Mock draft season won’t be as much fun for fans this year due to the Bears’ lack of first- and second-round picks. The team’s first selection, barring any trades, won’t be until the 87th overall pick in the third round, so most mock drafts won’t even dare try to guess what will happen then so far out. It’s already hard enough predicting who’s going in the top 10.
But some mock draft experts still take their stabs at projecting beyond the first two rounds, which means getting an idea of what the Bears might do.
The most recent came Monday from Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller, who did a complete mock draft of the first three rounds. He projects the Bears to use the 87th overall pick on Iowa safety Amani Hooker, who could be a long-term solution at the position after the team signed Ha Ha Clinton-Dix to a one-year deal.
This isn’t the first time Hooker, an All-Big Ten first team and All-American second team member in 2018, has been tied to the Bears in a mock draft. In late February after the end of the NFL Scouting Combine, SB Nation also had the Bears picking Hooker with their third-round selection.
Around the same time, NFL.com projected the Bears would pick Vanderbilt cornerback Joejuan Williams, who could help replace Bryce Callahan in the nickel role.
USA Today had them going for Alabama running back Damien Harris in the third round, then addressing the secondary by picking Kentucky cornerback Derrick Baity in the fourth round.
The losses of Adrian Amos to the Packers and Bryce Callahan to the Broncos have thinned out a secondary that thrived under Vic Fangio last year. The team signed Clinton-Dix to help replace Amos next season, but it makes sense that mock draft analysts would expect defensive back to be a priority.