Wow, I’ve been proving myself to be a horrific general manager on double-digit drafts now. I’ve been making mock drafts for the Bears since 2012, when I was just a wee 12-year-old throwing together draft picks into a table on my Wikipedia userpage. Now look at me: I’ve got a whole blog to make mocks, though my drafting ability is still absolutely terrible. That being said, let’s get to 2021!
Normally, my picks would have larger breakdowns than usual, but I have been bogged down by college for the past few weeks so everything (including the featured image) has been sloppily thrown together along with whatever coherent writing I had before working on the aforementioned obligations. Hell, Draft Day is on the same day as my Political Science midterm and starts just shortly after I had to turn in my book report for Military History. I am a very busy man, and wasting my time on a mock draft that will inevitably go unread, ridiculed, and completely miss is not something I am keen on enduring in these circumstances.
As with the previous nine, this mock draft will have no trades. Unlike last year, no backup picks either because, again, time.
Round 1, Pick 20: Teven Jenkins (OT, Oklahoma State)
Either we’re trading up for Justin Fields or going offensive line.
It goes without saying that offensive line has been one of the team’s biggest needs since midseason last year. While the interior stepped up its game in the final stretch, the line is still in need of help. Bobby Massie being on his way out particularly leaves a big hole at right tackle. With this in mind, I initially took hard looks at guys like Christian Darrisaw of Virginia Tech and especially Liam Eichenberg of Notre Dame. Eichenberg was at the top of my Bears mock for a while until I started diving into Jenkins.
Jenkins is a very popular name among Bears mock drafts and for plenty of good reasons. He is a nasty blocker and an absolute monster in the trenches who excels in the run game. Really, I’ll just let Brett Kollmann do the talking here.
Alternative options with this pick include Christian Darrisaw (OT, Virginia Tech) and Sam Cosmi (OT, Texas).
Round 2, Pick 52: Kellen Mond (QB, Texas A&M)
Do I really need to say anything about the Bears’ QB situation beyond what has already been uttered and regurgitated ad nauseum by sports media?
With how dire the picture at QB is, it might seem odd to not address that with the first rounder, but pick #20 is just too far out to get any of the big names and borderline guys like Kyle Trask are too much of a reach there. As said above, trading up for Justin Fields is not out of the realm of possibility but since I banned myself from trades, we’re doing QB here.
It might be hypocritical for me to discuss Trask being a reach in the first only to go with Kellen Mond in the second, but Mond’s draft stock has been on the rise in recent times. By this point, his projection seems to have topped out at the mid-second to third, and guess where pick #52 is? Reaching for a QB in today’s league is to be expected, and it is unlikely that Mond would be there by #83. Davis Mills is also an option here.
Of course, Andy Dalton’s presence on a one-year deal also means Mond will not be thrown to the NFL wolves right out of the gate. But then again, we all said the same about Mike Glennon after Trubisky was drafted in 2017.
Round 3, Pick 83: Paulson Adebo (CB, Stanford)
With Kyle Fuller gone (to the chagrin of everyone but Denver and the NFC North), Jaylon Johnson needs a new partner. While Desmond Trufant was recently added in free agency and players like Tre Roberson, Artie Burns, and Kindle Vildor are expected to battle it out for one of the starting spots, it never hurts to have additional support.
As someone who keeps a regular eye on Pac-12 football, Paulson Adebo is a name that I’ve followed for a while. With him opting out in 2020, his stock has taken a drop into a curious purgatory of sort where it’s difficult to gauge where he should go.
Anyway, what does Adebo bring to the table besides being over a year removed from an official football game? He was a star of the Stanford defense in 2018 before injuries and a drop-off the following year. He is tall and plays physical, both of which can be a double-edged sword if he lets his guard down and gets burned. True to his Stanford background, Adebo is a very intelligent player whose route reading in addition to his athletic capabilities can make up for his flaws, and proper coaching at the pro level can hopefully help him minimize them even more.
While on the topic of cornerbacks, as a Navy fan, I would also be in favor of picking up Cameron Kinley later in the draft or as an undrafted free agent.
Round 5, Pick 164: Divine Deablo (S, Virginia Tech)
Speaking of of Kyle Fuller, the “draft a Virginia Tech defensive back” thing worked out well with him, so why not try again even if it’s not a cornerback?
