Is it too early for a 2021 NFL mock draft? What a silly question. It's never too early for a good mock draft.
First, let's talk about that draft slot. Eighth overall? This mock is essentially saying that the Bears will be a five-win team, more or less. It continues the bizarre offseason narrative that Chicago is one of the worst clubs in the NFL despite returning most of the starters from their 12-4 team of two years ago and adding a quarterback who, at worst, will be a good enough game-manager to complement a top-five defense.
That doesn't sound like a recipe for a top-10 pick to me.
If, however, the bottom falls out in 2020, the selection of Little at No. 8 would be a head-scratcher right now. The former top high school recruit hasn't lived up to the billing with the Cardinal, although it looked liked he was positioning himself for a big season in last year's opener against Northwestern before succumbing to a season-ending knee injury.
If Little gets back to full strength and strings together a complete season as a run blocker and pass protector for Stanford, his pedigree will push him into the first 20 picks of Round 1 next April. But he isn't a top-10 prospect at this point in the process and represents a significant reach by the Bears in this mock draft.
Chicago would be better off picking a player like Marvin Wilson (who goes 11th overall in this mock) or Shaun Wade (who goes 12th) instead of Little.
Bears land offensive tackle in latest way-too-early 2021 NFL mock draft originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago