The Bears currently have the #3 overall pick in the upcoming 2017 NFL draft. For the first time in decades, they are in the perfect position. They can easily stay put and get a heck of a quality player, or trade back, get a solid player, and more picks. Let me tell you why they will have at least a couple trading partners.
Even though there is no “top quarterback” in this year’s draft, the Bears are sitting pretty. The first two picks, are almost a consensus at this point. Defensive end Myles Garrett should go #1 to the Browns. Another defensive end, Solomon Thomas should go #2 to the 49ers. Thomas might even be a more versatile player. This leaves the Bears at #3 to have their pick of the top safety, cornerback, or any other position besides defensive end, which is great. What’s even better, there are a handful of players worth trading up for. I’ll break this down next.
Leonard Fornette, running back: LSU- Fournette has drawn comparisons to Adrian Peterson, which I don’t necessarily disagree with. However, he’s a little bigger, and a little thicker. Fournette has already proven he can bounce back from a leg injury, and be the same player he was before. As it stands right now, the consensus is he will go #4 to the Jaguars. I can see that happening, but because of Ezekiel Elliott’s success last year (he went #4 to Dallas) I can see someone moving up to get him. I have two teams in mind. The first one is the Cleveland Browns who have an embarrassment of riches in terms of draft picks this year. They can’t use them all (won’t have roster spots), so why not come back into the first round and possibly land the best RB in this year’s draft. They have the firepower, and could use the talent.
My second team is the Carolina Panthers. I was originally thinking Fournette might be there when they pick at #8, but Fournette had a really nice combine, and has been projected to go #4 for a couple weeks now. This is outstanding for the Bears. Fournette would be a great fit in Carolina, who typically like a power runner.
The Jets could be an outside player for Fournette, or be interested in a top cornerback such as Ohio State corner Marshon Lattimore. Safety Jamal Adams could be a lure for the Jets, or several other teams.
Marshon Lattimore, cornerback, Ohio State- Typically teams don’t move up for conerbacks. This year there are a handful of good ones. To me, Lattimore is the clear #1 CB, the next 4-5 are all kind of bunched up. That being said, the Jets, Titans, and Chargers could all use an elite CB.
Jamal Adams, safety: LSU- Jamal Adams is considered to be a top talent at the safety position (I happen to like Jabril Peppers a little bit better). He is a hitter, a smart player, and has better ball skills than Peppers, who played linebacker for most of 2016. Adams could easily be coveted by many teams in the top 10, and possibly a few outside. The only downside is safety might be the deepest position in this year’s draft.
A top wide receiver. There is an outside chance that a team might want to move up ahead of the Jaguars or Titans to select one of the top wide receivers. There aren’t as many as in past years. Would Corey Davis or Mike Williams be worthy of a top five pick? I can’t answer that, but stranger things have happened.
A third defensive end, or first defensive tackle- Pre-combine Jonathan Allen was looking like he would be a top 3-5 pick. He has since slid a little, but still valued as a top defensive talent. A third defensive end, perhaps Tennessee DE Derek Barnett could have some allure to a team desperate for a pass rusher. I could see any of the teams from 6-10 making that move.
I would be delighted if the Bears stayed at #3 and took either Lattimore or Adams, but I am really hoping they trade down, pick up an extra pick or two. They will be drafting at the top of every round, so they have a good chance of really upgrading the talent. You can check out my “dream scenario” in both of my mock drafts listed below!
Related: 5 players in top 10