Almost everybody seems to have the Chicago Bears draft targets figured out. So who are some names that could surprise everybody?
Kony Ealy – DE – Missouri
Why in the world would the Bears take a defensive end in the first round so soon after adding three high quality ones in free agency in Jared Allen, Lamarr Houston and Willie Young? First of all, there is no such thing as too many quality pass rushers. Secondly, taking Kony Ealy might solve two problems at the same time. It would bolster the end position and also would enable the Bears to consider moving Houston, who has the strength and size at 300 lbs to move inside to defensive tackle, thus filling the hole left by Henry Melton. It would instantly decrease the need for them to take a tackle early and allow them to focus on the secondary on Day 2.
C.J. Mosley – LB – Alabama
Ask any Chicago Bears fan whether they think the linebackers are pretty much squared away. The majority would say absolutely not. Lance Brigg is aging fast. D.J. Williams is returning from a torn pectoral and the last starting job is up for grabs between Jon Bostic who failed to stick at middle linebacker and Shea McClellin, a converted defensive end. This unit is a long way from settled. That would change if C.J. Mosley joined the mix. He is widely viewed as the best three-down linebacker in the 2014 NFL draft. He’s tall, long, athletic, fast, smart and instinctive with the gritty toughness to play hurt as well. A defensive captain for Alabama, he’s also a leader on the field and has the versatility to play inside or outside.
Ra’Shede Hageman – DT – Minnesota
Watching GM Phil Emery over the past two years, people have begun to see that he is a sucker for athletes, especially big ones. Kyle Long caught his attention last year at the guard position and developed into a Pro Bowler, as did Alshon Jeffery from the year before that. So it’s safe to say he’s probably caught wind of Ra’Shede Hageman. Not only big at 6’6″, 310 lbs and strong, he showed his freakish athleticism during the pre-draft process when he posted a 5.02 40-yard dash. The reason he’s not higher on boards is his game tape. It shows he’s still very raw and in need of more coaching. However, if things progress like they should he can become a dominant interior force for the next decade. For the record, draft experts said the same thing about Long a year ago.
Kyle Fuller – CB – Virginia Tech
The Chicago Bears need young blood at cornerback. Another thing Emery said during press conferences is that the toughness of a defense can always be measured through the corners. That was a big reason he brought back veteran Charles Tillman. If that philosophy holds true on draft day, he’s sure to take a long look at Virginia Tech standout Kyle Fuller. The height and length are there as are the instincts, vision and quick recognition. Add in his ability to tackle and cover the run and he will remind a lot of people of Tillman. He can help on special teams early on and when the time is right has what it takes to become a cornerstone starter.