Bears trade down twice and get Georgia's Jalen Carter in Mel Kiper's NFL mock draft
Kiper's Mock: Bears trade down twice and land Jalen Carter originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago
ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr. just gave Chicago Bears fans an unhealthy dose of hopium.
And maybe set the bar for general manager Ryan Poles a little too high.
In his latest NFL Mock Draft, Kiper has the Bears trading down twice... and still landing Georgia defensive lineman Jalen Carter.
Just a few weeks ago in his first mock draft Kiper had the Bears picking Carter with the No. 1 overall pick. The ability to trade down twice, and still land him is seemingly unfathomable.
But what an ideal scenario for the Bears if it played out that way.
So let's outline how it all plays out in Kiper's mock.
First he has the Bears trading back from No. 1 to No. 2 with the Houston Texans. Kiper doesn't outline exactly what he thinks the Texans would give Chicago, but notes it'd be similar to the Bears' trade up to draft Mitchell Trubisky (ugh) in 2017. The Bears gave their No. 3, a third- and fourth-rounder in 2017 and a 2018 third-rounder to move up one spot.
Kiper also notes that he doesn't think the Texans would have to give up their No. 12 pick in addition to their No. 2 pick, but have an extra third-rounder they could toss in this year.
The Texans pick Alabama quarterback Bryce Young and the Bears are now on the clock.
But the Indianapolis Colts come calling and the Bears trade back again.
In this trade Kiper says the Colts need to give up their early second-round pick (No. 35 overall) along with a few others to move up. That No. 35 pick can effectively replace the second-round pick (No. 32) the Bears sent to the Pittsburgh Steelers for wide receiver Chase Claypool.
So the Bears trade back twice and will end up picking at No. 4 but added "a bevy of second-, third- and fourth-rounders" according to Kiper.
And then the Arizona Cardinals select Alabama pass rusher Will Anderson Jr. leaving Jalen Carter on the board when the Bears go on the clock.
"Chicago should be exceedingly happy in this scenario, trading down three spots and adding an elite defender and valuable picks," Kiper wrote. "Carter is a fantastic player, a game-wrecker from the interior with a 310-pound frame. He's the top-ranked prospect on my board. In Chicago, he'd immediately upgrade a porous defense that ranked last in the league in sacks (20). What's not to like?"
Kiper has also been adamant that the Bears should not trade Justin Fields.
"I just don't see general manager Ryan Poles doing that, even though there's some logic in starting over the rookie contract clock -- Poles & Co. will have to make a decision on Fields' fifth-year option after the 2023 season," Kiper wrote. "I think Chicago is more likely to try to upgrade the playmakers around Fields this offseason, helping its young dual-threat signal-caller and putting him in a better position to succeed"
Carter was also the first pick to Chicago in earlier mocks from NFL.com's Daniel Jeremiah and Sports Illustrated's Albert Breer.
Carter would be a monster addition to the Bears' defensive line -- literally and figuratively. Standing at 6-foot-3 and 300 pounds, the Georgia product is a consensus top-five pick.
There are still over three months until draft day, with the scouting combine, pro days and individual team workouts and meetings to be held in the coming months. But it's still intriguing to see what the Bears could do with the No. 1 pick.
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