As the Chicago Bears look to repeat as NFC North champions, they will not have many picks to bolster their roster in the 2019 NFL Draft.
The Chicago Bears went all out last season in pursuit of bringing their team back to relevance. While successful, they are now feeling the effects of those decisions this offseason. The team possesses only five picks in the upcoming draft –– none in the top 85. With such little draft capital, it will be hard to fill holes left by players like Adrian Amos and Bryce Callahan who left in free agency.
All picks from this mock draft were made using The Draft Network’s Mock Draft Machine.
Round 3 (Pick 87): Amani Hooker –– S –– Iowa
With the departure of Adrian Amos, Chicago needs to find his replacement in the draft. While the Bears won’t be in the mix for one of the top safeties in this year’s draft class, the position group is very deep. They can find tremendous value in the 3rd round.
Hooker is a guy who can be a starter day 1 for the Bears defense. He is a very cerebral player and has excellent play recognition skills.
His biggest knock is that he is limited athletically. He also doesn’t have elite range that you would like to see from that position. But with Eddie Jackson already on the back-end of that defense as a playmaker, he wouldn’t be asked to be a rangy ballhawk. Much like Amos was, Hooker could step in and be the anchor of that defense. That is what allows Jackson and others on that defense to make plays.
His lack of athleticism may limit his ceiling, but because of his high football IQ, he can be a competent starting safety in the NFL and fill a massive need for the Bears right away.
Round 4 (Pick 126): Anthony Nelson –– EDGE –– Iowa
The Bears spend their first two picks in this mock on Hawkeyes.
Nelson probably won’t ever be a three-down double-digit sack type of guy – hence why he fell to the fourth round. But if the Bears are looking for a productive role player to complement Floyd and Mack, he’s a perfect selection.
Despite a lack of explosion and athleticism, Nelson was able to get after opposing quarterbacks at the collegiate level with an impressive arsenal of pass rush moves. That lack of athleticism will almost certainly hinder him at the next level, but he is still an exceptional run defender and can carve out a productive role for himself in the NFL.
Round 5 (Pick 156): Kendall Sheffield –– CB –– Ohio State
Moving away from Iowa but staying in the Big 10, the Bears select Sheffield in the 5th.
The big headline for the Bears in free agency this offseason was the departure of Adrian Amos. I would argue, however, that the even more significant loss was nickel corner, Bryce Callahan. Callahan was Chicago’s hidden weapon defensively. While his lack of size will likely prohibit him from ever being an elite outside corner, he has solidified himself as one of the best slot corners in the league.
With Callahan now gone, Chicago must find a way to replace his versatility. Sheffield, while not nearly as polished, has a game similar to Callahan. NFL.com named him the fastest player in college football in 2018, and was a big-time playmaker in the Buckeyes defense.
I thought Sheffield had a tremendous opportunity to turn heads at the combine and generate late first-round or early second-round hype. Unfortunately, he suffered a torn pectoral injury during the bench press portion of the combine, and his draft stock will likely fall.
Sheffield’s teammate Billy Price suffered the same injury during last year’s combine, and it took him several months to recover. Even after he recovers, Sheffield is still an extremely raw player who will need some time to develop. Drafting Sheffield won’t be an immediate help for the Bears defense, but in the long-term, he could be one of the steals of this year’s draft.
Round 7 (Pick 222): Devine Ozibo –– RB –– Nebraska
It seems almost every year in the NFL a late-round or undrafted rookie comes out of nowhere and puts up impressive numbers. Last year it was Phillip Lindsay of the Denver Broncos, and this year it could be Devine Ozibo.
At 236 pounds, Ozigbo moves incredibly well and has tremendous vision. He’s not a great pass catcher and won’t give a team the type of versatility that other backs will, but he has an impressive blend of power and quickness which will translate well at the next level.
The Bears already have a crowded backfield with Jordan Howard, Tark Cohen, and newly signed Mike Davis. However, head coach Matt Nagy has expressed an interest in getting another back, especially with Howard’s future with the team unknown.
Round 7 (Pick 238): Chris Brown –– Guard –– Charlotte
The development of Mitch Trubisky is still the number one priority of the Bears organizations. Maintaining a solid offensive line is a huge part of doing so. Brown has ideal size for an NFL guard at 6 foot 4, 304 pounds. He is very much a developmental project but could add some depth for the Bears O-line.