Free Agency is just in it’s second week and signings are beginning to slow down. With the Draft next on the vagenda, it’s time to take a detailed look at each team’s acquisitions and losses and gauge a plan of attack for how they should approach the first three rounds of this year’s draft. We’ll start with the lowly Cleveland Browns and work our way all the way up to the Super Bowl Champs in New England. The Bears are up today in what should be a key Draft for them.
Team Needs: QB, DE, S, OT, CB, S, LB, WR
Free Agent Losses: QB Matt Barkley, QB Jay Cutler, WR Alshon Jeffery, QB Brian Hoyer, TE Logan Paulsen
Free Agent Acquisitions: K Connor Barth (resigned), CB Prince Amukamara, QB Mike Glennon, SS Quentin Demps, TE Dion Sims, WR Markus Wheaton, WR Kendall Wright
Potential Round 1 Targets: OLB Myles Garrett, QB Mitch Trubisky, QB DeShaun Watson, TE OJ Howard, S Jamal Adams, S Malik Hooker, WR Mike Williams, WR John Ross, S Jamal Adams, DE Jonathan Allen, DE Solomon Thomas
Potential Round 2 Targets: QB Deshone Kizer, QB Pat Mahomes, TE David Njoku, CB Marlon Humphrey, CB Cordera Tankersley, CB Gareon Conley, CB TreDavious White, S Obi Melifonwu, S Budda Baker, CB Teez Tabor, WR Cooper Kupp, WR Zay Jones, OT Cam Robinson, OT Garrett Bolles, OT Antonio Garcia, OT Taylor Moton, LB Raekwon McMillan, LB Jarrad Davis
Potential Round 3 Targets: QB Davis Webb, QB Brad Kaaya, S Eddie Jackson, S Justin Evans, S Desmond King, S Marcus Maye, S Marcus Williams, CB Adoree Jackson, CB Sidney Jones, CB Cam Sutton, WR JuJu Smith-Schuster, DeDe Westbrook, WR Amara Darboh, OT Adam Bisnowaty, OT Roderick Johnson, LB Kendall Beckwith, LB Anthony Walker
Plan of Attack:
The Bears have the third pick in the 2017 Draft and will be facing a tough decision. Do they pull the trigger on a top QB like DeShaun Watson or Mitch Trubisky or do they take the best overall player like Stanford’s Solomon Thomas or LSU Safety Jamal Adams? The signing of Mike Glennon may indicate which way the Bears are likely to go. Not that Glennon is the answer by any means. They did pay him starters money, so while I think the Bears will be taking a QB in this Draft, it’s unlikely that happens at pick 3. So it looks like a defensive player with the third choice, with a defensive end being the front runner. Solomon Thomas should be the top target for the pick if he’s still available. He’s extremely athletic and would likely line up at end for the Bears in their 3-4 front. He’s got the strength to fend off the run, but also great athletic ability to create pressure. He could have a JJ Watt like impact for the Bears. If Thomas is gone, they could go with Jonathan Allen, if they believe his shoulder isn’t an issue. He’s a big boy who could play some snaps inside, as well as a five technique end. The Bears could also land an impact safety here. LSU’s Jamal Adams is a gifted player who is strong in every facet of the game. He could come in and be a true difference maker in this secondary.
In Round 2 the Bears may get more serious about taking a quarterback. A couple of guys they’d be looking at would be Notre Dame’s Deshone Kizer or Texas Tech’s Pat Mahomes. Both have question marks. Kizer has great size and is a smart quarterback, who will fit the ball into the tightest of windows. He does sometimes hold the ball too long, and has a tendency to fumble. Mahomes was ultra productive at Texas Tech. But teams are weary of that because it is a very QB friendly system. Mahomes also has sloppy mechanics that will need to be fine tuned. Again, with Glennon already under center, the Bears would have time to work with these guys and get those issues ironed out. The Bears have some nice interior offensive lineman but could stand to upgrade at tackle and round 2 could be just the spot to do that. Alabama’s Cam Robinson could fall, as could Utah’s Garrett Bolles. Both of those guys are physical road graders who could actually start as rookies. Taylor Moton and Antonio Garcia could also be in the mix. If the Bears have yet to land a safety, Obi Melifonwu or Budda Baker would be considered. Obi would be the preference with his rare blend of size, physicality, and speed.
If the Bears have a defensive end and a quarterback when Round 3 starts then they should look at offensive tackles first. FSU’s Roderick Johnson would be a nice get here if he’s still around. Johnson has a great wingspan and is shockingly nimble for a man his size. His overall footwork needs to improve, and he could also stand to spend some time in the weight room. If he’s gone, they could look at athletic big man Adam Bisnowaty from Pitt. If the Bears already have their tackle, they could look at a safety like Desmond King or Marcus Williams. They could also stand to increase the talent at the corner position and take someone like Adoree Jackson or Cam Sutton. Both of these guys could contribute right away. They instead, may choose to take the injured but talented Sidney Jones from Washington and let him recover from his ACL injury for a season before working him into their secondary. The Bears have some decent receivers but no proven no. 1 weapon with Alshon Jeffery leaving this offseason. They could pull the trigger on one at any point in this Draft. If they wait until round three JuJu Smith-Schuster should be considered as could DeDe Westbrook or Amara Darboh.