Mock consensus: Pitt DT Aaron Donald to Bears at No. 14

Mock consensus: Pitt DT Aaron Donald to Bears at No. 14
April 20, 2014, 7:45 pm
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Mock drafts are well-named – “mock” – because they are non-binding and more often than not, non-accurate. But while weather vanes may not always serve to deliver spot-on weather predictions, they can sometimes provide some idea of which direction winds are blowing.

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And NFL teams do multiple ones themselves, the operative word being “multiple” because of the myriad scenarios that can play out on draft days.

So with the draft now less than three weeks away, took a spin through 19 different mock drafts from multiple major entities covering the NFL, with an eye toward gauging the current direction of the wind at No. 14. The results:

9          Aaron Donald, DT, Pitt

5          Timmy Jernigan, DT, Fla. State

2          Ra’Shede Hageman, DT, Minnesota

1          Ha-Sean Clinton-Dix, S, Alabama

1          Calvin Pryor, S, Louisville

1          Justin Gilbert, CB, Okla. State

Irrespective of specific players, the preponderance of thought is that the Bears will work from the ball outward, meaning a defensive tackle before a defensive back. An elite defensive lineman will typically have a greater impact on a defense than one in the secondary, particularly at safety.

[RELATED - Is Pitt’s Aaron Donald a stretch for Bears at No. 14?]

Like every team, the Bears will go into the draft with a cluster of 3-7 players carrying grades worth their particular draft slot in a particular round. Not all will be there when their turn comes, but the approach gives a gauge for determining how far if at all the Bears could trade down and still get a premier talent in the range they seek.

Donald projects as the disruptive three-technique central to the single-gap 4-3 scheme that will be the Bears’ base. And from the early takeaway from the mock drafts – some with more insight or connections with teams above or around the Bears – the prevailing sentiment is that the Bears will address the all-important defensive line first, then come back for a defensive back in Round 2.