Cool name aside, Deablo has the build to play both safety and linebacker. He excels at covering tight ends and can work in both coverage and at the line. Eddie Jackson could always use a new partner, especially with Tashaun Gipson on just a one-year deal (again).
Round 6, Pick 204: Paddy Fisher (LB, Northwestern)
There are a lot of sixth rounders here…
The Bears and Northwestern have their fair share of ties with 21 Wildcats ultimately being drafted by Chicago (tied for sixth most all time) and the obvious geography. Taking Fisher would not only make him the 22nd Wildcat/Bear, but it would also provide the Bears with a solid tackling machine.
While Bears fans continue to argue about the decision to keep Danny Trevathan over Nick Kwiatkoski (and Kevin Pierre-Louis), nobody can deny that Trevathan—while the leader of the defense—is not getting any younger. Fisher is an excellent tackler as said and has been on my radar since Kwiatkoski left for free agency in 2019. However, he does not seem to have the athleticism needed to be an every-down linebacker at the pros and that could drop him, but working alongside Roquan Smith and company might help him out, especially as he wouldn’t be expected to play defense right out of the gate.
Round 6, Pick 208: Aaron Banks (OG, Notre Dame)
You can never have too many offensive linemen, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with doubling up on them in the same draft. Hell, the Bears did just that last year with Lachavious Simmons and Arlington Hambright as seventh rounders. While Hambright had some action in his rookie year, he and Simmons are still way too inexperienced to be getting thrown into the fire and could use some more sparks in the form of additional competition.
Speaking of competition, while I mentioned that the interior improved during the final stretch in 2020, there is nothing wrong with adding some more depth there, hence why I chose to look there for this pick.
As a USC and Navy fan, it always pains me to praise Notre Dame players, but I really enjoy watching their offensive line. Notre Dame’s OL has consistently churned out solid pro players each and every year from guys like Quenton Nelson (whom I wanted in 2018) to current Bears like Alex Bars and Sam Mustipher, and Eichenberg was one of my early draft crushes as mentioned above. Bars and Mustipher held their own well on the interior, but it certainly does not hurt to continue dipping into the Irish pool to push them some more.
The Bears have met with Banks during the pre-draft process. While large and boxy at times, he has great footwork and experience. However, his stock is also all over the place with some mocks putting him as high as the third while others have him as low as the sixth; for my personal convenience, I’m sticking him down here. That being said, his teammate Robert Hainsey is also an option.
Round 6, Pick 221: Tre Walker (WR, San Jose State)
Okay, I’ll admit that this pick was entirely fueled by personal bias as an SJSU student. I was debating between Walker and his teammate Bailey Gaither, with Ben Skowronek of Notre Dame also being a possibility; since Gaither or Skowronek might catch Bill Belichick’s interest for… reasons, let’s go with Walker. In any case, WR should still be added with the possibility of Anthony Miller on his way out and Allen Robinson being on the franchise tag.
Walker (alongside Gaither) was SJSU’s top receiver for the past few seasons, even before the magical 2020 campaign. He is fast, excels in route running, and has great hands to become one of the Spartans’ top deep threats. However, he had a very poor Pro Day and his size might work against him. Still, pre-draft workouts aren’t going to completely make or break a prospect and he should still find a spot in the late rounds.
Round 6, Pick 228: Ben Mason (FB, Michigan)
I know what you’re thinking: “A fullback? In this day and age? Really?” Just hear me out. Still, if I were to draft a fullback, I would not be doing it in the sixth round, but I don’t really have any other choice here as I did not give myself the ability to trade down.
Mason is a very intriguing prospect even beyond the usual “fullback who is great at run blocking” scouting report. A former two-way player who has seen time at LB and DE at Michigan, he is capable of playing tight end and H-back. A blocking TE isn’t a huge priority as Cole Kmet can serve that role, but Mason can contribute excellently in both the pass and run games. He is also a great special teamer which makes him ready to see the field from the start.
While I am the president of the J.P. Holtz Fan Club since his arrival in Chicago in 2019, it does not hurt to have some more depth there. With all due respect to Matt Nagy’s offense, but fullbacks: use them.