By: Alex Patt
The 2018 NFL draft is going to be another important one for Ryan Pace and the Chicago Bears. This year will be focusing on building depth around the current core, unlike last year when Mitch Trubisky was the number one priority in the draft. Now that Pace got his number one guy, the strategy will be taking best players available, while also considering the much needed gaps to fill.
What does that mean for round one? There are so many different mock drafts having the Bears taking a wide receiver with the 8th overall pick. While receiver is one of the biggest needs for the team, it will be hard seeing them reach for anything in round one if they do not feel any available receiver is the best available talent overall. Either way there are a number of names that could potentially be a good fit for Chicago, here are some.
Joshua Jackson (CB), Iowa
- Building up the secondary is going to be another needed task to accomplish for the Bears. Even if they re-sign Kyle Fuller, the overall corner depth still lacks overall. Jackson could really help make the secondary stronger, especially if Fuller re-signs and plays well and the safety core around Eddie Jackson plays well. Some scouts think he is the best corner in the draft
Mike McGlinchey (T), Notre Dame
- The offensive line has had its troubles recently, especially at tackle. McGlinchey would provide much needed talent and youth in that position. He is one of the best linemen in the draft (probably second to Connor Williams), and Trubisky must have as much protection as possible. While scouting reports have said his weaknesses include problems with speed rushers, he is a very intelligent player with good athleticism.
Quenton Nelson (G), Notre Dame
- As previously mentioned, the Bears o-line has had its problems. The interior line is very good on paper, but Kyle Long has had so many injury issues and Josh Sitton is getting old. Nelson is a very talented guard that could be an important asset in protecting Trubisky and opening up the run game for Cohen and Howard. Is he worth taking top-10? That is the question, but he is definitely a first-rounder.
Denzel Ward, (CB) Ohio State
- Another prospect to potentially bolster the secondary. Ward is being put down as a first-round pick by most scouts. He has been mocked in many different areas of the first round. Some have him top-10 while others have him near the end of round one. If the Bears really like his potential and see him available, they might really consider him.
Calvin Ridley (WR), Alabama
- This is the guy most people are talking about. Arguably the most talented receiver in the draft, many people have him going to the Bears because of their need at the position. Again, will he be the most talented overall player at #8? They may focus on wide receiver in the second and/or third round, but cannot count him out because of their huge need for targets for Trubisky.
Courtland Sutton (WR), SMU
- While on the topics of receivers, here is another interesting name. While not talked about as much as Ridley, there are a lot of people high on him. He is 6-3, 205 and is a very reliable target. He has a good size advantage and good strength. There are more and more people thinking he could be a top pick, so something to keep in mind.
Christian Kirk (WR),Texas A&M
- He has been compared to Ridley and some scouts believe Kirk may be the best receiver in the draft. If the Bears want to go out and just focus on the WR (despite the idea of them going best overall talent) in the first round, Kirk might be the guy to go to.