Hub Arkush: Finding the Bears a difference maker with 87th pick in NFL Draft

Chicago should also give hard look to these three late-round gems

Last Updated:

It doesn’t take a ton of time or effort to compile lists of the top 70 or 75 players in the NFL draft.
However, I didn’t say it doesn’t take talent. Those lists aren’t worth much when they’re wrong.
That’s why we’re so lucky to have Greg Gabriel and his 30-plus years of NFL scouting and drafting experience and multiple contacts in all 32 front offices.
But when the team you’re focused on doesn’t have a pick until No. 87 overall, you don’t want to be looking for the guys ranked in the top 80 or 90 who might slip to 97 for whatever reason (because there usually is a reason).
You should be looking for guys who may not have been ranked in the top 75, but they should have been and actually could be bargains in the middle or late rounds.
Here are three guys you may not be talking about who could be very interesting when the Bears are first on the clock in Round 3, and three more prospects to keep an eye on once Day 3 begins:
Bears' targets at No. 87
RB Rodney Anderson, Oklahoma – Anderson has great size at 6½ feet and 221 pounds, plenty of speed and quickness and looks like the real deal when healthy, which was almost never in college. He would be boom-or-bust pick at 87 if he couldn’t stay on the field, but a boom at this position would be nice, wouldn’t it?

RB Trayveon Williams, Texas A&M – You’ve heard of him, and he could go earlier, but my gut is telling me he’ll be there. And after spending a half hour with him at the scouting combine – as well as studying his tape – my gut also is telling me grab him if you can.

EDGE Chase Winovich, Michigan – 6-3, 258 pounds and labeled as not much of an athlete, so many are saying he doesn’t project at the next level – and he doesn’t in the first couple of rounds. But turn on his tape, check out his motor, talk to his coaches and he just may be a steal with the 87th pick.

Bears' targets on Day 3
ILB Khalil Hodge, Buffalo – No, I don’t just want another Khalil from Buffalo – OK, maybe I do – but I’d love this kid in the fourth round and would jump all over him in the fifth.

TE Kaden Smith, Stanford – Smith was a Day 2 pick until he basically flunked the T-shirt and shorts part of the combine. But give me a Stanford tight end with his ability in the fifth round, coach him up a little more, and he is much more than a backup or special teams guy.

CB Jamal Peters, Mississippi State – Some say priority free agent, but I see a 6-2, 218-pound cornerback whose scouting report reads a lot like Adrian Amos’ did coming out of Penn State. He'd be my sixth- or seventh-round pick.

Pro Football Weekly