The Chicago Bears have had an interesting offseason to say the least. They placed the franchise tag on wide receiver Allen Robinson, parted ways with star cornerback Kyle Fuller and added another quarterback in Andy Dalton while letting Mitchell Trubisky walk. It certainly hasn't been the free agency period Bears fans were hoping for, but they still have the 2021 NFL Draft to fill some holes in the roster.
Thanks to The Draft Network's seven-round mock draft machine, we were able to run through a full draft acting as Chicago's general manager. We addressed some major needs while missing on others, but here is one attempt at how the Bears' 2021 NFL Draft will play out:
|Round (Overall Pick)||Player||College|
CB Caleb Farley
OT Alex Leatherwood
WR Tylan Wallace
DL Tedarrell Slaton
WR Ihmir Smith-Marsette
EDGE Tarron Jackson
CB Tay Gowan
S Damar Hamlin
Let's get the quarterback issue out of the way first. While this is certainly a hot take, we did not select a quarterback in this edition of our team mock drafts. The top five quarterbacks were all selected within the top 15 picks, and we were working through this mock draft without any trades. We considered taking a quarterback later in the draft, but didn't feel too excited about our options.
While we didn't land a quarterback, we felt like we got very lucky with our first-round pick by landing Caleb Farley out of Virginia Tech. He could be someone who replaces Fuller at corner, and will start immediately. Farley is considered one of the best corners in this class despite opting out of the 2020 season. However, since he missed his pro day due to a minor procedure he had done on his back compounded by the rising stocks of the other cornerbacks, Farley could fall a bit on draft day. If he falls to No. 20 overall, that would be a big win for Chicago in our opinion. Our second pick went to the offensive line, as we selected the versatile Alex Leatherwood. He could fill in at either tackle spot or even play some guard, and we see him as a starter from Day One.
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With Chicago's third-round pick, we took a dynamic wide receiver out of Oklahoma State by the name of Tylan Wallace. Wallace is someone who can play many different roles in the receiving game. He recorded at least 903 receiving yards and six touchdowns in each of the past three seasons, and had a ridiculous sophomore campaign in which he caught 86 passes for 1,491 yards and 12 touchdowns. Wallace can contribute to this offense in his rookie season, and hopefully make life easier for Robinson and Dalton. As you probably noticed, we weren't done adding at wide receiver, as we took Ihmir Smith-Marsette out of Iowa a couple picks later.
We finished out the draft by taking a look at the defensive side of the ball. Tedarrell Slaton out of Florida is someone who could start at nose tackle, while Tarron Jackson out of Coastal Carolina is a sleeper who could work on the edge. Our final two picks were given to the secondary, as Chicago landed a major steal in Tay Gowan out of UFC. He's an athletic cornerback with good size who could surprise people at the next level, while Damar Hamlin out of Pittsburgh is a second team All-ACC player who is definitely worth a sixth-round pick. All in all, we thought we got great value with all of these picks.