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NFL mock draft 2019: Bears turn to Big Ten in latest 3rd-round projections

The Bears could target Penn State running back Miles Sanders this month. | Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Most mock drafts seem to be honing in on running back and defensive back as the Bears’ primary needs entering the 2019 NFL Draft. When we last checked in on what the experts were predicting, they were focused on those positions. Since then, the Jordan Howard trade cemented that position as a need while the re-signing of Aaron Lynch helped shore up the pass rush.

So it should come as little surprise that the latest mock drafts covering the third round and beyond see the Bears likely continuing along that path.

Over at CBS Sports, they’re projecting the Bears will take Michigan cornerback David Long with the 87th overall pick. The team still has its primary starting duo intact with Kyle Fuller and Prince Amukamura, but the loss of Bryce Callahan means the team could still use help at the nickel spot.

Long, a physical cornerback for the Wolverines, recorded 17 tackles, six defended passes and one interception as a junior in 2018.

Fans would likely be pleased if USA Today’s projection for the Bears’ third-round pick came true: Penn State running back Miles Sanders. The team’s top two running backs are now Tarik Cohen and free agent signing Mike Davis, so Sanders could immediately step in to help play a role in Matt Nagy’s offense. He recorded 1,274 rushing yards and nine touchdowns for the Nittany Lions last season.

In a slightly older mock draft from March 28, NFL.com throws a curveball by projecting the Bears to take edge rusher Ben Banogu with their third-rounder. Banogu recorded 17 sacks over the last two seasons at TCU and could give the team an even fiercer pass rush with Khalil Mack, Leonard Floyd and Lynch already on the roster. The Bears get their running back in the fourth round of that mock draft by taking Georgia’s Elijah Holyfield with the 126th overall pick.