Tuesday, May 6, 2014
NFL Nation mock: Pryor a consolation prize
By Michael C. Wright
If you haven't seen it, you should probably check out our first ESPN NFL Nation mock draft, which we did live Tuesday. It's definitely interesting with the Buffalo Bills kicking things off by trading their first-round pick (No. 9 overall), a 2015 first-round pick, 2015 third-round pick and a 2016 second-round pick to the Houston Texans to move up eight spots to No. 1, where they took South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney.
Playing general manager for the Chicago Bears, we didn't make any splash trades, and instead, stuck to filling a need in taking Louisville safety Calvin Pryor at No. 14.
Rich Cimini, who covers the New York Jets for NFL Nation, offered a trade -- a third-round pick -- to swap spots, moving the Bears to No. 18 overall. But with Ha Ha Clinton-Dix and Aaron off the board already to Detroit and St. Louis at Nos. 10 and 13, I didn't want to risk losing targeted prospects by moving back four spot.
Obviously, with hindsight being 20-20, I probably would've taken the trade knowing what I know now. Alabama linebacker C.J. Mosely doesn't come off the board until 17th, while Justin Gilbert, Ra'shede Hageman and Kyle Fuller stick around until picks No. 21, 23 and 24. Knowing that, I probably would've pulled the trigger on the trade, drafted one of the players above and scooped up the extra draft pick.
Either way, Pryor addresses a need for the Bears, which currently have openings at both safety spots. Despite picking up Ryan Mundy, M.D. Jennings and Danny McCray in free agency, I'm not convinced any of those players is the answer for one of the starting jobs. Meanwhile, Chris Conte is coming off shoulder surgery and could start training camp on the physically unable to perform list. So why not intensify the competition for the starting safety jobs by adding a promising prospect in Pryor, who could turn out to be an intimidating presence on the back end if he can win a starting job as a rookie?
At this point, it appears Chicago's most pressing needs come along the defensive line and in the secondary.
So a defensive tackle would seem to provide the most value at 14 for the Bears, but with Donald already off the board, it just made more sense to grab Pryor, who possesses the potential to come in and start.