Print and Go Back ESPN.com: NFC North [Print without images]

Thursday, April 10, 2014
Analyzing McShay mock 4.0: Bears

By Michael C. Wright
ESPN.com

The Chicago Bears hold the No. 14 pick in the upcoming NFL draft after finishing last season with an 8-8 record, and by virtue of the frenetic pace the club worked at during free agency, the potential selection in the first round seems wide open at this point.

ESPN.com's Todd McShay revealed his fourth 2014 mock draft on ESPN Insider today, with this one covering the first two rounds, and his choices for the Bears certainly make lots of sense.

McShay didn’t deviate from his last mock draft for Chicago’s selection at No. 14, sticking with Pittsburgh defensive tackle Aaron Donald. He would certainly be a strong addition for the Bears, who spent the majority of free agency trying to build up the defensive line. In 2013, the Bears allowed the most points (478) and most total yards (6,313) in franchise history, in part because of injuries and inconsistency along the defensive line.

Chicago surrendered 10 100-yard rushing performances, and allowed a 211-yard outing on Dec. 1 by Minnesota’s Adrian Peterson.

Obviously, adding Donald could go a long way toward helping the group bounce back in 2014. Donald would also benefit from playing opposite Jeremiah "Jay" Ratliff and newly signed defensive end Jared Allen, two savvy veterans who could teach the ropes to the rookie.

Here’s what McShay said about Donald back in March: “Donald is a perfect fit for the Bears’ scheme as a 3-technique defensive tackle. I don’t know if there’s been a prospect who has helped his stock more during the draft process than him. He was unblockable at the Senior Bowl, and … [had] an unbelievable overall workout at the combine. He’s shorter than prototypical size, but he has long arms, a powerful upper body and creates a lot of plays with his anticipation and quickness. FSU’s Timmy Jernigan is a fit as a 3-technique, as well, but Donald is a much better finisher as a pass-rusher.”

One name you may not have heard throughout the pre-draft process so far is Keith McGill, a cornerback out of Utah. McShay has the Bears using their second-round pick on McGill, and if the corner pans out the way talent evaluators expect, he could turn out to be a second-round steal. Besides that, the selection of McGill would also address a pressing need, given that Chicago needs to start planning for the future at the position. Both current starters -- Tim Jennings and Charles Tillman -- are in their 30s.

McGill is 6-foot-3 and 213 pounds -- imposing for a cornerback -- and some evaluators have compared the former Utah standout to Seattle’s Richard Sherman. McGill posted a vertical leap of 39 inches at the NFL combine in February, and it’s worth noting that Bears general manager Phil Emery views the vertical as one of the best indicators of how a prospect might transition into the NFL.

During McGill’s pro day workout in March, representatives from 20 teams were reportedly in attendance.

If the draft in May actually pans out the way McShay has predicted, the Bears will have helped themselves tremendously on the defensive side of the ball.