass rush can make any secondary look good. Plus there are a lot of very good lesser known DB’s available late, even as UFA’s. My picks, plus options
    !. Aaron Donald, Not only a physical freak but also a great football player. He makes more sense for the Bears since the loss of Melton, they get younger and more disruptive which helps the secondary immensely. Dominique Easley, Dee Ford, Timmy Jernigan
    2. Kyle Van Noy, the most complete, versatile LB. He can play any LB post, can edge rush and cover well and is a playmaker. He has the experience and Intelligence to start immediately. I would even trade up to get him. Ryan Shazier. recently ran 4.36, crazy fast for a LB. He could bring back the MONSTER in the Midway.Trent Murphy, Daquan Jones
    3. Zach Mettenberger, the best QB that no one is talking about. Go watch LSU vs Texas, he shows Johnny Douche Bag what an NFL QB looks like. He ran a pro offense under Cam that is similar to the Bears with two great WR that remind you of what our receivers do. This would be a steal and a smart pick for the future with the history of Jay Cutler. Trestman could work serious wonders with a talented arm like Zachs’
    4. Ed Reynolds or Craig Loston, both of these guys played on very good defenses. Very sure tacklers, hitters, and good ball skills. Both are strong playmakers with good turnover numbers. Ahmad Dixon, the Pryor without the hype. Telvin Smith, Kevin Pierre Louis, two tweeners with very good speed that can be the versatile athletes that Emery likes to mold into playmakers.
    5. Travis Carrie or Dontae Johnson, both have good size and speed and are no less talented than the high rounders. It’s not the round their drafted but the player they can be.
    6. Trey Millard or Gator Hoskins, both these guys are FB with good speed and good hands and can fill the role of short yardage battering ram or blocker. They can also be used as TE’s. Versatile athletes. AC Leonard is a TE that was also used as a FB ran 4.5 and is a great athlete as well. All these guys are about 6-2 250 lbs. and can be bigger versions of Bush.
    6. Dri Archer or John Brown, I know one of these guys might go early but you never know. If the Bears want an explosive deep threat that can play the slot receiver, KR or a 3rd down back like Dennis Gentry, they really need to bring that back to the Bears, just imagine that super speed blazing from the backfield.
    D’Anthony Thomas, Robert Herron. Jalen Saunders…Hester and Bennett are gone, these players can fill their KR/WR roles.
    The UFA market will be crowded with lots of talent that can even be starters but some will be viable projects, special teams and depth guys. DE Larry Webster, Jesse Dickson DB Walt Aikens, Dexter Moody, Brandon Dixon, Qua Cox, Shaquille Richardson, Aaron Colvin, Dexter McDougle, Kendlall James, C Gabe Ikard, Matt Armstrong DT, Bruce Gaston Jamie Meder, Zach Kerr…

    • Erik Lambert

      I’m not so sure Donald gets past the Giants at #12, FJ. The more and more I hear the more I realize the quarterbacks aren’t going to provide the cushion we’d hoped to drop some of that defensive talent our way. I feel Gilbert or Dennard will be there at #14. Clinton-Dix will go to St. Louis, if not earlier. With all due respect, Reynolds and Loston are good players but are not “Emery” guys, in that they aren’t the best athletes. Emery loves athletic, fast players. Now Van Noy or Shazier I can definitely get on board with. I really like what I’ve heard about Travis Carrie. Bears are not drafting a fullback. They re-signed Tony Fiammetta for that. Archer will go earlier but John Brown definitely might be there. Personally I’m hoping they grab a running back and center earlier like Charles Sims or Devonta Freeman for RB and Russell Bodine or Marcus Martin for C. Mettenberger would be a great project for Trestman but the 3rd might be a tad early.