Could a former ND player land in Chicago?

April, 5, 2013
4/05/13
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The Chicago Bears are the closest NFL franchise to Notre Dame, location-wise. Based on the fact that the Bears have the 20th overall pick in the April 25-27 NFL draft -- and on the fact that the Irish have two former players expected to go midway through the first round -- there seems to be a strong possibility of one of those players continuing his career just 90 minutes from South Bend, Ind.

That's certainly the vibe you get in looking at the latest mock drafts from Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay, who both released their fourth versions of first-round mocks this week. Kiper has Tyler Eifert going 17th to the Pittsburgh Steelers, with Manti Te'o landing three spots later in Chicago Insider.

McShay, meanwhile, has Eifert going to the Bears at No. 20, with Te'o getting scooped up five picks later Insider by the Vikings, where he would be in familiar company with all of the former Notre Dame players in Minnesota.

Eifert is up three spots to No. 12 on Kiper's 25-man Big Board Insider, with Te'o up three spots to No. 17.

Kiper says Eifert could add a new dimension to a Pittsburgh offense that loses Mike Wallace, while Te'o could end up a reliable long-term linebacker for a Bears team that currently has Lance Briggs, who turns 33 during the season.

Both players remain atop their position groups in Kiper's top-5s by position Insider, with Stanford's Zach Ertz trailing Eifert and Georgia's Alec Ogletree trailing Te'o.

Matt Fortuna | email

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