Phil Emery has his list of players for the Chicago Bears at #14. So here are some possible NFL draft scenarios that could play out if they trade back.
Trade with New York Jets for 18th pick, 3rd and 6th rounders
Thanks to some trades last year and compensatory picks, the New York Jets are loaded with extra selections. So they can feel free to pursue top prospects if the right one becomes available. Two names that are certain to interest them are Eric Ebron, the tight end from North Carolina and Justin Gilbert, the corner from OklahomaState. Ebron represents a huge offensive upgrade they could put to good use for Geno Smith and/or Michael Vick. Gilbert on the other hand give Rex Ryan some help for his 22nd ranked pass defense, especially following the loss of Antonio Cromartie.
Draft: Calvin Pryor – FS – Louisville
The Bears have ways to get over their depth concerns at defensive tackle and cornerback is set for 2014 in terms of immediate starters. Safety is really the only position that has absolutely no clear-cut starter. Adding Calvin Pryor, a hard-hitting projectile from Louisville would instantly solve that problem. He’s got good size, toughness, can tackle and is an effective blitzer. The speed and range are also there for him to get better in coverage.
Trade with Cincinnati Bengals for 24th pick, 2nd rounder
One of the real wild cards of this NFL draft is the Cincinnati Bengals. From a roster perspective they seem ready for a Super Bowl run. There are just one or two areas left unsettled that might push them to go after a top talent. Among their biggest needs is a safety. Somebody like Ha Ha Clinton-Dix of Alabama would make an outstanding addition to the back end of their defense. Then there is the other idea. Could they drop a bomb by aggressively pursuing a replacement for Andy Dalton? The fourth-year quarterback has yet to win a playoff game in three opportunities and it’s becoming clear his physical deficiencies become a problem in January. Would a stronger armed Derek Carr or more mobile Johnny Manziel change their fortunes?
Draft: Kyle Fuller – CB – Virginia Tech
Phil Emery said one of his top goals in this draft is to find the Chicago Bears an eventual successor to Pro Bowl corner Charles Tillman, who turned 33 this year. Sticking to his ideals for the position it would be somebody big, strong, and tough and has a nose for the ball. Virginia Tech standout Kyle Fuller checks all of those boxes. He is probably one of the best tackling corners in the 2014 class, and repeatedly displayed the eyes and hands to take the ball away. On top of that, he’s only 21-years old.
Trade with Carolina Panthers for 28th pick and DT Kawann Short
One idea floated around is teams possibly using players instead of picks to move up the board. Among teams that might have that chance with Chicago is the Carolina Panthers. Last season they made a splash in the draft when they took a defensive tackle in rounds 1 and 2. Star Lotulelei became their full-time starter out of the first while Kawann Short was an able backup after going to them in round 2. Many project Short as a player with starter potential given his size, strength and athleticism and he flashed that for Carolina. His addition to the trade would allow the Panthers to either jump up for a game-breaking wide receiver, largely viewed as their biggest need, or potentially a long-term replacement for Jordan Gross at left tackle.
Draft: Deone Bucannon – SS – Washington State
Adding Short to the roster would solve the defensive tackle problem for the Bears, thus allowing them to shift their focus to another position. As stated above safety is the most pressing but by this point Pryor and Clinton-Dix should be gone. Some might view it as a reach, but Emery almost certainly could justify taking WashingtonState’s Deone Bucannon. The 6’1” kid tested outstanding at the scouting combine and showed on tape to be a physical presence on the back end with an underrated knack for forcing turnovers. He’s durable, comes from a military family and has clear upside.
Trade with San Francisco 49ers for 30th pick, 2nd, 3rd and 4th rounders
Arguably the most popular team in most trade down scenarios heading into the NFL draft is the San Francisco 49ers. Their team is already stacked with talent so they have good reason to move up and they also have the ammunition with two picks in the 2nd round and three in the 3rd. Unloading a couple of them would barely register on their radar. San Francisco, like the Jets, could really use a cornerback and the Chicago Bears hold a rather advantageous spot at #14 because the Steelers (15th), Ravens (17th) and Jets (18th) all need a corner too. So if they want a top tier talent like Justin Gilbert or Darqueze Dennard then the Bears could be their best bet.
Draft: Ra’Shede Hageman – DT – Minnesota
After such a haul, Emery should feel free to go after a player of his choice regardless of position. Among the most popular who fit his profile for talent is Minnesota defensive tackle Ra’Shede Hageman. Due to inexperience and lagging discipline he’s considered a fringe first or second round player. However, from a sheer talent point of view there might not be a more intriguing specimen in the entire 2014 class. Hageman stands 6’6” at 315 lbs, which is enormous but he runs like a tight end. His incredible speed-power combination gives him off-the-charts potential. Stuffing the run is something he does well, which by itself is good for the Bears but if he can refine his skill he can become an all-around monster at the pro level.