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Chicago Bears Twitter mailbag: Finding top value at No. 7

4/22/2015

Here is the first part of the Chicago Bears Twitter mailbag. Thank you for participating.

@ESPNChiBears: I agree, JT, the best value at No. 7 could be Amari Cooper or Kevin White, depending on if either is available when the Bears pick next Thursday. Finding pass-rushers is vital on defense, but outside of Dante Fowler Jr. , Leonard Williams, and maybe Shane Ray, the list of potential first-round outside linebacker/defensive linemen carries a certain degree of risk. First-year general manager Ryan Pace cannot afford to miss at No. 7. That kills a new general manager. Shea McClellin isn't the reason Phil Emery got fired after three years, but it got his tenure off to a bad start. There are only a couple of can't-miss prospects every year. I'm not necessarily putting Cooper or White in that category, but they seem like safer picks with tremendous professional potential, especially White, who just seemed to be scratching the surface at West Virginia. Todd Gurley is a wild card. Todd McShay has Gurley going No. 6 to the New York Jets in his Mock Draft 5.0. He might not be around if the Bears find a trade partner and move back.

@ESPNChiBears: A lot can happen in the span of 12 months, but Christian Hackenberg is by no means the consensus top quarterback in next year's draft. His numbers dropped considerably between his freshman and sophomore years at Penn State -- that's a red flag. Hackenberg finished 2014 with 12 touchdowns, 15 interceptions and completion percentage of 55.8. Hardly the stuff of legends. Now, Hackenberg threw 20 touchdown passes and just 10 interceptions as a true freshman in 2013, so he's clearly a prospect worth monitoring, but he needs a monster junior season to ensure a high draft position. There is also no guarantee that Hackenberg will leave school early. Based on last season, he may be better off staying four years at Penn State. So I don't envision a "Hackenberg sweepstakes" anytime soon. I'll leave the hardcore evaluations to Mel Kiper Jr., but as someone who watches college football, I'd take Michigan State's Connor Cook or Ohio State's Cardale Jones over Hackenberg at this present time. But as I stated earlier: a lot can change over the span of 12 months.

@ESPNChiBears: Bill, I think in that scenario the choice on offense is easy: Cooper or White. From the Bears' perspective, I lean toward Cooper because he played three years at a major program like Alabama for one of the greatest coaches in the history of college football, Nick Saban. The Bears should be privy to every possible detail about Cooper because of his relationship with wide receivers coach Mike Groh, who used to be the Crimson Tide's recruiting coordinator and receivers coach. I look at Cooper as the safest pick. However, I do feel White has tremendous ability and would be a fierce weapon paired with Alshon Jeffery. I can't get onboard with Chicago using the seventh pick on Gurley, because of his knee injury, and the fact he's a running back. On defense, I think Missouri's Shane Ray is the next guy. He's a much safer pick than Randy Gregory for a team looking to add a pass-rusher.