This Chicago Bears 2020 mock draft is focused on a key strategy. Can GM Ryan Pace slide down the board enough to where he picks up some value with more picks without sacrificing too much position? This is always the difficult part of it. While getting more picks is never a bad thing, the truth is it becomes harder to find good talent the later a draft goes.
The problem for the Bears is they have just two selections in the top 150. That puts a lot of pressure on Pace to nail both of them. By sacrificing some positioning, he might be able to secure extra selections in that range, which would improve his odds. There is risk in doing so, but with his job on the line, Pace can’t think about that. He has roster holes to plug and not enough picks to do it with.
So here we go.
Chicago Bears 2020 mock draft shifts to quantity focus
- Trade: #43 pick to Baltimore for the #55 and #92 picks
2nd Round (Pick #55 via BAL) – John Simpson, OG, Clemson
Former NFL defensive end said even if the Bears had gotten by the Eagles in the playoffs last year, they wouldn’t have won the Super Bowl anyway. Why? He claims they weren’t physical enough in the trenches. Judging by how poorly the offensive line played the next season, he was clearly onto something. The Bears front is dangerously devoid of “ass-kickers” as his brother Kyle Long would say.
John Simpson showed during his time at Clemson that he has that mixture of power and nastiness made for being the tone-setter up front. While most of the talk centered around the Tigers passing attack, their running game was a big part of reaching the national championship and Simpson was vital to that success. He’s a mauler who is a decent athlete and can be a plug-and-play starter at right guard.
- Trade: #50 pick to Seattle for #59 pick and #101 pick
2nd Round (Pick #59 via SEA) – Raekwon Davis, DE, Alabama
The Bears already have one of the best front sevens in football. Their defensive line of Akiem Hicks, Eddie Goldman, and Roy Robertson-Harris is formidable. Not to mention having Bilal Nichols in the rotation as well. That said, the team got caught flat-footed when Hicks went down with injury last year. He’s also entering his 30s. They need to start thinking about life after him, even if it’s still a long way off.
Davis was a huge part of the Crimson Tide defense over the past three years. Most view him as a big and strong body who can stop the run. However, he showed in 2017 that he has more than enough quickness and burst to be a big pass rusher with 8.5 sacks. The question is will he embrace the work necessary to be great? With Hicks as a mentor, the odds are good.
3rd Round (Pick #92 via BAL) – Jonathan Greenard, EDGE, Florida
Signing Robert Quinn was a coup for the Bears in free agency. It gives them two legitimate edge rushers who can get to 10+ sacks for the first time in literal decades. Something the team has too often not worked hard enough to accomplish. That said, a unit is only as strong as its depth. Chicago doesn’t have much at all for their outside linebacker spot. Isaiah Irving and Barkevious Mingo are the two options at present. Not ideal.
Greenard solves that problem. He became one of the most consistently effective pass rushers at Florida. In two seasons as a starter, he delivered 17 sacks and 31.5 tackles for a loss. He has a keen understanding of how to get into the backfield with a nice mix of power and quickness that makes him difficult to block. Once he learns a greater number of counter moves, he can be really good.
3rd Round (Pick #101 via SEA) – Devin Duvernay, WR, Texas
Big plays were absent from the Bears offense last season. Much of that was due to the ineffectiveness at quarterback, but also an overall lack of speed. Their lone fast option at wide receiver, Taylor Gabriel, battled concussion issues that robbed him of the second half of the season. Nobody else on the roster could bring that instant explosiveness to the table.
Duvernay is exactly what they’re looking for. Not only does he have 4.39 speed, he’s also well-known for being quite good after the catch. This thanks to his unusual body structure that looks more like a running back. Get him in space and he’s going to make defenders pay. If he can learn how to properly run routes, an issue that dogged him at times, then his ceiling is sky high.
5th Round (Pick #164) – Antoine Brooks Jr., S, Maryland
Nobody wants to admit it, but the Bears missed Adrian Amos in 2019. Not because he is a superstar they let slip away but because his presence allowed Eddie Jackson to be the superstar he is. Amos was a pure strong safety who handled playing down near the line of scrimmage. Something Ha Ha Clinton-Dix could not do, forcing Jackson to do it instead. That robbed the team of his abilities in coverage way too often.
Brooks has the look of a perfect strong safety. What he lacks in pure speed and size, he makes up for in instincts, intelligence, and physicality. He can tackle well, is rarely caught off guard and brings the heat as a blitzer. Teams should use him sparingly in man coverage but a creative defensive coordinator would see him as a utility weapon he can move all over the field.
6th Round (Pick #197) – Alex Taylor, OT, South Carolina State
The Bears aren’t really in a position to make any wholesale changes at offensive tackle. Charles Leno Jr. and Bobby Massie are safe for 2020 due to their contracts. That said, the team is well aware of how both regressed last year. The time might be right to start thinking about life beyond them. Nevermind they still don’t have a lot of depth at the position.
In terms of pure upside, there is so much to love about Taylor. He’s 6’8 with preposterous 36-inch arms. Just a mountain of a man. A former basketball player with plenty of athleticism to handle the edge. What he lacks is polish. His strength isn’t where it will need to be and he doesn’t have enough knowledge of pass protection. He’ll require a season of development before pushing him into the starting lineup, making the Bears a great fit.
6th Round (Pick #201 via PHI) – Javaris Davis, CB, Auburn
While it’s inaccurate to call the secondary a weakness for the Bears defense, there is a lot of uncertainty in areas of it. The cornerback spot opposite Kyle Fuller being a big one. With Prince Amukamara gone, they have questions as to who the replacement will be. Kevin Toliver? Tre Roberson? Artie Burns? Two of those guys have never started a full season in the NFL and the other is a bust 1st round pick. In the absence of a clear answer, more competition is needed.
If Davis were three inches taller (5’8), he’d probably be in the conversation for a late 1st or early 2nd round pick. He will remind Bears fans a lot of Tim Jennings. He’s short, yes. He’s also tough, aggressive, fast, and opportunistic. The guy is a pest for wide receivers. The Bears may prefer longer corners but if they give this kid a chance, he can do good things for them.
7th Round (Pick #227 via LAV) – Jauan Jennings, WR, Tennessee
Pace loves to take gambles on late-round receivers so don’t expect this draft to be any different. The team can’t yet be certain about their depth at the position. Javon Wims and Riley Ridley still have promise but neither has truly emerged as an extra weapon alongside Allen Robinson and Anthony Miller. So until that changes, the team should continue offering opportunities to other guys.
Jennings will go late in the draft mostly because he is neither fast nor quick in the eyes of evaluators, and both those things are seen as essential in the NFL. This isn’t true but that’s how it is. What he lacks in those areas he makes up for in great hands, size (6’3) and strength. He can run through tackles and deserves notable credit for his run blocking. One area he can be a big threat is on 3rd downs.
7th Round (Pick #234) – Cole McDonald, QB, Hawaii
Do the Bears need to draft a quarterback? Not really. Nick Foles and Mitch Trubisky make for a serviceable room for this season. That said, there is never any shame in adding to the most important position in professional sports. With a little luck, a team might stumble on somebody good. See Gardner Minshew last season for Jacksonville. A 6th round pick. In this case, the Bears would be looking for a developmental prospect.
Hawaii has produced prolific passers before, but Cole McDonald might be the most intriguing. He has that preferred size at 6’4 to go along with underrated mobility. He threw for over 4,000 yards in 2019 with 33 touchdowns and 14 interceptions. McDonald shows he can read defenses and displays touch, but his ball placement is inconsistent. His throwing mechanics will have to rebuilt from the ground up.