NFL experts see 10 players vying for Bears' No. 11 pick
There's quite a discrepancy among mock drafts regarding which player the Bears will take with the 11th overall pick on April 28.
The consensus is that general manager Ryan Pace and coach John Fox will look to add more play-makers to the defense, but there could be a couple offensive players who, if they're available, would be hard to pass up.
With less than three weeks before the NFL draft, here's a look at 10 players picked by 18 NFL experts to become the next No. 1 pick of the Chicago Bears:
• Mel Kiper: OLB Leonard Floyd. The Bears did a nice job in free agency at inside linebacker, but Floyd is the edge defender who could really help early in passing downs.
• Todd McShay: Michigan State OT Jack Conklin. Inside linebacker is much less of a need after the Bears picked up Danny Trevathan and Jerrell Freeman in free agency. But even after signing offensive tackle Bobby Massie, Chicago could still look to spend a first-rounder on another OT. Conklin is a plug-and-play starter on either the left or right side of the line, with the long arms (35 inches) and agility to protect the QB. This move would also allow Kyle Long to bump back inside to his natural position at guard and solidify the entire O-line.
• Bucky Brooks: Florida CB Vernon Hargreaves. John Fox can't resist adding a feisty cover corner with sound technical skills and a high football IQ.
• Charles Davis: Ohio State RB Ezekiel Elliott. I know HC John Fox recently praised his current RBs, but I also know that Elliott has the talent to help the Bears immediately in the same ways that Matt Forte did: running, catching, blocking.
• Daniel Jeremiah: Georgia OLB Leonard Floyd. Floyd is an elite athlete and his best football is ahead of him.
• Lance Zierlein: Georgia OLB Leonard Floyd. While some might see Floyd as a thinner Dion Jordan clone who is a huge risk this early in the draft, others see him as the top, true speed rusher in this draft who will be substantially better as he continues to fill out his frame.
• Chad Reuter: Michigan State OT Jack Conklin. The Bears made an investment in free-agent Bobby Massie to take over the right-tackle spot, which allows former first-round pick Kyle Long to move back to guard. Now they land a left tackle in Conklin who will be a force in the running game and will protect Jay Cutler.
• Rob Rang: Alabama DT Jarran Reed. The Bears made strides defensively in the first year under coach John Fox and coordinator Vic Fangio and focused on linebackers in free agency, signing Danny Trevathan and Jerrell Freeman to long-term deals. The defensive line, however, remains a concern. Well-versed in Nick Saban's pro-ready defense, Reed is a plug-and-play option as one of the draft's better run-stuffers, offering the combination of length and strength to play anywhere along Chicago's base three-man front.
• Dane Brugler: Louisville DT Sheldon Rankins. The Bears addressed the linebacker position in free agency and could look at the defensive line with this pick. Rankins starred in a 3-4 scheme at Louisville and offers the versatility to line up at various techniques in Chicago's base.
• Will Brinson: Florida CB Vernon Hargreaves. Just keep coming back to the idea of the Bears snagging a cornerback in the draft. Not like the offense is loaded, but with Kevin White hopefully getting to play this year that side of the ball already has a bonus addition.
• Pete Prisco: Notre Dame OT Ronnie Stanley. When you can get a player of this talent level here at this spot, you take him. They could have a heck of a line next season.
• Don Banks: Michigan State OT Jack Conklin. The Bears could go in a few different directions, taking a cornerback or getting the run started at this draft's deep defensive tackle position. But Conklin upgrades the entire line in a way that the Bobby Massie signing in free agency can't match, and landing Conklin gives Chicago the ability to move Kyle Long back to guard, where he's more of a natural fit.
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• Pat Kirwan: Louisville DT Sheldon Rankins. The Bears' 3-4 defense doesn't really have a one-gap penetrator up front. Rankins will bring that element to this, or any defense. His 50 plays behind the line of scrimmage from an inside position is impressive.
Pro Football Weekly
• Hub Arkush: Oregon DE DeForest Buckner. Bears desperate for five-technique get lucky as best falls to them.
• Kevin Fishbain: Georgia OLB Leonard Floyd. Pace and Fox want speed. Floyd gives them that off the edge.
• Arthur Arkush: Alabama DL A'Shawn Robinson. Would've loved Hargreaves but next-best player also fills glaring need.
• Nate Atkins: Alabama DL A'Shawn Robinson. The Bears complete their D-Line with a high-upside run-stuffer.
• J.C. Talon: Memphis QB Paxton Lynch. Bears not ready to contend yet, Lynch can mature as Jay's backup.
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