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Bears targeting top defenders in NFL mock drafts

The Chicago Bears’ faithful will be watching the NFL draft with particular interest this year.

For one, the draft will be in Chicago on April 30. Second, there will be a new general manager and coach calling the shots.

The Bears had one of the worst defenses in the league and in franchise history in 2014, so expect defensive playmakers to be the top priority.

CBS Sports, SB Nation and Bleacher Report have all conducted mock drafts with this in mind, and all three settled on a different first-round pick for the Bears.

Chicago has the seventh pick in the draft.

Let’s take a look:

CBS Sports projects the Bears selecting Alvin “Bud” Dupree, a defensive end/outside linebacker out of Kentucky.

For all of the concerns about Chicago’s inconsistent offense, the defense remains alarmingly toothless. Given the quarterbacks in the NFC North, that’s a recipe for disaster. Like Julius Peppers before him, Jared Allen proved a shadow of his former self after signing with the Bears for big money. Dupree, who led all SEC defensive linemen with 74 tackles in 2014 and is the conference’s reigning career sack leader with 24.5 QB takedowns, is long, instinctive and closes in a flash.

Bleacher Report has the Bears going with strong safety Landon Collins out of Alabama.

The Chicago Bears revamped the defense in the offseason, and it made very little difference. They still allowed an atrocious 27.6 points per game, and you can expect the new regime to have an emphasis on fixing that side of the ball.

Chicago’s safeties have been especially inconsistent, and Landon Collins would bring this team the physical, aggressive identity it has been lacking.

Both CBS and Bleacher Report projected Jameis Winston going second overall to the Titans. SB Nation decided to do its mock draft under the assumption that Winston could fall to sixth. The Bears end up taking defensive end/outside linebacker Dante Fowler out of Florida with the seventh pick.

The last mock had Chicago picking safety Landon Collins. Because he’s not a great coverage safety, you can make a good argument why he’s not worth a pick quite this high. A pass rusher like Fowler, who can hold up as a 4-3 end, is Chicago’s biggest need after safety.