Arthur Arkush: Chicago Bears 5-round Mock Draft

Explosive 'hybrid' RB, freaky developmental DE and potential Cody Parkey replacement in Chicago's two-Tiger haul

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The NFL draft is less than two weeks away, but for fans of the three teams without a first-round pick — the Bears, Browns and Saints — the wait will be a tad longer before their team is first on the clock on Day 2.
So what better time to unveil our first full Bears mock draft? Doing first-round mocks are tricky enough; attempting to identify which prospect a team might fancy with, say, the 222nd overall pick takes what was already an exercise in dart throwing to a whole new level.
But we're guessing more than a few of you have endured at least a bit of mock draft envy during this seemingly endless process, so this one's for you. As a reminder, I offered my take on the Bears' top five post-free agency draft priorities in last week's newsletter, but your general manager is very much a BPA (best player available) drafter and for the purposes of this mock, the main goal is aligning value and need.
One final note before we begin: The Bears don't have first- or second-rounders this year, but what they do now have is one of the more talented rosters in football. That means it'll be an uphill battle for even a five-man draft class to all stick, and even less likely it yields more than a couple key contributors in 2019. Like Ryan Pace, we attempted to take the long view and find players whose value to the Bears can increase in time.
Round 3 (No. 87) — Notre Dame RB Dexter Williams
Matt Nagy might prefer a committee approach in the backfield after dealing Jordan Howard, but he admitted at the combine to enjoying the challenge of hunting for a "hybrid back" in this class. Though many Bears fans have keyed on the "other" Williams, Texas A&M's Trayveon, who admittedly is a cleaner evaluation, it says here Dexter is the better "hybrid" RB prospect with a higher ceiling.
As for what complicates his eval, Dexter Williams underachieved at Notre Dame, and when he finally put it all together last season, it wasn't until after serving a four-game drug suspension. Here's the thing: Few teams should have a better read on him than the Bears, as one of their most trusted assistant coaches, Harry Hiestand, spent three years in South Bend with Williams. That the Bears still reportedly had Williams in for a private meeting might mean nothing. Or it could mean they're very interested in an ascendant playmaker nicknamed "Juice" who just might be worth the squeeze with their first pick.

Round 4 (No. 126) — LSU TE Foster Moreau
A pre-draft riser who lit up the combine after posting pedestrian-like production at LSU, Moreau appeared in 49-of-50 possible games at LSU, starting the final 26 in a row. He's an advanced blocking prospect with the versatility that Nagy covets. If he sounds like the antithesis of Adam Shaheen, well, that's only partially accurate. He's much more ready for the pro game, likely meaning he'd push Shaheen next season — not merely insure the former second-rounder. But his eye-opening combine, where he tested out among the most athletic tight ends in an absolutely loaded lot, suggests he's only scratching the surface of his potential as a two-way threat.
 

Round 5 (No. 162) — Charleston EDGE John Cominsky
Pace loves him some athletic, small-school balls of clay on Day 3 (DeAndre Houston-Carson, Tarik Cohen, Bilal Nichols), which fits Cominsky to a tee. The Charleston product's SPARQ score was in the 82nd percentile, ahead of presumptive top-five picks Nick Bosa and Josh Allen. He pairs imposing size (6-5, 286) with frightening speed and change of direction (4.69 40 and 7.03 three-cone ranked No. 2 among all D-linemen at the combine). Chicago would mark a perfect situation for Cominsky behind Akiem Hicks, Roy Robertson-Harris and Bilal Nichols to work on his game with respected D-line coach Jay Rodgers but without any pressure to produce early.
 

Round 7 (No. 222)LSU PK Cole Tracy
Well, landing the best one in the draft, who holds LSU's single-season record for made field goals (29), as well as the NCAA's career FG mark (97), in the Tayo Fabuluje-Daniel Braverman-Kylie Fitts pick range seems like a pretty good calculated risk.
The Bears have met twice with Tracy, who's already seen a lot in his circuitous journey from Assumption College to LSU to to the pros — including kicking in Death Valley under the kind of intense spotlight that melted Cody Parkey.
Remember, Ryan Pace vowed this offseason to explore every avenue for the answer to his most vexing riddle as a general manager. We all know he's swung and missed repeatedly on veterans using pro free agency and waivers. He added two former college free agents this offseason. That leaves a few avenues, and even with five total picks, it shouldn't surprise if his next route is the draft.

Round 7 (No. 238)Oklahoma State RB James Williams
It's not a knock, per se, but one thing we've learned about Pace over his four-plus years in Chicago is that he tends to overcompensate to address positions of need, from pairing Glennon-and Trubisky to the Dion Sims-Shaheen TE haul. After making Tracy the franchise's highest-drafted kicker in nearly two decades (Paul Edinger went No. 174 overall in 2000), Pace double dips in the backfield on Williams, the most accomplished pass-catching back in the draft.
Tarik Cohen has fast earned a reputation as one of the NFL's best receiving backs and remained remarkably durable to date. But Williams is a smart hedge and provides another kind of third-down option, with a bit more size, vision and experience at the goal line. And it's not that Williams can't handle the rock as a runner; he comes from an offense where it was rarely required — and he still managed 4.9 yards per carry and scored 19 rushing touchdowns in three years.
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