After months of preparation, the NFL Draft will finally get underway on Thursday night, and the Chicago Bears will be looking to make a big step forward in the rebuilding of their organization.
For the first time since 1972, the Bears are picking in the top three of the draft order, as they got the number three spot by virtue of their 3-13 record a season ago. Only the Cleveland Browns, who own the number one pick, and the San Francisco 49’ers, owners of the second pick, will pick higher than the Bears, and there is plenty of intrigue as to what will happen in the opening stages of the draft on Thursday night.
There has been plenty of talk about whether or not the Browns would leverage some of their draft-high 11 picks to get back into the top-10 of the first round, but as the draft approaches they have maintained their positioning and will more than likely make their pick as scheduled just after 7:00 p.m. Central time.
The big question then is where the Browns will go with their pick. The consensus among experts seems to be that the team will draft either defensive end Myles Garrett out of Texas A&M or quarterback Mitchell Trubisky out of the University of North Carolina, as they have significant needs at quarterback and in the pass rushing department.
Depending on what the Browns do, the second pick of the 49’ers could come into play as a trade chip, as teams could try to move ahead of the Bears to insure that they’ll get a quarterback. If that frenzy doesn’t take place, the 49’ers could go in any number of directions, either taking the player that the Browns didn’t take or going in a different direction, with LSU running back Leonard Fournette and Stanford defensive lineman Solomon Thomas both ranking highly among players they could take.
If the Browns and 49’ers both make their picks, then the Bears could have a wide variety of options to choose from. They could go with a quarterback, with Trubisky and Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson getting plenty of love heading into the draft process, or they could pick one of the talented linemen in Garrett, Thomas, or Alabama defensive lineman Jonathan Allen if they’re available.
The Bears could also go for secondary help, as that position group is well-stocked with high-end talent in this draft. LSU safety Jamal Adams and Ohio State defensive backs Marshon Lattimore and Malik Hooker are all considered to be top-10 caliber picks, so the Bears could look to shore up one of their shakiest areas with a big-time pick from one of those spots.
The Bears could also trade back if no quarterback is taken with the first two picks, as they will certainly be looking to acquire more draft picks if possible in order to fully restock their cupboard of talent.
The NFL Draft will take place beginning at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday night, with the broadcast taking place on NFL Network and ESPN. The second and third rounds of the draft will take place on Friday night, and the final four rounds of the draft will take place in Philadelphia on Saturday.