On the eve of the 2017 NFL Draft, our panel of CSN Chicago Bears contributors' John 'Moon' Mullin, Chris Boden, JJ Stankevitz and Scott Krinch make their final attempt at predicting the first round of the draft.
Check out each selection below and visit all over NFL Draft coverage here.
|1. Browns||Myles Garrett||Mitchell Trubisky||Myles Garrett||Myles Garrett|
|2. 49ers||Solomon Thomas||Myles Garrett||Solomon Thomas||Leonard Fournette|
|3. Bears||Deshaun Watson||Jamal Adams||Deshaun Watson||Solomon Thomas|
|4. Jaguars||Jonathan Allen||O.J. Howard||Leonard Fournette||Mitchell Trubisky|
|5. Titans||Jamal Adams||Marshon Lattimore||Garon Conley||Jamal Adams|
|6. Jets||Marshon Lattimore||Mike Williams||O.J. Howard||O.J. Howard|
|7, Chargers||Mike Williams||Malik Hooker||Malik Hooker||Malik Hooker|
|8. Panthers||Leonard Fournette||Leonard Fournette||Jonathan Allen||Christian McCaffrey|
|9. Bengals||Gareon Conley||Solomon Thomas||Derek Barnett||Haason Reddick|
|10. Bills||Malik Hooker||Reuben Foster||Mike Williams||Jonathan Allen|
|11. Saints||O.J. Howard||Derek Barnett||Jamal Adams||Marshon Lattimore|
|12. Browns||Mitchell Trubisky||Jonathan Allen||Mitchell Trubisky||Deshaun Watson|
|13. Cardinals||Patrick Mahomes||Patrick Mahomes||Marshon Lattimore||Patrick Mahomes|
|14. Eagles||Christian McCaffrey||Christian McCaffrey||Christian McCaffrey||Derek Barnett|
|15. Colts||Takkarist McKinley||Charles Harris||Garett Bolles||Charles Harris|
|16. Ravens||Reuben Foster||Corey Davis||Haason Reddick||Mike Williams|
|17. Redskins||Haason Reddick||Haason Reddick||Forrest Lamp||Reuben Foster|
|18. Titans||Corey Davis||John Ross||Reuben Foster||Forrest Lamp|
|19. Buccaneers||Cam Robinson||Taco Charlton||Dalvin Cook||Dalvin Cook|
|20. Broncos||Ryan Ramczyk||Ryan Ramczyk||Charles Harris||Garett Bolles|
|21. Lions||Jarrad Davis||Jarrad Davis||Corey Davis||Takkarist McKinley|
|22. Dolphins||David Njoku||Quincy Wilson||Kevin King||David Njoku|
|23. Giants||Garett Bolles||David Njoku||Patrick Mahomes||Ryan Ramczyk|
|24. Raiders||Kevin King||Tim Williams||Malik McDowell||Chidobe Awuzie|
|25. Texans||DeShone Kizer||Deshaun Watson||Jarrad Davis||Cam Robinson|
|26. Seahawks||Jabrill Peppers||Garett Bolles||Chidobe Awuzie||Kevin King|
|27. Chiefs||Dalvin Cook||Malik McDowell||DeShone Kizer||Corey Davis|
|28. Cowboys||Caleb Brantley||Jabrill Peppers||Chris Wormley||Malik McDowell|
|29. Packers||Forrest Lamp||Dalvin Cook||Taylor Moton||Joe Mixon|
|30. Steelers||John Ross||Takkarist McKinley||John Ross||Adoree' Jackson|
|31. Falcons||Charles Harris||Demarcus Walker||Derek Rivers||Taco Charlton|
|32. Saints||Budda Baker||Curtis Samuel||Tre'Davious White||Marlon Humphrey|
Last month, Ryan Pace described his day-before-the-draft press conference as being one of the “hardest” he does all year.
With only a little over 24 hours until the Bears go on the clock with the third overall pick in the NFL Draft, the third-year Bears general manager wasn’t tipping his hand while answering the media’s questions on Wednesday.
One of Pace’s overarching points, though, was that the Bears have to focus on taking the best player available at No. 3 Thursday night. Pace said the Bears have three players targeted for that spot, and what the Cleveland Browns or San Francisco 49ers do ahead of them won’t impact their decision.
What also won’t impact the Bears’ decision is the need to draft a quarterback.
“I think you get yourself into trouble if you’re not sticking with our philosophy of best player available,” Pace said. “When you start trying to manufacture things or create things, that’s when teams get into dangerous water. I think if we just stay with guys we have a consensus on and best player available we’ll be in good shape.”
Plenty of draft observers — ESPN’s Mel Kiper, Rotoworld’s Josh Norris, NFL Network’s Mike Manock, CBS Sports’ Rob Rang — don’t have a quarterback in the top three of their respective “big boards,” which are headlined by the likes of Texas A&M edge rusher Myles Garrett, LSU safety Jamal Adams, Stanford defensive end Solomon Thomas and/or Alabama’s Jonathan Allen, among a few others.
But what if the Bears’ consensus is that a quarterback is a top-three player?
Over the last few months, Pace has consistently touted intangibles as being of prominent importance when evaluating a quarterback. At the combine in Indianapolis, he pointed to Drew Brees taking Purdue — a perennial Big Ten bottom-feeder — to a Rose Bowl. Pace, of course, knows Brees’ NFL success well having watched him in New Orleans before becoming the Bears’ general manager.
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There’s one quarterback in this year’s draft class that could have those intangibles to be considered at No. 3: Clemson’s Deshaun Watson.
Before Watson took over as a full-time starter in 2015, Clemson established itself as a perennial Orange Bowl contender that’d win 10 or 11 games a year. But Watson took Clemson to a different level, going 28-2 and reaching the College Football Playoff title game in 2015 (a loss to Alabama) and 2016 (a win over Alabama).
“It's big with every position, the intangibles,” Pace said. ‘That's what I continue to stress to our guys right now, because you can get enamored with these physical qualities or these traits. There's enough good players where we don't need to change our standards.
“I really like our locker room right now. I really like the vibe right now in that locker room with the guys that we have here, it feels good, and I want to continue to add to that vibe and add to that excitement. It's up to me to impress that to our scouts and to our coaches that, hey, we've got to make sure we're adding the right kinds of guys, the right kinds of intangibles to our room.”
If Watson isn’t among the team’s consensus top three, he could fit into one of the “clouds” Pace talked about if the Bears trade down into the middle or later part of the first round. But trading down (or back into the first round) carries risk if the Bears believe Watson could be a franchise-changing quarterback. The No. 3 pick is the highest the Bears have had since the early 1970s, and it’s a position the team hardly wants to be in again.
Pace, of course, wasn’t going to reveal much the day before he and the Bears make a critically-important selection. The Bears know who they want, and Thursday night, so will everyone else.
“There’s been so much that’s come into this since August, so you’ve just trust what your eyes see and don’t over-think it,” Pace said. “Trust your conviction and trust your instincts and trust your gut.
“You can get into trouble right now if you’re up there watching additional tape and doing all that; I think you can over-scout players. By now we’ve got enough opinions. We’ve met with enough players. We’ve been through the Combine and been through the Pro Days and seen players play live. At this point we feel good. I don’t think we’re in a situation where we’re overthinking anything.”