The Bears are most likely to go defense with their first round pick, the 11th overall, in the NFL Draft Thursday, but they could have some interesting options on offense.
There’s a possibility that if they’re in love with Memphis quarterback Paxton Lynch, and he’s still available at eleven they might go for him. Ryan Pace and John Fox don’t seem enamored with Jay Cutler. Plus Cutler turns 33 on Friday and his contract is running out. There’s a good chance the upcoming season could be his last as a Bear.
Lynch at 6-7 has terrific size plus athleticism. He has struggled with consistency in his accuracy, but he could be a quarterback of the future. There’s a chance though that the Niners (drafting 7th) and the Browns (drafting 8th) might take Lynch ahead of the Bears. If the Bears really like Lynch the Browns might be willing to deal down and acquire more picks.
Ohio State running back Ezekiel Elliott probably won’t be available at eleven, but if he is the Bears will be tempted to grab him. He has ‘star’ written all over him. He could be better than Matt Forte was, but I don’t expect Elliott to land in Chicago.
This is a deep draft for defensive linemen, so if I were a betting man I’d say the Bears will most likely go after one of four guys Alabama defensive tackles A’Shawn Robinson and Jarran Reed and Clemson defensive ends Shaq Lawson and Kevin Dodd.
Plug one of those guys in next to Eddie Goldman on the front three and the Bears will have something there.
If I were drafting for the Bears these are the picks I would be looking at:
First round-Defensive end Kevin Dodd of Clemson. He was dominant against Alabama in the National Championship game.
Second round-Linebacker Darren Lee of Ohio State. He’d give the Bears out outside backer who can play in space and rush off the edge.
Third round-Cornerback Deiondre Hall of Northern Iowa. He’s drawn some comparisons to Peanut Tillman. If he’s half as good as Tillman he’s worth the pick here.
Fourth round-Quarterback Jacoby Brissett of North Carolina State. He’s a bit of a project but he has a lot of upside, and he could sit for a year behind Cutler and develop.
Fifth round-Running back Davontae Booker of Utah. The Bears need another back since Forte is gone. Booker rushed for 2,891 yards in 30 starts at Utah. He has good tools, but he’s 25 and he did have knee surgery last year.