Chicago Bears Mock Draft 5.1 for BearDigest (2024)

Rome Odunze has become a popular name for the Bears in the 2024 NFL Draft at No. 9 for Round 1.

The idea of one of the top three receivers going to the Bears to help first pick overall Caleb Williams is naturally appealing, but they have needs and the greatest one after Caleb Williams at quarterback is edge rusher as a counter to help Monetz Sweat on the other side.

BearDigest Mock Draft 5.0 last week looked at what would happen if they drafted Odunze first and the result was predictable. They came away with a diminished overall draft because the edge rusher and defensive tackle they took later are not regarded highly. They had to take a player in Round 3 and couldn't move down because they needed what little quality they could find in a Round 3 edge rusher.

The supply of talent at edge rusher does not hold up as well as the receiver supply in this draft.

Mock draft 5.1 is an attempt to look at the exact opposite situation: What happens if they think defense first and trade back in Round 1?

It's possible Odunze would be there at No. 9, just as it's possible he'd be selected prior to No. 9. The edge rushers available in Round 1 are similar enough in quality that they can move back and get an extra pick, even a second-rounder, to make sure they still get a higher quality receiver.

The trade back came with the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Bears moved back to No. 17 from No. 9. If you're going to trade, get a second-round pick instead of moving back a spot or two and receiving a fourth-rounder like they got last year when they moved back from No. 9 to No. 10.

Jacksonville traded a second-rounder at 48 and a sixth-rounder at No. 212, along with its own first round pick at 17 for the ninth pick.

A practical Bears Mock Draft 5.1
Bears draft projections are finally showing a practical side.

— BearDigest (@BearsOnMaven) April 14, 2024

The Bears are on the clock in mock draft 5.1 for BearDigest.

Round 1, No. 1

QB Caleb Williams, USC

The time for surprises has long gone. Williams brings to Chicago a golden arm and also the ability to escape pass rushers, as he had 289 runs for 966 yards, a good total for college where sack yardage is subtracted from rushing yards and not from team passing yards like in the NFL. He threw for 93 touchdowns with only 14 interceptions.

Round 1, No. 17

DE Laiatu Latu, UCLA

Dallas Turner was gone already at No. 9 and then Jared Verse was unavailable after the Bears moved down to 17th, but Latu is a superior rusher technically to both of those two according to scouting reports. Outstanding technique is Latu's strength and coaches always love technique guys. The neck injury he had after his second college season is ancient history as all the physicals have shown. Latu is the edge who is best prepared to make an immediate impact after 23 sacks the last two years. He grew up playing both rugby and football and rates solid against the run besides being able to help take pressure off Montez Sweat.

Laiatu Latu has to be option #1 for Bucs if available or even trade up. Latu/Diaby makes life easy on Dean and Zyon. Latu is being mocked to the Bucs all over while the draft is a little over two weeks away.

— JC Cornell (@CornellNFL) April 9, 2024

Round 2, No. 48

WR Keon Coleman, Florida State

The Bears make out well by getting a receiver judged sixth best in this draft by many accounts, and finding him at No. 48 in Round 2. He has great size at 6-3 1/4, 213 pounds but ran only a 4.61 time in the 40. Outstanding verticality with a 38-inch leap and 10-7 in the broad jump. He made 115 catches for 1,506 yards and 19 TDs for the Seminoles. A true X-type receiver and he can work on the fundamentals while playing with DJ Moore and Keenan Allen this season as a third target.

Keon Coleman (WR9 - Day 2 Grade)

Prototypical size. Consistently attacks vertically off releases, manipulating corners’ blind spots with efficiency. Elite body contortion, allowing himself to make extended adjustments look effortless. THREAD (1/3) ⬇⬇️

2024 #NFL Draft Prospect

— • Colton Edwards • (@cedwardsNFL) April 9, 2024

Round 3, No. 89

C Sedrick Van Pran-Granger, Georgia

Another trade aimed at setting up the rest of the draf. The Bears have pick No. 75 but they want more picks and Tampa Bay is willing to take the 75th for the 89th pick in the same round, giving up fourth and sixth-round picks. So the Bears don't pick at 75.

At No. 89, they address the long-term center issue with Georgia's Sederick Van Pran. He'll need some polish first and it's good they have Coleman Shelton or Ryan Bates to play there initially because center is not a position easily handled by rookies. A 6-4, 298-pounder, he's mobile enough for the wide zone but also physical for a power style of blocking.

Sedrick Van Pran-Granger

Ranks by PFF for returning Power 5 Centers
- 1st in QB Pressures allowed (8)
- 1st in Pass Blocking Effiency (99)
- 1st in QB Hits (0)
- 3rd in Run Blocking Grade ( 75.5)

— 704 Dawg (@FSFRecruits) August 18, 2023

Round 4, No. 122

TE Cade Stover, Ohio State

The former defensive player who coverted and is very physical as a receiver and blocker. He's lacking in experience at this position but he'll be a third tight end anyway and so his snaps will be limited. A 6-4, 255-pounder who had 82 catches for 1,058 yards and 10 TDs. Third tight end is one of the Bears' leftover needs in free agency so it's better to address it here than with an undrafted free agent.

Cade Stover - TE, Ohio State, No. 8

- game is built on physicality
- strong hands, no drops last year
- straight-line speed, seam runner
- good inline blocker
- threat after the catch
- finds the soft spot in defenses

— Zack Eisen (@zackeisen21) April 8, 2024

Round 4, No. 125

DT McKinnley Jackson, Texas A&M

This is with a pick they gained in a trade and Jackson is not an ideal fit but the best remaining defensive tackles at this point in the draft are not higher level one-gap players. He is an effective run stopper. Neither Gervon Dexter nor Zacch Pickens had high Pro Football Focus grades against the run, so he can supply a need. He's 6-1 1/4, 326 and ran a 5.26-second 40, so this is not a pass rushing tackle and he might be a better fit for nose in this scheme.

The #Packers may look to upgrade at nose tackle. Texas A&M’s McKinnley Jackson is certainly an intriguing option.

Packs plenty of power at the POA and is surprisingly twitchy at 330 lbs..

— Brandon Carwile (@PackerScribe) February 8, 2024

Round 6, No. 212

S Omar Brown, Nebraska

This is a versatile defensive back who actually played multiple positions in the secondary. He was as much a slot and cornerback on the outside as a safety, but in the NFL he projects as a saftey at 6-1, 200 poounds. He is a transfer from Northern Iowa who made eight interceptions at his first school in three years and then one last year at Nebraska

1st - 1:09 | UNI 3, SIU 0 - Omar Brown has been targeted down field twice this season....

1 breakup
1 interception.

Panthers take over. #UNIFight

— UNI Football (@UNIFootball) March 13, 2021

Round 6, No. 220

T Andrew co*ker, Texas Christian

A 6-6 7/8, 315-pound tackle who has arms almost 35 inches long and good experience with four years as starter at both left and right tackle. He has the ability to move inside to guard but needs to improve technique. Whether he'd fit wide zone blocking is a question but Shane Waldron might go to that less in his new Bears offense. The goal was to increase the size of the draft while aiming their second pick in Round 1 at defense. The Bears have a draft with more depth and chances for productive players as a result of this mock than in mock draft 5.0.

This is a really great rep from #TCU OL Andrew co*ker (@Aco*ker74).

Halts UCLA’s Grayson Murphy immediately.

— Jacob Richman (@JacobHRichman) January 30, 2024

Twitter: BearDigest@BearsOnMaven

Chicago Bears Mock Draft 5.1 for BearDigest (2024)
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