Dec 9, 2012; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Chicago Bears helmet against the Minnesota Vikings at the Metrodome. The Vikings defeated the Bears 21-14. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Who Will Chicago Bears Take In NFL Draft If B.P.A?

“Best Player Available” is often a phrase associated with NFL draft strategies and something the Chicago Bears will consider.  If they hold that strategy for their defense in the first round, who are they most likely to take?

Aaron Donald – DT – Pitt

Top Expert Grades – 6.3/10

CBS Sports – #13 out 1000

ESPN – #14 of Top 32

Scout Inc. – #10 of Top 32

Aaron Donald is a dynamic penetrator at defensive tackle out of Pitt.  He thrives when shooting gaps, having the leverage, explosion and quickness to beat blockers and terrorize quarterbacks.

Anthony Barr – OLB – UCLA

Top Expert Grades – 6.5/10

CBS Sports – #12 out 1000

ESPN – #15 of Top 32

Scout Inc. – #30 of Top 32

He’s only been playing outside linebacker for a couple years but Anthony Barr is already one of the best pass rushers in this NFL draft.  He has great length and ability to get around the edge along with an underrated power base.  Has the frame to bulk up.

Justin Gilbert – CB – Oklahoma State

Top Expert Grades – 6.4/10

CBS Sports – #10 out 1000

ESPN – #18 of Top 32

Scout Inc. – #21 of Top 32

A freak of an athlete coming out of OklahomaState, Justin Gilbert has that shutdown corner potential teams drool over.  He’s also a proven return man who can take it to the house.  Needs more refinement in his technique but the ceiling is sky high.

C.J. Mosley – LB – Alabama

Top Expert Grades – 6.4/10

CBS Sports – #22 out 1000

ESPN – #9 of Top 32

Scout Inc. – #8 of Top 32

Not only is he a classic inside linebacker with the toughness, tackling ability and leadership intangibles, but C.J. Mosley has those rare additions of athleticism, speed and instincts that make him a truly special player provided he can stay healthy.

Calvin Pryor – FS – Louisville

Top Expert Grades – 6.3/10

CBS Sports – #20 out 1000

ESPN – #22 of Top 32

Scout Inc. – #20 of Top 32

Most free safeties are known for their coverage ability but Calvin Pryor isn’t there yet.  He’s best known for his aggressive style, fierce hitting, good tackling and blitzing ability.  The range and instincts are there to improve in coverage, but it will take some work.

Ha Ha Clinton-Dix – FS – Alabama

Top Expert Grades – 6.0/10

CBS Sports – #17 out 1000

ESPN – #20 of Top 32

Scout Inc. – #12 of Top 32

Ha Ha Clinton-Dix is definitely more the traditional free safety.  He has the best coverage skills of anybody in the NFL draft, looking very natural and athletic in open space.  There are some rough areas to his game but all around he could start right away for any team.

Final Analysis

Matt Miller, the draft expert of the Bleacher Report stated the Chicago Bears were likely to go after the best player available regardless of position at #14.  Based on that line of thinking and the data extrapolated above it appears that it will come down to either defensive tackle Aaron Donald or linebacker C.J. Mosley.  Donald was probably the most consistent of the top prospects, placing inside the top 15 on most big boards and scoring a solid 6.3 from  Mosley meanwhile placed in the top 10 for two of those boards and scored a slightly better 6.4 at  It was the CBS ranking of #22 that hurt his number the most, likely due to lingering injury concerns.

From the perspective of the Chicago Bears, one would rate defensive tackle above linebacker in terms of position needs.  So if Donald and Mosley were that close on the front office’s board, then Donald likely has to be the pick with Mosley as the backup if he isn’t there at #14.  After that it would go Justin Gilbert, Anthony Barr, Ha Ha Clinton-Dix and finally Calvin Pryor.  Obviously there is no guarantee to this but it does offer some interesting insight to how things might shake out if the Bears indeed take that Best Player Available approach.

Dick's Sporting Goods presents "Hell Week":

Tags: Aaron Donald Anthony Barr C.j. Mosley Calvin Pryor Chicago Bears Ha Ha Clinton-dix Justin Gilbert NFL Draft

  • brian mckendry

    I agree erik, I hope Donald is there at 14, I think we get a starting safety in rd 2, if bucannon and ward are gone, hopefully brooks is there to grab, then get a cb in 3rd like McGill or breeland and bullough or tripp in the 4th and use 5th and 6th rd on RB, QB, TE, and the bears always bring in a lot of players after the draft

    • Erik Lambert

      We have to trust this bigger scouting staff Emery has assembled can do their job. Championships are won in the late rounds. Hitting on the early picks are important but if you can strike gold on a few 5th or 6th rounders you’re in so much better position. I believe Donald is the pick too if the Bears are indeed doing Best Player Available. However, they do have a tendency to target certain positions each year.

  • bobportcharlotte

    I still like Hageman better than Donald if the pick is to strengthen the defensive line. The good big man will always have the better chance of beating the good small man. I also think Hageman has more of an upside than Donald who I am hoping will be gone by the 14th pick.

    • Erik Lambert

      This is merely going by what the draft universe is saying. I for one hope they trade back but based on this Best Player Available idea and the top prospects connected to the Bears, it seems like Donald and Mosley are the top targets to watch.

  • Eddie Currie

    I really hope Clowney and Mack are the only defensive prospects gone by 14 just to have every other option available to the Bears. That way no matter who they pick they’re guaranteed to piss off the majority of Chicago. But in all seriousness, Donald would be my pick. He has some rare abilities for his position that would cause some significant mismatches each week. Regardless of who my favorites are, at this point if I had to predict the one player the Bears select at 14 I think I would have to say Calvin Pryor. Detroit or St. Louis select Ha’Sean Clinton-Dix, not a bad thing since I actually prefer Pryor over Clinton-Dix. Oakland, Minnesota, or New York take Aaron Donald. The Bears can’t trade back and are worried about not being able to snag Ward or Bucannon. Pryor makes sense, but I’m sincerely hoping for Donald.

    • Erik Lambert

      Very sound reasoning, Eddie. I wouldn’t be upset with Pryor. The defensive tackle depth is very good in this class in my opinion. I feel they can find quality in the 2nd and 3rd rounds, same as cornerback. Safety makes sense to go early, but according to this BPA idea if Donald is there they take him.