Who is ready for TWELVE HOURS of televised draft coverage this weekend?! Here's your definitive guide to the next set of Bears in the Pros. Let's break it down by position.
Cal's lone draft prospect at receiver was once a lock for the first round. For the past year, most 2013 mock drafts have had Keenan Allen as a first-round pick. His draft stock has taken a tumble, however, following his slow recovery from a knee injury and his NFL Combine drug test which was red-flagged for over-hydration.
StrengthsLong-legged, reliable No. 1 receiver prospect. Runs solid slants, crossers, speed outs and vertical routes. Good height to win jump balls downfield, will attack the ball in the air with his hands and has good ball skills overall. Lines up in the slot regularly, can get off press with a quick shake at the line and uses his frame to block out smaller corners. Eats up ground quickly on his vertical stems. Agile and physical ball carrier after the catch, can make the first man miss with a quick cut or spin away from tackle attempts, maintaining his balance to continue downfield. Also runs through smaller corners to pick up a few extra yards. Gets down quickly for low throws despite his height. Aware receiver who uses his hands to create space from defenders downfield and gives his quarterback a target when in scramble mode. Good hip flexibility, as he sinks low into his routes and bursts out of the break.
WeaknessesHas strider's speed that is good enough to threaten defenses down the sideline but is not elite in this category. Allows some passes into his body when facing the quarterback. Has the occasional drop when extending away from his frame or tracking over his shoulder, but bounces back quickly. Does not utilize his size or length as a run blocker, does not execute cut blocks and at times fails to hit a target. Development as a receiver was held back, as his quarterback could only comfortably attack a few portions of the field.
NFL ComparisonJordy Nelson
Keenan has some stiff competition at WR, including Tavon Austin (WVU), Cordarrelle Patterson (Tenn.), Justin Hunter (Tenn.), Robert Woods (USC). Although three months ago he would have been the first or second pick from this group, he may now drop to the third or fourth pick. Fortunately for Allen, we may see up to five receivers drafted in the first round. If we see one or even no receivers drafted in the first fifteen picks, he's more likely to end up as a fringe first-round pick or second round pick. But if WRs start coming off the board in the first half of the first round, GMs may not gamble on waiting until the second round to draft him.
Who is looking to draft receivers?: Houston Texans, Minnesota Vikings, Buffalo Bills, Indianapolis Colts, St. Louis Rams, New England Patriots, Pittsburgh Steelers, Miami Dolphins, Baltimore Ravens, Tennessee Titans, Kansas City Chiefs, Oakland Raiduhs, Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions, Green Bay Packers, San Francisco 49ers
Basically half the league is looking to pick up a receiver in this year's draft. Some have a much more pressing need than others, however. Minnesota, Houston, and the Jets seem most likely to pick WRs in the first round.
When is he coming off the board? (Since everyone has a first-round mock draft, we have a TON of predictions)
SBNation: 1st round, 27th overall to Houston
Scout: 1st round, second WR off the board (overall grade of 91)
Scout's seven-round mock draft: 2nd round, 9th pick (41st overall) to the Buffalo Bills
Todd McShay: late 1st round, second-best WR. However, McShay does not include Allen in his first-round mock draft. Neither does Mel Kiper.
Todd McShay NFL Mock Draft 6.0 (Updated April 25, 2013): Not included the first round.
ESPN's #bloggermock draft: 27th overall pick, Houston Texans. This is a fine example of what may happen tonight: Patterson was the first WR off the board at 8th (Buffalo), followed by Tavon Austin (13th, Jets). This prompted a frenzy of WR drafts as Justin Hunter (22nd, St Louis), Keenan Allen (27th Houston), and Robert Woods (29th, New England) all came off the board. Five receivers overall. If we see two top-15 WR picks, Keenan Allen should be a lock for the first round.
USA Today: 1st round, 30th overall to the Bengals (following a trade with the Falcons)
Sports Illustrated: 1st round, 27th overall to the Houston Texans
Bucky Brooks, NFL.com: 1st round, 25th overall to Minnesota
Charley Casserly, NFL.com: 1st round, 27th overall to the Houston Texans
Yahoo.com: 2nd round 52nd overall (LOOOOOOOOOOOLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL) to Minnesota
CBSSports.com, Rob Rang: 2nd round 40th overall to Tennessee
CBSSports.com, Dane Brugler: 2nd round 52nd overall to Minnesota (he only projects one WR in the first round)
BleacherReport [don't click that link, it's an agonizingly long slideshow]: 1st round, 27th to the Houston Texans
BleacherReport [praise juju, they actually have a traditional article layout]: 1st round, 23rd to Minnesota
Walter Football: 2nd round, 52nd, Minnesota
San Jose Mercury News: 1st round, 28th overall, Denver Broncos
Draftek: 2nd round, 43rd overall, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
While Allen's stock has been trending downward, do not be surprised if GMs get antsy about drafting him as soon as WRs start coming off the board. Keep an eye out on the timing of the first couple WR picks--this will determine whether Keenan goes in the first or falls to the second round.
