Our Pledge To You

News

Final NFL mock draft: Who will Bears pick at No. 7?

Ryan Pace has been downtown exactly once since being named the Bears’ GM — to go to Chicago Cut— and won’t make his second trip this weekend.

Rather, he’ll spend perhaps the three biggest days of his career at Halas Hall.

“In our personnel world, this is our Super Bowl coming up,” he said Wednesday.

But who will he take? The Sun-Times’ Bears experts did one final mock draft:

ADAM L JAHNS

Projected Top-Six

1.Buccaneers — Jameis Winston, QB, Florida State; 2. Titans — Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon; 3. Jaguars — Amari Cooper, WR, Alabama; 4. Raiders — Leonard Williams, DE, USC; 5. Redskins — Dante Fowler, OLB, Florida; 6. Jets – Kevin White, WR, West Virginia

And with the seventh pick of the 2015 NFL draft, the Bears select:

Danny Shelton, DT, Washington

It’s going to be really difficult to pass on West Virginia receiver Kevin White if he drops past the Jets, but a deep draft class at wideout allows the Bears to focus on defense either way. Shelton, a 6-2, 340-bound behemoth, would be a Day 1 contributor — a true run-stuffer right in the middle of their new 3-4 defense.

He also rarely left the field at Washington, showing that he can rush the quarterback. Work with the Bears’ new defensive staff only will harness those pass-rush skills, too.

Trading down remains a definite option. But the Bears shouldn’t drop themselves too far. Pace said the draft is strong when it comes to players for the top 10 selections. Pace has a chance to find “a major impact player,” as he put it, and shouldn’t immediately pass on that opportunity.

PATRICK FINLEY

Projected Top-Six

1.Buccaneers — Jameis Winston, QB, Florida State; 2. Titans — Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon; 3. Jaguars — Leonard Williams, DE, USC; 4. Raiders — Amari Cooper, WR, Alabama 5. Redskins — Dante Fowler, OLB, Florida; 6. Jets — Brandon Scherff, OL, Iowa

And with the seventh pick of the 2015 NFL draft, the Bears select:

Kevin White, WR, West Virginia

The Bears are absolutely desperate for defensive talent, but White offers too much value to pass up. The team has done its homework, inviting him to Halas Hall and travelling to his pro day, where wide receivers coach Mike Groh ran drills.

Pace sounded intrigued by trading down in the draft — he knows the Bears have more holes than picks to fill them. If he does that,

Washington nose tackle Danny Shelton would make sense on a team that currently has only one player at his position. Still, the bet here is the Bears land a wide receiver first, then worry about defenders — an edge rusher, defensive lineman or even a safety — on Day 2.

MARK POTASH

Projected Top-Six

1.Buccaneers — Jameis Winston, QB, Florida State; 2. Titans —  Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon; 3. Jaguars — Leonard Williams, DE, USC; 4. Raiders — Amari Cooper, WR, Alabama; 5. Redskins — Dante Fowler, OLB, Florida; 6. Kevin White, WR, West Virginia.

And with the seventh pick of the 2015 NFL draft, the Bears select:

Brandon Scherff, OL, Iowa

Unless Pace was blowing smoke about talking to teams ahead of him, it would not be a big surprise if the Bears traded up to get a player of greater value — perhaps Fowler or Cooper. In fact, at this point it’s more likely the Bears trade up or down rather than take the seventh pick.

As this draft shakes out, Scherff is a safe pick at No. 7 — the best offensive lineman in the draft and a player who can contribute right away. Projected as a guard, the Bears could easily move Pro Bowl guard Kyle Long to tackle.

That gives the Bears a chance to establish the ground game they’ll need under John Fox. Vic Beasley also an option here.