Bears mock draft: Ryan Poles trades up for wide receiver

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Bears mock draft: Poles trades up for wide receiver originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

We’re one day away from the NFL Draft, so it’s our last chance to play around with mock drafts before the picks start coming off the board for real. The Bears have several needsー like wide receiver, cornerback, and interior offensive lineー and currently have six picks to fill those needs. Ryan Poles could stand pat and fill several holes, or trade down to create more draft capital. While it seems unlikely, we can’t rule out the possibility of Poles trading up to land a serious impact player, either. In this mock, we’re going to see what could happen if the Bears make a big splash to trade into the first round. I tried to select as many different players as possible among the three mocks, too, so if you want to familiarize yourself with more names before the draft begins for real, be sure to click on the links above for the other scenarios.

TRADE: BEARS RECEIVE NO. 25 PICK FROM BILLS FOR NO. 38 AND 2023 3RD-ROUNDER

 

NO 25: TREYLON BURKS - WIDE RECEIVER

With an early run on wideouts in the first round, Ryan Poles wants to make sure he gets a big-time playmaker for Justin Fields, so he trades up to snag his man in Treylon Burks. Making the move even sweeter, Poles is able to do it without giving up a pick this year, and he leapfrogs the Packers who also had their eyes on the big receiver. Burks will immediately step in as the teams starting “X” receiver, and gives Fields a big-bodied target who can stretch the field vertically. Burks has the skillset to demand the ball anytime he draws a one-on-one in man coverage, and to contribute in the run game on end-arounds. In 12 games last season, Burks gained 1,216 total yards from scrimmage, caught 11 touchdowns and added a rushing touchdown.

NO. 48: ROGER MCCREARY - CORNERBACK

Poles finds another Week 1 starter, but this time on defense. In Cover 2 defenses, like Matt Eberflus’, cornerbacks are often asked to play press coverage, and this is where McCreary excels. He’s physical near the line and does a good job staying tight with wide receivers. In scenarios where he does play off the line a bit, he’s also shown good speed to close the gap and can leave his feet to break up passes. Named All-SEC First Team in 2021.

NO. 71: DYLAN PARHAM - RIGHT GUARD

With three-straight picks, Poles manages to land a starter. In the third round, the Bears get the final piece of their puzzle on the offensive line. Parham played exclusively at right guard in 2021, right tackle in 2020 and all but one snap at left guard in 2019, according to PFF. He’ll play the former with the Bears, but that versatility on the line adds even more value to the pick. Parham improved each year with the Tigers, surrendering five sacks in ‘19, one sack in ‘20 and none last season.

TRADE: BEARS RECEIVE NOS. 159, 216 FROM COLTS FOR NO. 148

With two picks coming in quick succession, the Bears move one of them for an additional sixth-rounder

NO. 150: MICAH MCFADDEN - MIDDLE LINEBACKER

A four-year player at Indiana, McFadden lacks the top-end speed Eberflus covets in a middle linebacker, but has other traits that could make him a good fit. In the run game, McFadden is able to shoot gaps and shed blocks to make plays. In zone pass coverage, he shows good recognition to keep plays in front of him. He led the Hoosiers in tackles in each of the last three seasons, and was a team captain in 2020 and 2021. McFadden also has good ball skills, with four interceptions, three forced fumbles and one fumble recovery in his college career.

NO. 159: J.T. WOODS - SAFETY

Woods has good experience in zone defense, and has played both safety and slot corner. That versatility gives the Bears great depth in the secondary at multiple positions. He’s got innate ball-hawking instincts that Eberflus emphasizes on defense too. Woods led the Big 12 with six interceptions in 2021, and picked off three balls in 2020. In addition he recovered four fumbles, and scored two touchdowns at Baylor.

NO. 186: CURTIS BROOKS - DEFENSIVE LINEMAN

The Bearcats asked Brooks to slim down in 2021, he put in the work to change his body, and was rewarded by exploding for 7.5 sacks. It was easily the best season of his career, and coach Luke Fickell went as far as to say he was the MVP of Cincinnati’s defense (not Sauce Gardner), for his effort and willingness to do whatever was asked of him. He now fits the bill of an Eberflus three-technique and could be an intriguing prospect at the position for the Bears.

TRADE: BEARS RECEIVE NOS. 223, 246 FROM BROWNS FOR NO. 216

The Bears flip one of the picks they got earlier in the day for two sevenths, to add more young talent.

NO. 223: JERRION EALY - RUNNING BACK

Eberflus has said he wants a different style of running back to add to the offense, and Ealy fits that bill. Coming in at 5’9”, 200 pounds, Ealy is a shiftier running back than David Montgomery or Khalil Herbert. He’s just as effective between the tackles as he is on the outside, and contributes in the passing game as well. As a bonus, Ealy is a capable return man and could factor into the Bears’ special teams units.

NO. 246: DEVON WILLIAMS - WIDE RECEIVER

The Bears wrap up the weekend just as they started, with a big-bodied receiver. Williams led the Ducks in receiving yards in each of the last two seasons, but he doesn’t have a big body of work, as he decided to forgo his final year at Oregon to enter the draft. Over his college career, Williams averaged 17.1 yards per catch, so the big play ability is there.

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