The position with the least certainty is running back. One or both of these two may earn a free agent deal, but it would be surprising to see both get drafted.
Although he was invited to the NFL combine and showed some impressive agility in drills, C.J. Anderson does not have much of a draft profile on NFL.com. They do, however, give him a grade of 52.0, which is on par for a late-round pick.
Somewhat surprisingly, NFL.com gives Sofele a higher draft grade than Anderson and, perhaps equally telling, only put together a scouting report for Sofele (although they mistakenly call him Iso Sofele). With a grade of 53.1, Sofele squeezes into the category of a draftable prospect.
StrengthsCompactly-built back who runs tough for his size. Works hard between the tackles, often falls forward. Presses the line, attacks an open lane or makes decisive cuts to kick outside or head upfield. Spins out of tackles in the backfield and downfield, shows good balance to stay upright after contact. Finishes runs, extends his arm to hold off or shake off high tackle attempts. Will lower his shoulder to get extra yards on the sideline instead of running out of bounds. Gives effort in pass pro, throws shoulder into a double-team, stands up to defenders with a solid base and will finish the play.
WeaknessesNot elite in any area of his game. Lacks great lower-body strength to explode out of cuts, push the pile, or bull through strong tackle attempts. Does not possess an elite burst through the hole or a second gear in the open field to take away angles. Ball security has been an issue, fumbled eight times in 2011. Not used out of the backfield often, must prove he has the hands to be a factor there. Lacks the anchor to hold up against strong pass rushers in pass protection.
NFL ComparisonJerome Harrison
Who needs a running back or two? New York Jets, Cincinnati Bengals, Pittsburgh Steelers, Jacksonville Jaguars, Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants, Green Bay Packers, St. Louis Rams
It's tough to forecast whether Sofele or Anderson will be drafted because no one is desperate for a running back this year. Most teams who draft a running back will simply add some depth to the position. Eddie Lacy will be the only RB taken in the first round. After Lacy is a glut of backs including Montee Ball, Andre Ellington, Johnathan Franklin, Kenjon Barner, and many others. While there's not a Marshawn type of talent, there are plenty of solid picks. This will make it tough for Cal's duo to earn a pick. Scout projects 22 RBs will be drafted this year.
When will they be drafted?
Scout: Anderson, NA; Sofele, NA
BleacherReport: Anderson, NA; Sofele, NA
WalterFootball: Anderson, NA; Sofele, NA
Draftek: Anderson, NA; Sofele, NA
Well, at least we're being set up for a pleasant surprise if either one gets drafted.
This should be an exciting weekend for the newly engaged Brian Schwenke. A solid performer at the Combine, Schwenke is a top prospect at center. NFL.com gives him a grade of 71.0, good for a third-round pick.
StrengthsExtremely quick off the snap, gets his hands on his target very quickly. Quick to provide assistance on a double team, and aware of who needs help. Plays with a good, low pad level. Constantly wins the leverage battle. Gets his hands inside of the chest plate of defenders.
WeaknessesNot an impressive body type. Needs to do a better job of being able to sit back into his blocks in pass protection. Lacks great power. Shotgun snaps are often placed low.
NFL ComparisonDavid Bass
He played several positions during his career at Cal, including the draft's favorite position among linemen: tackle. MSG is not projected to play tackle at the next level, however, which will keep his draft stock from rising too high. He remains a solid prospect with a grade of 72.7, which is good for a second-day pick. There is clearly a disconnect between NFL.com's ratings and everyone else's for MSG, as he does not appear in a single mock draft.
StrengthsCompetitive performer who projects inside in the NFL. Very effective zone blocker and mobile enough to pull in front of plays and trap effectively, getting into his target and getting an angle while engaged if needed. Smooth and quick from his stance or down-block when moving to linebackers, sustains through the whistle by extending his arms and moving his feet. Good hustle downfield if plays break into the open field. Plays with a wide base and leverage against larger nose tackles, doesn’t give ground against their bull rushes. Agile cut-blocker for quick throws and to take out defenders on whom he can’t get his hands. Gets under the skin of defenders with his persistence.
WeaknessesNot the bulkiest interior player, good technique helps him stay strong when inside may have troubles against veteran NFL tackles. Gets too aggressive on occasion, lunging towards his man and overrunning targets in space. His lack of quick-twitch movement and length are exposed when facing elite rushers outside, though his effort usually gets him around the edge.
NFL ComparisonMarshal Yanda
Who needs a center? New England Patriots, Dallas Cowboys
Who needs guards? Buffalo Bills, New England Patriots, New York Jets, Cleveland Browns, Indianapolis Colts, Tennessee Titans, San Diego Chargers, Dallas Cowboys, Philadelphia Eagles, Chicago Bears, Atlanta Falcons, Arizona Cardinals, St. Louis Rams
When will they be drafted?
Scout: Schwenke, 3rd round, second center drafted (grade of 78); MSG, NA
Scout's seven-round mock draft: Schwenke, 4th round, 4th pick (101st overall) to the Philadelphia Iggles
Todd McShay: Schwenke, 3rd round, second-best center; MSG: NA
CBSSports, Pete Prisco: Schwenke, 1st round(!!!), 24th overall to Indianapolis; MSG: NA (this is only a two-round mock draft)
BleacherReport: Schwenke, 4th round, 118th overall to Cincinnati; MSG: NA
WalterFootball: Schwenke, 4th round, 35th to the Detroit Lions; MSG: NA
Draftek: Schwenke, 4th round, 2nd pick (99th overall); MSG: NA
Let's hope NFL.com is correct and all these mock drafts are wrong about MSG.
Although Aaron Tipoti is most infamously known for being one of the key players during injurygate against Oregon in 2010, he is the Bears' top prospect from the defensive line in 2013. He quietly put together a solid year despite the Bears' tremendous struggles on defense. His grade of 66.4 suggests he could be picked during the first half of the third day of the draft (4th or 5th round).
StrengthsExcellent quickness off the snap is immediately noticeable, pops centers and guards when playing the run or squeaking through a tight gap when attempting to get into the backfield. Reach-blocks can be difficult to execute against him. His game isn’t just about his quick feet – he plays with a relentless nature and has good upper-body strength to bring heavy heads to bear on initial contact. Rips his hands off his man to work towards the quarterback if the ball stays in the pocket too long.
WeaknessesViewed as nose tackle/three-technique ‘tweener by some because he lacks elite athleticism. Shortish frame makes him susceptible to movement by double teams, also gets his shoulders turned by stronger guards when man-up. Shows hustle to the sideline but doesn’t have the closing speed to track down NFL ballcarriers unless they are slowed up by his teammates.
NFL ComparisonBrandon Mebane
Mebane, eh? That's some good company.
Who needs defensive tackles? Houston Texans, Denver Broncos, San Diego Chargers, Minnesota Vikings, Carolina Panthers, New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
When will he be drafted?
Tipoti looks like he'll end up in the free agent pool.
According to NFL.com's scouting profile, Marc Anthony could be the first Bear drafted on the defensive side of the ball. While he is certain to be drafted at some point, he could climb as high as a late third-round pick. NFL.com gives him a 68.3.
StrengthsPossesses the height and length scouts like in an outside corner to man-up against bigger receivers. Affects plays at multiple levels of zone defenses using his size and backfield awareness. Has enough foot quickness to stay with receivers down the sideline and in trail coverage over the middle. Shows closing speed to jump out routes and stuff hitches, and the hand-eye coordination to knock away passes in front of the receiver. Upper-body strength is sufficient to rip out the ball as it arrives in their hands. Likes to pound receivers going into the air to make a grab, and will throw a shoulder into ballcarriers in run support.
WeaknessesHis long-legged frame means his recovery speed, backpedal, and ability to transition are a bit slower than many of that of smaller prospects at the position. His overall bulk and strength are average, as well, meaning he must fully utilize his size and length by playing with more bend, dropping his hips to anchor against receiver blocks and be a more consistent tackler.
NFL ComparisonBradley Fletcher
Although NFL.com does not have any extensive analysis of Speedy Steve Williams, he earns a 59.0 which should earn him a late-round pick.
Who needs cornerbacks? Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins, Cincinnati Bengals, Cleveland Browns, Indianapolis Colts, Jacksonville Jaguars, Tennessee Titans, Denver Broncos, Oakland Raiders, San Diego Chargers, New York Giants, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Redskins, Chicago Bears, Minnesota Vikings, Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, San Francisco 49ers, Seattle SeaBears
Uh oh, the Raiders need a CB. Al Davis would have made Williams a second-day pick if he were still alive. Although the draft is well populated with CBs, most teams need one. As a result, Anthony and Williams may go sooner rather than later.
When will they be drafted?
Scout: Steve Williams, 4th round, 17th cornerback (overall grade 65); Marc Anthony, 4th round, 20th cornerback (overall grade 61)
BleacherReport: Steve Williams, 5th round, 142nd overall; Marc Anthony, 7th round, 221st overall to San Diego
Scout's seven-round mock draft: Steve Williams, 5th round, 6th pick (139th overall) to the Cleveland Browns; Marc Anthony, 5th round, 30th pick (163rd overall) to the Atlanta Falcons
WalterFootball: Marc Anthony, 5th round, 6th pick to San Diego; Steve Williams, 7th round, 32nd pick to Baltimore
Draftek: Steve Williams, 6th round, 205th overall to OAKLAND! Marc Anthony, 7th round 234th overall to Denver
Alright, that was a ton of information. Here's the TL;DR version of when each player will be drafted, that way you can trim about 4 hours off that 12 hours of draft coverage.
Keenan Allen: late 1st round/early 2nd round
Brian Schwenke: 3rd round
Steve Williams: 4th-6th round
Marc Anthony: 5th-7th round
CJ Anderson: free agency
Isi Sofele: free agency
Aaron Tipoti: free agency
Check back throughout the draft as we will be providing updates whenever any Bears get drafted.