While the Chicago Bears are busy looking for a new head coach, their potential draft board is starting to come to focus as intriguing players begin to declare for the NFL Draft.
The Bears, who own the eighth pick in the first round, are certainly in need of a quality pass rusher, and LSU defensive end Arden Key declared for the NFL Draft on Thursday morning. Key, who stands 6-foot-6, is explosive off the line, and has been tagged as a potential top 10-to-15 pick by most draft experts.
Key did miss some time with injuries this season, but still registered four sacks, including a pair of them against Ole Miss, and he had 33 total tackles in eight games with the Tigers in his final season in Baton Rouge.
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Also declaring for the draft was Oklahoma offensive tackle Orlando Brown, who could help shore up a Bears’ offensive line that has dealt with a ton of injuries in recent years. The team did just ink Charles Leno Jr. to a contract extension, but they could try Brown out at either tackle spot, as his massive frame (6-foot-8 and 345 pounds) has scouts drooling.
The Bears will have plenty of options on the table, including the ability to trade down if a quarterback like Baker Mayfield or Lamar Jackson stays on the board. Recouping draft picks after trading up in consecutive first rounds could be a smart move for Ryan Pace, but it remains to be seen if the Bears will be able to land a potential generational talent with their selection.