Mississippi State tackle Derek Sherrod has overtaken Wisconsin tackle Gabe Carimi as the favorite to be selected by the Bears at No. 29 overall in the April 28-30 NFL draft, according to a compilation of mock drafts.
After compiling data for 57 mock drafts, Sherrod leads Carimi 8-7. Illinois defensive tackle Corey Liuget and Boston College offensive tackle Anthony Castonzo are next with six apiece. Florida guard/center Mike Pouncey, mammoth Colorado offensive tackle Nate Solder and Villanova tackle Ben Ijalana each have four votes.
The biggest concern about the 6-foot-5 1/2, 312-pound Sherrod is that he may not be athletic enough to play left tackle or powerful enough to play on the right side, making him more of a swing tackle, although there are concerns about every draft eligible player this time of year.
With Mike Tice coaching the offensive line, the Bears may be able to develop a project like Solder, who may have the most upside of any tackle prospect, into a dominating player.
It’s not unanimous that the Bears will take an offensive lineman or defensive tackle, although most mock drafts have them doing just that. Others players that that have been mentioned falling to them in the first round include Pittsburgh receiver Jonathan Baldwin, Miami cornerback Brandon Harris, Texas cornerback Aaron Williams, Temple defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson, Alabama running back Mark Ingram, Maryland wide receiver Torrey Smith and UCLA linebacker Akeem Ayers.